Feature Friday: Free Shows at the TD Ottawa Jazz Festival

Feature Friday: Free Shows at the TD Ottawa Jazz Festival

Every year, the TD Ottawa Jazz Festival recruits world renowned talent to play our great city, and 2018 is absolutely no exception.  In addition to this wonderful privilege, the world class jazz musicians who have chosen to make Ottawa their home continue to expand the breadth of the festival and never fail to delight concertgoers.

TD Ottawa Jazz Fest offers an abundance of free concerts for all to attend: be sure to take advantage of these tremendous shows and get acquainted with some of the city’s most talented jazz artists (and lots who are coming from out of town). There are at least one to three free concerts everyday, with Canada Day’s entire line up being entirely free!  Many of these musicians play year round in Ottawa, so get out there and see/hear them do their thing – undoubtedly you’ll discover some new favourites.

The shows listed below are all FREE and are on the OLG Ontario Stage at Confederation Park.

THURSDAY, JUNE 21

F8-BIT

F8-BIT

Thursday June 21, 5:00pm

OLG Ontario Stage

Michel Delage – drums

Alex Moxon – Guitar

Jake Von Warden – Bass

Steve Boudreau – Keys

F8-BIT are a cover band dedicated to classic console game themes. The quartet consists of some some of Ottawa’s highest-scoring jazz players, who owe their quick fingers and epic grip strength to blistering rounds of Super Mario kart as much as they do to music school. Expect to hear modern takes on the themes from Punchout, Super Mario World, Excite Bike, Mega Man, The Legend of Zelda, Sonic the Hedgehog and many more of your favourite classic console games.

PETER LIU AND THE POLLCATS

PETER LIU AND THE POLLCATS

Thursday June 21 @ 7:30pm

OLG Ontario Stage

Peter Liu (vocals)
Scott Poll (clarinet/sax)

Peter Turner (trombone)
Yves Laroche (piano)
Magnus Paulson (guitar)
Alex Mastronardi (bass)
Steve Gallant (drums)

Peter Liu & the Pollcats are one of the most popular vintage swing bands in Ottawa, and they are thrilled to perform their dynamic and energetic interpretations of the music of the Golden Age of Jazz. They are the founders of the annual Ottawa SwingFest held at the Canadian War Museum, and they play regularly for swing lovers across Ottawa and beyond. Channeling the thrilling energy and irresistible groove of the swing era, Peter Liu and the Pollcats are known for inspiring excitement and joy in both listeners and dancers.

FRIDAY, JUNE 22

SAFE LOW LIMIT

SAFE LOW LIMIT

Friday June 22 @ 12:00 pm

OLG Ontario Stage

Dr. Keith Hartshorn-Walton tuba
Ken Kanwisher cello
Michel Delage drums
Steve Berndt trombone/vocal

Formed in Nov. 2016, this all bass clef pitched instrument group using tuba, trombone, cello and drums combines original compositions with obscure jazz standards and pop tunes to create a truly different musical experience! Having played a number of club dates and concerts, a highlight being performance given from the bottom of a drained swimming pool in Vanier, the band is preparing to record a first album. Safe Low Limit is definitely not for the high minded!

OTTAWA RHYTHM INITIATIVE

OTTAWA RHYTHM INITIATIVE

Friday June 22 @ 7:30 pm

OLG Ontario Stage

Dancers: Carmelle Cachero, Carolyn Hébert, Lisa Kilner, David Lafleur, Annie Micucci, Carole Anne Piccinin, Pamela Poulin, Jordan Samonas, Hannah Savoie, Gabriel Wolinsky. (Special guest artists to be announced.)

Musicians: The François Gravel Trio

Tap dance is sound and movement that tells a story…of time, place…and feeling! The Ottawa Rhythm Initiative (ORI) Ensemble is thrilled to showcase dynamic new works from leading Canadian tap choreographers and repertoire from world Tap Masters. An exciting romp through some memorable tunes, each piece showcases rhythms of our past and present. The ORI Ensemble and special guests are accomplished performers who bring a range of dance, music and theatre experiences to the stage. The ORI keeps it fresh while showcasing the best of this time-honoured dance form. Come and have some fun with the ORI!

