Composer Scott Thomson made the National Gallery of Canada his unique performance space for his composition for brass and improvising choir for the 2012 Ottawa Chamberfest. He's doing it again in 2013, this time at Ottawa City Hall at noon on Thursday, August 1. The performance is free.
In our video you can see and hear part of the National Gallery performance by trumpets, trombones and Christine Duncan's Element Choir. Scott explains how he planned the half-hour of music for maximum effect in the specific space and tuned the music to that space.
– Brett Delmage
See the interview with Scott Thomson about his work:
Chamber Elements: Many unique ways of listening to improvised music
Jesse Stewart Trio
Parc de l'imaginaire
Gatineau (secteur Aylmer), PQ
Festival de Jazz Desjardins
Friday, July 26, 2013 – 7:30 p.m.
The name of “Parc de l'imaginaire” in Aylmer, where the Festival de Jazz Desjardins is held, can be translated in various ways. Ottawa percussionist Jesse Stewart chose to think of it as a park “of the imagination”, and told the audience at his Friday concert that his trio would be playing music appropriate to that. “We will use our imaginations and I invite you to do the same.”
Stewart had invited two avant-garde musicians from Toronto to play with him: Rob Clutton on electric bass, and David Mott on baritone sax. The music they played was almost completely improvised, but overall more “inside” than other times I've heard them separately or together.
For the first two pieces, it was as though you could almost recognize the music. Mott played extended solos, a bit blues-influenced, which hearkened back to hard bop and post-bop, and sounded rich and deep and satisfying. Clutton echoed him in a bass solo, and then moved to a higher, more muted pattern, using harmonics. Especially in the second piece, they alternated between more straight-ahead and free improv, deconstructing riffs and circling through them.
Montréal Guitare Trio (MG3)
St. Brigid's Centre for the Arts and Humanities
Thursday, July 25, 2013 - 10 p.m.
A single guitar began, Flamenco-style. After a few bars, two more guitars joined in – and the Montréal Guitare Trio was off and running, for a high-energy, crowd-pleasing concert.
The trio has been together for 15 years, playing a mixture of classical, jazz, pop, movie soundtracks, and folk material. But the operative word is “mixture”. As they told the audience, they love to create unexpected combinations: for example, crossing the overture to Rossini's The Barber of Seville (“which we learned from Bugs Bunny”) with klezmer music.
All three began by playing acoustic guitars, which stayed their primary instruments. but each would often switch out to another instrument. Marc Morin also played electric bass and small accordion; Sébastien Dufour a charango (a Bolivian stringed instrument which can be made from an armadillo shell, although his was all-wood); and Glenn Lévesque a mandolin and an electric guitar.
Their first piece crossed Italian and Flamenco styles with a theme from the Quebec iconic singer Félix Leclerc. Later on, they mixed gypsy music and the traditional music of Brittany. “Garam Masala”, the title track of one of their albums, combined Indian and Arabic music. On that number, their guitars created some surprisingly authentic sitar-like sounds and drones, while Dufour hand-drummed on his guitar in intricate and ever-changing patterns.
Renée Yoxon and her Gentlemen Friends
Parc de l'imaginaire
Gatineau (secteur Aylmer), PQ
Festival de Jazz Desjardins
Thursday, July 25, 2013 – 7:30 p.m.
Local jazz vocalist Renée Yoxon resurrected the songs of the Swing Era (and a little bit beyond) for a delighted crowd of more than 300 in Aylmer Thursday. It was the second show in the four-concert Festival de Jazz Desjardins this week.
It was almost all easily recognizable music – “All of Me”, “Don't Get Around Much Anymore”, “Fly Me to the Moon”, “Honeysuckle Rose”, “Frim Fram Sauce”, “Pennies from Heaven” – but Yoxon and her Gentlemen Friends performed it with verve, and added their own twists.
Yoxon regularly brings this group – Craig Pedersen on trumpet, François Gravel on Fender Rhodes, Mark Fraser on bass, David Pontello on drums – to play at swing dances, where the music needs to be upbeat, engaging, and above all danceable. In Aylmer, she got a few people dancing in place and swaying to the music, but the audience primarily showed their enjoyment with loud applause, including a standing ovation at the end, and intent listening. The toddlers and children in the audience were a bit more expressive: those who didn't sit and listen used it as background for tree climbing, and running around.
