Pushing The Envelope – Ottawa Jazz Festival’s Trailblazers

The Ottawa Jazz Festival is proud to curate a complete jazz experience. This means presenting artists that push the boundaries of creativity. These artists are the boldest innovators at their most raw, guiding music into new directions that will inevitably shape the future of all music.

Check out our staff-curated playlist featuring these Jazz Festival artists that are Pushing the Envelope with their music…

Zoh Amba

June 23rd at 9pm, National Arts Centre’s Fourth Stage

The 23-year-old saxophonist from Tennessee has quickly become a ubiquitous presence on New York’s avant-garde jazz scene. Zoh Amba has an ability to express a wide range of expressions on the tenor saxophone, drawing attention from great improvisers such as Tyshawn Sorey and Thomas Morgan. Check out this New York Times article on her. Read more >>

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Caroline Davis

Caroline Davis’ Alula ft. Chris Tordini + Kate Gentile
June 26th at 9pm, National Arts Centre’s Fourth Stage

A Singapore-born saxophonist who now lives in Brooklyn, NY, Caroline Davis creates music that borrows from jazz, chamber music and new music improvisation. Not only a brilliant musician, she brings to her art the findings of a PhD in Music Cognition. Don’t miss her trio with Chris Tordini on bass and Kate Gentile on drums. Check out this Downbeat feature on Caroline. Read more >>

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Sam Gendel

June 29th at 6:30pm, National Arts Centre’s Fourth Stage

You might have noticed a very unique new group of musicians coming out of LA and the west coast that take elements of jazz and combine them with a wide range of styles, such as the sounds of retro 80’s. One of these important artists is Sam Gendel who is as known for his duo with Sam Wilkes as he is for his part in the Pino Palladino Quartet and collaboration with Ry Cooder. Check out this article in Pitchfork. Read more >>

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Mark Guiliana

June 28th at 9pm, National Arts Centre’s Fourth Stage

Mark has inspired a new breed of drummers and musicians bringing together electronics and acoustic sensibility. Using his diverse set of skills Mark has the ability to sound like a drum machine on a drum kit… that was Artistic Director Petr Cancura’s introduction to Mark! Mark was part of the Donny McCasslin group that became the band for David Bowie’s last recorded album. Check out a video from his latest album. Read more >>

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Colin Stetson

June 30th at 7pm, National Arts Centre’s Azrieli Studio

Imagine one person playing a bass saxophone (a huge saxophone) and circularly breathing on it (meaning it sounds like you are continually playing without a breath for minutes at a time), creating a soundscape on top of which the voice sings melodies picked up by microphones strapped around the throat. All this sound going through a big sound system creates perhaps the most unique sound you can imagine – and that is exactly what Colin Stetson achieves. Everyone from Tom Waits to Arcade Fire have invited the sax master to contribute to their projects. Check out this recent interview with Colin. Read more >>

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Arooj Aftab

Arooj Aftab – Vijay Iyer – Shahzad Ismaily : Love in Exile
June 28th at 7pm, National Arts Centre’s Azrieli Studio

How often do you get to experience a virtuosic, Grammy Award-winning singer, composer, and producer from Pakistan? Arooj sings with the depth of a soul singer but shares her own culture, stories and experiences. Factor in two more equally-singular musicians Vijay Iyer and Shahzad Ismaily for a really unique and inspiring experience! Check out her My Tiny Desk Concert. Read more >>

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Check out our staff-curated playlist featuring these Jazz Festival artists that are Pushing the Envelope with their music…