SATURDAY, JUNE 23

LOS GRINGOS

LOS GRINGOS

Saturday June 23 @ 7:30pm

OLG Ontario Stage

Mark Ferguson – piano
Peter Beaudoin – drums
René Fortier – congas and percussion
Ken Seeley – bass
Nicholas Dyson – trumpet and fluglehorn
Fred Paci – trumpet and fluglehorn
René Lavoie – saxophone and flute
Mike Tremblay – saxophone and flute
David Arthur – trombone

Formed in the 1990’s, Los Gringos is a high-energy 9 piece jazz band, playing original music influenced by the music of Cuba and Brazil. Los Gringos’ is a mainstay of the Ottawa Jazz Festival, having performed almost every year since the band’s inception.

SUNDAY, JUNE 24

FLORQUESTRA

FLORQUESTRA

Sunday June 24 @ 7:30pm

OLG Ontario Stage

Regina Gomes Teixiera (vocals, percussion)
Silvio Módolo (accordion, vocals)
Leonard Constant (guitar, vocals)
Angel Araos (drums) and guests Juan-Luis Vásquez Cerón (triangle)
Manuel Andrés Cornejo Navarro (percussion)
Marc Decho (bass)
Keite Gulart (viola, rabeca)

Florquestra is a band of variable geometry, composed of musicians from Brazil, Chile, Romania and Canada. Between Brazilian rhythms and Parisian rhymes, Florquestra applies its very own brand of world-jazz to original compositions as well as to the work of revered bards such as Leonard Cohen and Georges Brassens.

MONDAY, JUNE 25

MODASAURUS

MODASAURUS

Monday June 25 @ 12:00PM

OLG Ontario Stage

James McGowan, Piano
Alex Moxon, Guitar
JP Lapensee, Bass
Jamie Holmes, Drums

Building upon jazz-fusion traditions, the sound in the Ottawa-based quartet Modasaurus features toe-tapping funk grooves, rich sonic palettes, memorable melodies both composed and improvised, rhythmic twists and turns, and a compelling range of dynamic energy from exuberant to introspective and back again.

Modasaurus features the jazz-fusion compositions of pianist James McGowan with Jamie Holmes, Alex Moxon, and JP Lapensee. Their debut album Two Intents is available for sale, in CD or digital download format.

BELLA CAT

BELLA CAT

Monday June 25 @ 5:00PM

OLG Ontario Stage

Bella Cat has released two albums. Her first album came out of Nashville TN and her second out of Chicago ! The Young 26 year old can not be stopped because its her voice, body and soul that drives her to the stage. The incredible performer leaves you shaking in your seats with tears, goosebumps and fulfillment. There is no competition when it comes to the original music Bella sings and writes she is truly a one of a kind performer. Setting the scene all the way back into the 1950’s with her raspy soulful voice her new take on soul music will blow you away. Clyde Stubblefield dubbed her “THE PRINCESS OF SOUL”

ANNA LUDLOW

ANNA LUDLOW

Monday June 25 @ 7:30pm

OLG Ontario Stage

Anna Ludlow- Fiddle,guitar,vocals
Tyson Chen -Piano
Greg Hawco- Percussion
Spencer Murray- Whistles/Pipes

Originally hailing from Nova Scotia, Celtic fiddler Anna Ludlow now calls Ottawa her home. She has become a crowd favourite in Ontario, recently performing at the Ottawa Bluesfest, Festival of Small Halls Ontario, Almonte Celtfest, and Toronto’s Harboufront Shield to Shore Festival.

TUESDAY, JUNE 26

45NORTH

45NORTH

Tuesday June 26 @ 12:00pm

OLG Ontario Stage

Ralph Hopper – saxophones
Jean Trudel – trumpet/flugelhorn
Paul O’Connor – piano
Ed Stevens – guitar
Paul Soble – bass
Bill Brown – drums

45north is a dynamic 6 piece Ottawa based band that performs a large selection of jazz music written and performed by Canadian artists. From the 1960’s to today: from Oscar Peterson to Manteca and Souljazz Orchestra; David Braid to Mike Murley; Montreal Hard Bop 5 to Snaggle and Cory Weeds to Paul Novotny along with non-Canadian tunes by Tina Brooks, Gerry Mulligan, Benny Golson and Bob Reynolds, to name a few. The music is lively and memorable.