Three promising young jazz musicians are taking a big step this Saturday: their first formal concert of their own compositions.
It comes after their first year in university, and their first year apart – a huge change after having played together practically every week since they were 12 years old.
Trumpeter Emily Denison and pianist Deniz Lim-Sersan are 18. Saxophonist Claire Devlin turned 19 this week. They call themselves The Origins Project, and will present a concert at GigSpace on Saturday, July 20, together with bassist Alex Bilodeau and drummer Mike Essoudry.
You may have seen them performing at the Ottawa Jazz Festival over the last few years: Denison was in the all-star, cross-Canada TD Jazz Youth Summit in 2011 and 2012. Devlin was a member of the summit in 2013, and won the $1000 “Take Five Plus Five” Harvey and Louise Glatt Scholarship Award. All three could be seen regularly listening and playing in festival jam sessions as well.
But the concert will be different. “This is music that we've never really performed in Ottawa,” Devlin said. “It's the kind of music that we would have done in school this year, but it's just not something that you can really do unless you're doing this kind of concert situation. I'm really excited because it's super-energetic music.”
Joel Miller and Honeycomb
Montreal Jazz Festival
Wednesday, July 3, 2013 – 6 p.m.
It was a hot and sultry Montreal evening – perfect for hot, upbeat Latin jazz.
Saxophonist Joel Miller was debuting his new album and new group, Honeycomb, at his hometown jazz festival. His quintet – three well-known mainstream jazz musicians and two Latin percussionists – put on an energetic show. The music was high-temperature enough to match the 34C weather – and it pleased the audience.
Miller won the 2013 Juno for Best Contemporary Jazz Album for his previous CD, Swim , a strong mixture of postbop and ballads, featuring his intense sax work and Geoffrey Keezer's vibrant piano.
Any fans who expected the same type of music would have been surprised, though not necessarily disappointed. Miller's soaring sax lines remained, and John Roney's piano was both propulsive and enquiring. But a different rhythm section – Cuban-born drummer Kiko Osorio, bassist Rémi-Jean Leblanc, percussionist Kullak Viger Rojas on cajón and congas – gave the music a very distinct sound from previous Miller efforts.
Singer Caridad Cruz and pianist Miguel Angel de Armas are two Cuban-born musicians who have each considerably enlivened Ottawa's jazz scene in the last few years. Recently they've started performing together occasionally, and their combined energy level gets audiences dancing and clapping.
On a hot, sweaty Monday night in the middle of the July doldrums, they packed the downstairs room at Les Brasseurs du Temps in downtown Gatineau. Their two sets were filled with mostly up-tempo music and a few ballads; Cruz sang eloquently in Spanish, Portuguese, and English, and connected with the audience in a mixture of English and French. De Armas propelled the music; often one song had barely finished before his fingers were dancing into the opening chords of the next.
Marianne Trudel, Étienne Lafrance, Patrick Graham
Montreal Jazz Festival
Thursday, July 4, 2013 – 6 p.m.
Trifolia is a new project from three adventurous Montreal jazz musicians: pianist Marianne Trudel, double bassist Étienne Lafrance, and percussionist Patrick Graham.
They toured across Canada this summer to promote their first CD, Le Refuge, starting in the Yukon, and continuing right to Newfoundland. OttawaJazzScene.ca reviewer Alayne McGregor saw part of their show in Ottawa and the entire show in Montreal.
Marianne Trudel may be the spokesperson for Trifolia in concert, but when you see them play, it's clear that all three musicians speak together. In both shows, the lead jumped from one to the other to the other seamlessly; they shifted among solos, duets, and trios, and underpinned each other's solos.
Scène Rio Tinto Alcan
Montreal Jazz Festival
Wednesday, July 3, 2013 – 10 p.m.
It only took one song for Ottawa vocalist Kellylee Evans to have a late-night Montreal Jazz Festival audience in the palm of her hand.
