The 6th edition of the TD Ottawa Winter Jazz Festival will take place from February 9 – 12, 2017, at the new La Nouvelle Scène (an amalgamation of four francophone theatre companies and the newly rebuilt theatre of the 1930s) at 333 King Edward Ave.
Shows will alternate between two stages (Studio A and Studio B) as well as the Bistro (in the lounge entrance) where two Late Night Jam sessions on the Friday and Saturday will take place after the last show (about 10:30pm) with food and drink service. Late night jam sessions are included in the ticket price. “It’s very exciting to explore this new relationship with La Nouvelle Scène. Having the shows at one location with multiple stages provides a great convenience for audiences during the winter months, and turns the venue into a giant jazz club” explains the Festival’s Programming Manager Petr Cancura.
“We’ve put together a dream lineup for 2017,” continues Cancura, “with diverse and original projects featuring outstanding musicians, a remarkable array of female jazz singers, debut albums as well as JUNO and MacArthur Fellowship award-winning musicians – this year’s Festival offers a vast range of artists and concerts.”
Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017
Who wouldn’t want to work with one of Canada’s legendary guitarists? Tony Wilson (fans will recognize Tony when he appeared last year as a special guest with Pugs and Crows) is bringing some of the best Canadian musicians to perform his first recording- A Day’s Life depicting the homeless and drug addicted in Vancouver’s Eastside, an experience Wilson can personally relate to. “From Jesse Zubot, who plays in Tanya Tagaq’s band, to Peggy Lee, who you might remember from Mary Margaret Ohara’s show, to J.P. Carter, a favorite of Michael Blake, Dan Mangan and Destroyer to name a few… the range of the six musicians coming is outstanding and I can’t believe they’re all are available to come at the same time,” exudes Cancura.
Local husband and wife team Mélanie (vocalist) and Keith Hartshorn-Walton (tuba) made a huge impact at the Festival’s 24-hr Jazz Ramble at The Record Centre last June. They will be performing popular French songs with a funky jazz twist, this time with a bigger sound that includes Michel Delage on drums and Alex Tompkins guitar.
2008 MacArthur Fellowship recipient (more commonly known as the “Genius Grant), SFJAZZ Collective founding member, multiple GRAMMY® nominee and saxophonist Miguel Zenón is bringing his smokin’ hot quartet to heat up this February in Ottawa with their project Tipico (view the video). The recording is inspired by the quartet’s own musical language developed together over the past 15 years. They include; Luis Perdomo (piano), Hans Glawischnig (bass) and Henry Cole (drums), along with Zenón. This is truly a unique opportunity and the Festival was fortunate the illustrious group was available.
Friday, Feb. 10, 2017
“Her smooth vocals invoke neat glasses of bourbon and smoky Parisian speakeasies.” – CBC Radio
Big band and modern swing join forces through the smooth musical vocals of Toronto’s chanteuse Tia Brazda. She will perform highlights from her debut full-length album Bandshell which ranked #1 on the iTunes Jazz Chart in Canada and #24 on the CMJ national jazz radio chart in the U.S.
Ottawa abounds with an amazing assemblage of remarkable musicians like double bassist Alex Bilodeau and pianist Pierre Chrétien (from Souljazz Orchestra). Together they formed an eclectic band that also includes Ed Lister (trumpet), Zakari Frantz (alto saxophone) and Mike Essoudry (drums) with original works that lies “somewhere between the shores of Africa, Europe, and the Americas, influenced by jazz currents stemming from both sides of the Atlantic.” They’ll be performing selections from their debut album Oceanic Suite (a jazz album depicting the sea) as well as their upcoming project Jazz Mass. Petr Cancura will join them on tenor saxophone for this special evening.