EAGLES / SCHROEDER / ESSOUDRY

EAGLES / SCHROEDER / ESSOUDRY

Tuesday June 26 @ 5:00PM

OLG Ontario Stage

Wayne Eagles – guitar
Dave Schroeder – bass
Mike Essoudry – drums

Original and re-imagined trio material reflecting influences from European improvisation to old school fusion.

THE DUSTY DRIFTERS

THE DUSTY DRIFTERS

Tuesday June 26 @ 7:30PM

OLG Ontario Stage

Paul Roberto – Guitar, Vocals
Gilles Leclerc – Mandolin, Vocals
Stuart Rutherford – Dobro, Vocals
John Steele – Banjo, Vocals
Michael Ball – Bass Fiddle

The Dusty Drifters emerged onto the Ottawa bluegrass scene in 2010, introducing a whole new generation to the beauty of bluegrass through their packed three-year run of Sunday Night Bluegrass shows. A popular favourite at festivals throughout eastern Ontario, this five-piece band combines a passion for traditional bluegrass with fiery contemporary instrumental and vocal work.

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 27

NORMAND GLAUDE QUARTET / TOOTS’ SUITE

NORMAND GLAUDE QUARTET / TOOTS’ SUITE

Wednesday June 27 @ 12:00pm

OLG Ontario Stage

Normand Glaude: Harmonica
JP Allain: Piano
Scott Latham: Drums
Tom Denison: Bass

Normand Glaude’s new artistic endeavour is the chromatic harmonica, however he is mostly known as a double bassist around Ottawa where he has been playing for over 25 years. He rekindled his love for harmonica, the very first instrument he played, when Tim Bedner approached him to contribute on his solo album project, Of Light and Shadow (2012), where Normand’s sound can be heard throughout the recording. He can also be heard as a guest on a variety of local jazz artists recordings. Normand owns and runs the Morning Anthem recording studio, where he has recorded dozens of local artists.

DEBORAH DAVIS & SEGUE TO JAZZ / THE GIFT OF JAZZ

DEBORAH DAVIS & SEGUE TO JAZZ / THE GIFT OF JAZZ

Wednesday June 27 @ 5:00pm

OLG Ontario Stage

Peter Beaudoin – Musical Director & Drum Set
Eddy Bimm – Keys / Grand Piano
René Lavoie – Sax / Flute
Martin Newman – Upright Bass
Dave Arthur – Trombone
Gino Scaffidi – Electric Guitar
Arien Villegas – Congas & Percussion
DeborahDavis – Executive Producer & Lead Vocals
Michael Curtis Hanna – Lead Vocals
Darin David Kyle – 2001 World Tap Dancing Champion
Jamaal Jackson Rogers – Ottawa English Poet Laureate

Deborah Davis and Segue to Jazz return to the Ottawa International Jazz Festival, joined by Jazz great Michael C. Hanna, former world tap dancing champion, the dynamic Darin Kyle and Jamaal Jackson Rogers, (Ottawa English Poet Laureate).

ROMMEL RIBEIRO

ROMMEL RIBEIRO

Wednesday June 27 @ 7:30pm

OLG Ontario Stage

Rommel Ribeiro – Voice/Guitar
Vovo Saramanda – Percussion
Martin Moreira – Percussion
JP lapensee – Bass
Frank Martinez – Drums
Marie Santonge – Flute
Steve Patterson – Sax

Singer, songwriter and guitarist, Rômmel Ribeiro was born into a family of accomplished artists in northern Brazil in the mid 1980’s. He grew up surrounded by art and from a young age was inspired by the work of great Brazilian musicians as Gilberto Gil, Caetano Veloso, Alceu Valença, Chico César and Lenine.