Playing on the festival's huge main outdoor stage, Evans did two back-to-back free shows, at 8 and 10 p.m. It was a hot, muggy night and the concrete and asphalt of rue Ste. Catherine didn't make the area any cooler. But at the later concert, she appeared just as energetic as though she hadn't played a show an hour before.
Evans was hit by lightning in a freak accident in her kitchen a month ago. She's still recovering from that strike, which meant she sat for almost all the concert. This is highly atypical for her: usually she's running across the stage, expressing the energy of the music with her entire body. This time, instead, she gestured and clapped frequently and occasionally kicked up her legs in time. Sometimes she stood and danced in place for a minute or two. She still clearly communicated the music with all of herself.
The crowd was initially quiet – one man I talked to had never heard of Evans before – but at least in the section near the front where I was listening, very few people left. Almost everyone stood for the full hour, listening intently and frequently swaying with the music.
Hutchinson Andrew Trio
Scène TD de la place des Festivals
Montreal Jazz Festival
Friday, July 5, 2013 – 6 p.m.
The Hutchinson Andrew Trio brought their brand of melodic, open, Prairie jazz to Central Canada, and walked off with the 2013 Grand Prix de Jazz at the Montreal Jazz Festival.
The trio – Kodi Hutchinson on double bass, Chris Andrew on piano, Karl Schwonik on drums – opened the Ottawa Jazz Festival on June 20 on its main stage and also played at Brookstreet Hotel. On July 1, they played on an outdoor stage at the Montreal festival in competition for the award, and on July 5, repeated that show – with big grins – as the winner.
The three are all from Alberta – the first band from that province since 1998 to win the Grand Prix award. Although they have played Ottawa and Montreal before in different combinations, this was their first chance to showcase material from a new album, Prairie Modern [Chronograph, 2013]. As Hutchinson told the audience Friday evening, several of the pieces talked about “where we're from – just imagine you're sitting on top of a mountain.”
The Friday show also featured Montreal saxophonist André Leroux, whose rich and intense sound on tenor and soprano sax complemented the trio. On Andrew's composition “Waltz for Clay”, Leroux began the piece with a slow, eloquent line on soprano, bringing out the song's theme of remembrance and sadness. After a quiet bass solo, he reentered for a longer exploration of the theme, Andrew replied on piano, and they ended the piece in unison.
The Guelph Jazz Festival celebrates its 20th anniversary from September 3 to 8, 2013. New this year is a “World Artist Summit”, which will include improvisers from France, India, South Korea, Australia, Norway, Sweden, Turkey, Morocco, Brazil, the US, and Canada - including Ottawa.
In a world where jazz festivals have become increasingly similar, the Guelph festival's unwavering artistic vision - implemented by focused music programming, a wide-ranging academic, yet accessible, colloquium, and an adventurous and packed Nuit Blanche - continues to sustain this festival as one of the more interesting and creative music festivals in Canada.
Highly-respected musicians who were not heard during 'cross-Canada jazz festival week' at the end of June/start of July will headline Guelph this year. Tenor legend Pharoah Sanders will play in two ensembles led by Rob Mazurek: The Chicago Underground Duo on September 7 and the São Paulo Underground on September 8. Sanders, reportedly described by Ornette Coleman as "probably the best tenor player in the world" is a notable pioneer in free jazz.
- Ten Years of the Triplets of Belleville, in Ottawa et Montreal (review)
- Finding the patterns in Tim Berne's free jazz (review)
- A romantic evening: The Thomas Enhco Trio and the Steve Kuhn Trio at the Montreal Jazz Festival (review)
- Christine Jensen, Ingrid Jensen, Gary Versace at the Montreal Jazz Festival (review)
- 2013 Montreal Jazz Festival celebrates pianists – and the late Dave Brubeck
- Almonte's JazzN announces new house concerts, reflects on successful first year
- AlphaSoul jazzfest jams get jammed
- Alan Jones embraces risk with his all-Canadian, all-star sextet
- The Stretch Orchestra makes jazz bend
- Two exceptional percussionists play the Ottawa Jazz Festival this week (video)
- David Byrne talks about music and the music biz, in all its eclectic glory (book review)
- Roberto López combines Colombian rhythms and jazz into danceable music
- Festival pass awarded - and two more to be won!