“… the night’s selections showcased Barlow’s ability to enrapture audiences with a combination of romance, drama and infectious energy. Even after presenting such a comprehensive program, there’s no doubt that she could have kept going and taken the crowd right along with her.” – Ottawa Citizen
Renowned Canadian JUNO Award winning jazz songstress Emilie-Claire Barlow headlines Friday evening with what Petr Cancura refers to as a ‘killer band’ from Toronto; Reg Schwager (guitar), Amanda Tosoff (piano), Kelly Jefferson (saxophone), Jon Maharaj (bass) and Fabio Ragnelli (drums). Emilie-Claire leads her stellar band through innovative arrangements of American-Songbook treasures, rhythmic bossa nova and elegant ballads
Saturday, Feb. 11, 2017
The 33z is a tribute project initiated by Petr Cancura and Ed Lister along with local Ottawa musicians. They’ll take on projects by significant composers of our times. Their first project for the TD Ottawa Winter Jazz Festival will appropriately celebrate the life and music of Prince, one of the most influential composer/producer/entertainers of our generation. Each song (7-8) performed by the 33z will feature a different singer, showcasing some of the major talent in the city.
Drummer Harris Eisenstadt along with his quartet embrace the art of improvisation at the highest level. The band features Tony Malaby, one of this generation’s most celebrated saxophonist with an unmistakable approach and sound. Another heavyweight in the improv world, all the way from New Orleans, Jeb Bishop plays trombone. The group is rounded out by the stellar Jason Roebke on bass, and bandleader, celebrated drummer and a native Canadian Harris Eisenstadt provides invoking melodies and points of departure for this extraordinary band.
Ottawa based pianist, trombonist, composer, arranger, producer, and music educator Mark Ferguson has a vast range of achievements in music. It’s highly possible that most Canadians have heard some iteration of his compositions, arrangements or playing. Mark is a member of Manteca and has been part of Holy Cole’s band. Scott Latham (vibraphone), Adrian Vedady (bass) and Jeff Asselin (drums) join him in this performance of Ferguson’s original works of chamber jazz released last year on his album The Next Chapter.
SPECIAL PROJECT – “Afro Cuban Meets Jazz” featuring Miguel de Armas, Jane Bunnett and Amado Dedeu Garcia – Studio A – 9pm
The guidelines for this year’s Special Project, which was designed to foster new music and unique opportunities for local artists, focused on featuring a special guest. AFRO-CUBAN meets JAZZ is the winning project selected among the several entries received. Created by Cuban-born pianist Miguel de Armas featuring his Quartet, this promises to be a sizzling event. They will be joined by special guests, multiple JUNO award winner Jane Bunnett on saxophone/flute (known for her extensive work with Cuban musicians) and Afro Cuban vocalist/percussionist Amado Dedeu Garcia.
The Mercury Lounge and TD Ottawa Winter Jazz Festival present Mike Essoudry’s Bank Street Bonbons, an 8-piece New Orleans style brass band, drum set and 7 horns! The Bonbons are a groovalicious, funky, band that plays original music inspired by Fela Kuti to J-dilla and Quincy Jones to James Brown. Infectious grooves, catchy hooks and wall to wall sound are the hallmarks of the Bonbons. This show is included with a Winter Jazz Festival full or day pass. Single tickets $15 (available at the door).
Sunday, Feb. 12, 2017
“Ice Age Paradise is richly expansive and deeply searching.” (It has) “the ability to sweep you away to some lunary world and Dahlen’s voice is the only thing that keeps you tethered until it too drifts away…exquisite.” – Shelley Gummeson, CFBX Radio
Virtuosic JUNO award-winning jazz singer Sienna Dahlen’s 9-piece band chamber-folk-jazz project Ice Age Paradise has a dreamy tonality to it. She performed on Mike Rudd’s JUNO Award winning “Notes On Montreal” which heavily featured the virtuosity of Sienna. She brings some of Montreal’s most sublime musicians to create her own world.
“MacDonald and LaBarbera have long set a standard for mainstream Toronto tenor saxophonists — as educators as well as performers – and the legacy is evident.” – Whole Note Magazine
This new quartet is made up probably by two of the most legendary saxophonists Kirk MacDonald and Pat LaBarbera, accompanied by one of the jazz world’s most sought after drummers Adam Nussbaum, and Toronto’s 1st call bassist Kieran Overs. This is the epitome of great classic jazz! Performing originals from each of the band members as well as the jazz standard repertoire, the group recently toured Canada and recorded their latest CD.