THURSDAY, JUNE 28

ANTOINE L COLLINS

ANTOINE L COLLINS

Thursday June 28 @ 12:00PM

OLG Ontario Stage

Antoine L Collins (vocal)
Mark Ferguson (keys)
Marianne Dumas (percussions)
Phil Bova (Bass)
Mike Essoudry (Drums)
Mark Ferguson (keys)
Brian Tansley (horn/sax/flute)
Petr Cancura – guest appearance (sax/clarinet)

Antoine L Collins, lawyer turned jazz singer and entertainer, was born on the outskirts of Chicago in Gary, Indiana. Although raised in the state’s foster care system, he managed to escape the merry-go-round of foster homes that many children endure. As a young attorney, he prosecuted child abuse and domestic violence cases for the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s office, before returning to his artistic roots by pursuing music and theatre full-time.

ANGELIQUE FRANCIS BAND

ANGELIQUE FRANCIS BAND

Thursday June 28 @ 5:00 pm

OLG Ontario Stage

Angelique Francis – Vocals, Harmonica, acoustic Guitar, Upright Bass
Kharincia Francis- Baritone and Tenor Saxophone
Kiran Francis – Drums, Vocals
Kira Francis – Backing Vocals, hand precusion
Garret Warner – Lead Guitar
Ed Lister – Trumpet, Keys

Angelique Francis is a versatile and exceptionally gifted musician with talent that is way beyond her years. This multi-talented, multi-instrumentalist, Multi-Genre singer song writer and composer has wowed audiences across the globe with her rousing stage performances, instrumental abilities and deep textured vocals. She is known for her eclectic mix of various musical genres including Blues, Soul, folk, Jazz and Rock. Her diversity, passion and love of music can be heard in all of her original compositions.

OTTAWA SWING FEATURING THE JIVEWIRES

OTTAWA SWING FEATURING THE JIVEWIRES

Thursday June 28 @ 7:30pm

OLG Ontario Stage

Brian Asselin – tenor sax
Jeff Asselin – drums
Steve Berndt – trombone/vocal
“Dr.” Dave Foster – guitar
Tyler Harris – alto sax
Ed Lister – trumpet
Alex Mastronardi – upright bass

Billed as “The Missing Link Between Swing And Rock ‘n Roll”, this seven piece horn fueled “jump blues” band delivers a high energy show that mixes original songs with classic hits from the early R&B, post war era from which the band takes its inspiration.

FRIDAY, JUNE 29

CLAIRE DEVLIN QUARTET

CLAIRE DEVLIN QUARTET

Friday June 29 @ 12:00pm

OLG Ontario Stage

Claire Devlin – saxophone
Roman Munoz – guitar
Mathieu McConnell-Enright – bass
John Buck – drums

Originally from Ottawa, Ontario, Claire Devlin is now a Montreal-based saxophonist and composer. In 2012, she was the recipient of the Rising Young Star award at the Prince Edward County Jazz Festival, as well as receiving a scholarship to attend McGill University. Claire graduated from McGill in 2016 with a degree in Jazz Performance, having studied with musicians such as Chet Doxas, Rémi Bolduc, Frank Lozano, and pianist Jean-Michel Pilc. She also attended the Banff Jazz & Creative Music Workshop in 2017 where she met and studied with many wonderful musicians including Vijay Iyer, Linda Oh, Tyshawn Sorey, Jen Shyu, Gretchen Parlato, and Gary Burtz.

MICHAEL HANNA AND FRIENDS

MICHAEL HANNA AND FRIENDS

Friday June 29 @ 5:00pm

OLG Ontario Stage

James McGowan : Piano
Jamie Holmes: Drums
Roddy Elias: Guitar
Marc Deco: Bass
Michael Curtis Hanna: Vocals

Michael enjoys the improvisational styles of Jazz, the freedom of the blues and the spiritual fire of Gospel, cultivated throughout various time of his life.

Michael has performed on various stages in North America, Canada and Japan. With a notable collaboration of first class musicians in Ottawa, Michael has performed as Michael Hanna and friends in the Ottawa and Merrick-ville Jazz festivals; in several performances on the NAC 4th Stage; in the Gift of Jazz production at the National Gallery of Art; the Center-Pointe Theater and several private concerts in the National Capital Area.

