It was emotional, raw and real. Like sustenance, people were craving for live music. The TD Ottawa jazz Festival returned to its home in Confederation Park to celebrate its postponed 40th anniversary (1980-2020) in style and delivered.
Everyone felt it. It was electric. The celebration of a comprehensive and remarkable body of work took music devotees on a journey around the world. From Iceland to the tango clubs of South America, from the steamy jazz clubs of Bourbon Street to the heights of New York City’s Lincoln Centre and from the Pacific Coast to Newfoundland – artists came face to face with their audiences after two years of live streaming and virtual performances.
The Festival showcased a staggering 852 artists on 9 stages throughout the city. The weather was perfect with 10 nights of flawless evenings at both the TD Main Stage and the OLG Stage! Highlights included sold-out performances by Emmy-Lou Harris & The Red Dirt Boys; Lucinda Williams; Meshell Ndegeocello; Charles Lloyd Quartet featuring Bill Frisell, Reuben Rogers & Eric Harland; Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis; Julian Lage Trio featuring Scott Colley & Dave King; Céu, as well as almost every concert at the National Arts Centre’s Fourth Stage.
The pulsating and thrilling performances of Cory Wong, Cory Henry, Kamasi Washington, and Ghost-Note were the buzz of the city for days!
New discoveries for many became social media favourites including; Theo Bleckmann MIXTAPE, Aurora Neeland, Tim Berne, Allison Miller’s Boom Tic Boom, Tord Gustavsen Trio, Sunna Gunnlaugs Trio, the amazing Cécile McLorin Salvant and the inimitable Louis Cole Big Band who stunned the OLG audiences with his versatility and deep authenticity.
For all the ups-and-downs caused by the Freedom convoy and protesters, loyal audiences still came out to support the music.
To all the wonderful musicians who came to perform, to our audiences who came out for the music, to our sponsors and volunteers, the Festival offers their deepest gratitude for this year’s tremendous success!
We look forward to seeing you next year in 2023!