Take 5 : Ottawa Showbox Edition

Introducing Take 5, where someone whose business it is to know gives you the lowdown on their most anticipated shows at Jazz Fest.

Ottawa Showbox local music coverageSince 2012, Ottawa Showbox has been devoted to providing extensive coverage of a burgeoning local music scene that often seemed an open secret to its own city. Over time, Showbox has expanded from concert listings and album reviews to promoting its own shows, blurring the line between critic and curator. They remain first and foremost fans of music, so we reached out to OSBX’s Matías Muñoz, Eric Scharf and Joseph Mathieu to get their top 5 can’t-miss shows at this year’s Festival.


The Roots (Jun 20, 9:00pm Main Stage Confederation Park)

The Roots are a must see as they are the most versatile hip-hop acts of all time. You don’t get the title of legendary for just being okay. Founded in Philadelphia by Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson and Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter in 1987, the group has gone on to release 10 full-length albums of their jazzy and eclectic hip-hop which features live musical instruments. Yes, a hip-hop group that not only plays all their own instruments but are incredibly gifted musicians. Come see how much more this band can offer than just being The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon’s stage band.


Timber Timbre (Jun 21, 10:30pm, Laurier Avenue Music Stage, Marion Dewar Plaza)

Timber Timbre’s sound has often been described as “eerie” and “hauntingly beautiful.” What better act to be showcased during the OLG After Dark Series? The band take will you on an eerily calming journey, led by singer/guitarist Taylor Kirk’s voice, which can be summed up as sounding like Halloween. The band also has regional connections as two members, percussionist Olivier Fairfield and Mathieu Charbonneau on the keys, are part of the Hull collective E-Tron Records.


Ikebe Shakedown (Jun 25, 10:30pm, Laurier Avenue Music Stage, Marion Dewar Plaza)

If Ikebe Shakedown don’t make you want to dance with their funky trombone-driven tunes, you may need to check your pulse. This seven-piece from Brooklyn, New York, is electric, and their sound and energy is contagious. It also doesn’t hurt that they feature members of Lee Fields’ and Charles Bradley’s touring bands.


Snarky Puppy (Jun 27, 8:30pm, Main Stage Confederation Park)

Grammy-winning Snarky Puppy are a widely toured and acclaimed instrumental fusion orchestra from New York City, having played more than 200 shows in 2014. What makes them so special is that they see no bounds, no limits nor restrictions to their sound. No certain style dominates as they flow from bass-driven funk jams to exploratory jazz with lush harmonies to brass and bongo-fueled world music.


Beirut (Jun 28, 8:30pm Main Stage Confederation Park)

When a band gets labeled as the American equivalent of Canada’s Broken Social Scene, you know you are in for a treat. Add to the fact that the band has barely toured over the past two years and this is a rare opportunity to see this amazing band led by the very talented and creative Zach Condon. His lyrics and voice are emotive and raw, both thoughtful and funny in the way they jerk tears from your face.

Check out OttawaShowbox.com for ongoing coverage of the Festival and the rest of the city’s vibrant music scene, and be sure to follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.