FIESTA CUBANA

FIESTA CUBANA

Friday June 29 @ 7:30pm

OLG Ontario Stage

Lead Vocals: Sheyla Fernández & Cristina Sayén Núñez
Bass: J.P Lapensée
Congas: Reynier García
Drums: Frank Martínez
Trombones: Homero Leuning & Paul Adjeleian
Piano & Musical arrangements: Miguel de Armas
Guest singer: Rusdell Núñez

FIESTA CUBANA is a 9-piece band led by Cuban-born musicians based in the National Capital Region. This musical ensemble hones styles that honor the island’s multicultural roots. Their repertoire combines Latin hits with their Afro Cuban roots to produce performances that range from Salsa, Merengue, Cha cha fused with Pop and other contemporary sounds. This band delivers a rhythmic and explosive performance that will have you on your feet dancing from the beginning to the very end of the show, not to be missed.

SATURDAY, JUNE 30

PRIME RIB BIG BAND

PRIME RIB BIG BAND

Saturday June 30 @ 12:00 pm

OLG Ontario Stage

Ed Lister – Trumpet and Compositions
Nicholas Dyson – Trumpet
Mark Ferguson – Trombone
Michael Schultz – Trombone
Zakari Frantz – Alto Sax
Petr Cancura – Tenor Sax
Brian Asselin – Tenor Sax
Richard Page – Baritone Sax
Clayton Connell – Piano
JP Lapensee – Bass
Jamie Holmes – Drums

The Prime Rib Big Band is currently Ed’s busiest and most popular band. The band is made up of the busiest and best session musicians in Town. the band has already performed in 4 major festivals across Ontario as the headlining act and holds down a very successful monthly residency at Irene’s Pub in Ottawa on the 1st Wednesday of every month. This band plays a mix of Originals and covers which pay tribute to the great big band masters such as Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus and Kenny Wheeler.

MEGAN JEROME TOGETHER ENSEMBLE

MEGAN JEROME TOGETHER ENSEMBLE

Saturday June 30 @ 5:00pm

OLG Ontario Stage

Megan Jerome – wurlitzer, voice
Fred Guignion – electric guitars
Don Cummings – hammond organ
Mike Essoudry – drums

Megan Jerome’s spirit-lifting, soulful songs are a sparkling blend of vintage and contemporary roots and jazz styles. From sultry cowboy-tangos to rousing gospel-tinged anthems, Megan’s work has been highlighted as one to watch by The Ottawa Citizen and CBC News. The exquisite Together Ensemble envelops Megan’s voice and 1962 Wurlitzer in a lush instrumentation of guitar (Fred Guignion), organ (Don Cummings) and drums (Mike Essoudry).

MACK & BEN

MACK & BEN

Saturday June 30 @ 7:30pm

OLG Ontario Stage

Mackenzie Di Millo – Vocals
Ben Di Millo – Guitar/Vocals
Clayton Connell – Piano
Stephen Adubofuor – Drums
J.P. Lapensee – Bass
Sarah Bradley – Vocals
Noah James – Vocals

At the tender ages of 2 and 3, siblings Mackenzie and Ben began their musical partnership by yelling and enthusiastically (but terribly) strumming along to the Rankin Family at their Papa’s kitchen table.

SUNDAY, JULY 1

SAXSYNDRUM

SAXSYNDRUM

Sunday July 1 @ 1:00pm

OLG Ontario Stage

AP Bergeron – Vocals
Nick Schofield – Drums, Synths
Dave Switch – Sax, FX

“You’ve never heard anything quite like Saxsyndrum”. It’s a bold statement from CultMTL, montreal’s monthly arts mag, but somehow it’s difficult to find a better introduction to the group. Known for their emotionally powerful performances, the trio features drums, saxophone and meticulous live processing paired with sub bass, deep grooves and ethereal vocals. The unconventional setup allows them to hop from cathartic pop to deep-breathing hymms.

TD JAZZ YOUTH SUMMIT AND STRINGRAY RISING STARS

TD JAZZ YOUTH SUMMIT AND STRINGRAY RISING STARS

Sunday July 1 @ 2:00pm

OLG Ontario Stage

The TD Jazz Youth Summit is a program run by the Ottawa Jazz Festival that brings together top young musicians from across the nation.

Taking place during the Festival, the Summit provides young Canadian musicians a rare platform to develop their big band experience by working with internationally acclaimed musicians and clinicians, culminating in two performances on the Main Stage.

Renowned Canadian jazz trumpet player and University of Toronto professor, Jim Lewis is the Summit’s Music Director. Besides recruiting the participants from across the nation and conducting rehearsals, he invites visiting musicians to the Festival to conduct workshops for Summit participants during their residence.

THE BANK STREET BONBONS

THE BANK STREET BONBONS

Sunday July 1 @ 3:00PM

OLG Ontario Stage

Tyler Harris: Alto Saxophone
Zakari Frantz: Alto Saxophone
Nicholas Dyson: Trumpet
Ed Lister: Trumpet
Ryan Purchase: Trombone
Michael Shultz: Trombone
Keith Walton: Sousaphone
Mike Essoudry: Drums

The Bank Street Bonbons is an 8 piece brass band, 7 horns and drumset, that ventures outside the traditional bounds of the brass band genre. The Bonbons draw upon west african, afro-beat, hip hop, and 1970’s funk rhythms and structures as it’s main muse: think Rebirth Brass Band meets Fela Kuti. With these potent elements, the Bonbons get “one spicy hot hash of tightly executed, boisterous grooves with irresistible forward momentum” (Agnes – Bytowne Sound).

ANOMALIE

ANOMALIE

Sunday July 1 @ 4:00 pm

OLG Ontario Stage

Anomalie is the live electronic project of Nicolas Dupuis, a classically trained and highly versatile keyboardist and producer based in Montreal, QC.

After the release of his style defining project Metropole in June 2017, Anomalie will release the highly anticipated follow-up, Metropole Part II, in May 2018, completing the EP series inspired by his hometown of Montreal. Each song on both EPs alludes to a specific location in Montreal that’s meaningful to Nico and the city’s budding music scene.

While Anomalie is an independent artist, his music has grown to international recognition and has set the stage to tour internationally with ‘Anomalie Live,’ his 4-piece band bringing his productions to life on stage with energy-driven arrangements and original interpretations of his produced music.

RANDOM RECIPE

RANDOM RECIPE

Sunday July 1 @ 5:00 pm

OLG Ontario Stage

Frannie Holder – voice, guitar, omnichord
Fabrizia Di Fruscia – voice, steel drum
Liu-Kong Ha – drums, percussions
Stephano Petrocca – bass

Random Recipe celebrate their 10th anniversary with Distractions, a fiercely independent and crowd sourced third album, catalyzed by hundreds of shows played all over the world. Now a trio, the group strongly reaffirm their quirky musical identity with this collection of 8 songs co-produced by Philippe Brault and Marie-Hélène L. Delorme (FOXTROTT), who definitely brought a bold, percussive and dazzling quality to the project. After Kill the Hook (2013) and Fold It! Mold It! (2010), Frannie, Fab and Liu-Kong embarked on a creative journey propelled by inspiring collaborations.  On this new album, Random Recipe have infused their trademark eclectic sound with pop, rap, funk and electro.

THE SOULJAZZ ORCHESTRA

THE SOULJAZZ ORCHESTRA

Sunday July 1 @ 6:00 pm

OLG Ontario Stage

Zakari Frantz – alto saxophone
Steve Patterson – tenor saxophone
Ray Murray – baritone saxophone
Pierre Chrétien – vintage keyboards
Marielle Rivard –  percussion
Philippe Lafrenière – drums.

Since first arriving on the scene at the turn of the millenium, the Souljazz Orchestra has never stopped pushing the limits of its signature sound: an explosive clash of soul, jazz and tropical styles, unleashed by blaring majestic horns, dusty vintage keyboards, and an arsenal of earthquaking percussion. Nominated for a Juno award for the third time in 2016, the band regularly tears up venues worldwide through its punishing schedule. In fact, years of relentless touring have formed the Souljazz Orchestra’s live concerts into the stuff of legends – more often than not culminating in ecstatic, sweat-soaked, cathartic affairs, mixing pulsating arrangements with eruptive improvisations.

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  1. […] – there are also great Ottawa acts that are just as deserving of your time. While last week’s Feature Friday gave a rundown of all the free shows at the festival, this week is dedicated to outlining a few of […]

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