- Listeners follow Ottawa Jazz Festival jams westward to AlphaSoul Cafe
- Jazzfest 2013: Great jazz from across Canada
- Jazzfest 2013: CKCU-FM previews the 2013 Ottawa Jazz Festival
- Three generations of music at Italian Week Festival
- Two jazz improvisers put on their cowboy boots
- Be Bop Duo does pho
- Jazz at The Cube
- Jazzfest 2013: Hear our Ottawa Jazz Festival picks on CKCU FM
- 2013 Ottawa Jazz Festival jams move 3.5 km west to Hintonburg
- Jazzfest 2013: Local musicians you will want to hear
- Stellar year for young Ottawa musicians at 2013 MusicFest Canada
- Gaby Warren's years as a jazz fan recognized at CD launch (review)
- Split Cycle plays intricately-woven modern jazz (review)
- Next concert in John Geggie Invitational series may be the last
- The community celebrates Ottawa Jazz Hero Roddy Ellias (video)
- Gaby Warren: a jazz fanatic steps to the other side of the footlights
- No Ottawa Jazz Festival jam sessions in 2013? Listeners object.
- Jeff Johnston Trio enraptures the audience (review)
- Kellylee Evans to appear again at NAC Presents
- Roddy Ellias: a humble Jazz Hero
- Jeff Johnston returns to his trio's musical roots and then moves forward with his new album
- Evandro Gracelli brings Brazilian warmth to Ottawa for three busy weeks
- Energetic music attracts a packed house at Rimbombante CD release show
- Expecting the unexpected at Saturday's GigSpace concert of improvising composers
- Listeners get JazzED at 2013 Ottawa Jazz Festival lineup announcement
- Capital Youth Jazz Orchestra - in the making (video)
- The Jivewires are on an upswing
- Ontario government funds jazz (and other Ottawa festivals)
- Three Ottawa vocalists to recreate classic Ella and Billie Newport concerts
- 2013 Chamberfest builds on past jazz successes, adds Phil Dwyer & Don Thompson
- Hamid Drake and Jesse Stewart fill GigSpace with complex sounds (review)
- Guitar Now! Festival to present workshops, concerts and jams in May
- Monday night jazz is returning to Le Petit Chicago
- ZenKitchen to offer jazz every second Sunday
- Hamid Drake and Jesse Stewart: percussion as you've never heard it before this Friday
- Laila Biali takes risks with choosing and playing music
- Molly Johnson ups the energy and vibe at a sold-out NAC show
- Brookstreet makes jazz the option seven nights a week
- Roddy Ellias Ensemble plays an intimate concert of intricate music
- Diana Krall invokes the spirit of the Glad Rag Dolls (review)
- Ottawa Jazz Festival announces Main Stage lineup for 2013: music of every style
- 2012-13 Geggie Series: In rich harmony (review)
- Melody into places far afield: Roddy Ellias with Gene Bertoncini (review)
- Ottawa's Souljazz Orchestra nominated for 2013 Juno Award
- "Morphology of a Lover": Intricate instrumental interactions (review)
- Chucho Valdés to play at 2013 Ottawa Jazz Festival
- Nick Maclean creates a new sound with Snaggle
- Ottawa jazz vocalist finalist for local arts award
- Elizabeth Shepherd plays bittersweet music for a full house (review)
- John Scofield at la Maison de la Culture (review)
- Elizabeth Shepherd marries a pop sensibility to a jazz aesthetic
- “I wouldn’t be playing what I play if it wasn’t for Miles”: an interview with John Scofield
- Florquestra Brasil launches their first album, Flortografia, with all-around enthusiasm
- Pressed jazz jam creates a happy vibe for the start of its second season
- Friends, colleagues pay tribute to Jacques Emond on special "Swing is in the Air"
- Cory Weeds Quartet with Steve Davis: remembering music and musicians past
- How do you run a successful jazz club? We ask The Cellar's Cory Weeds
- Cory Weeds swings across the country and into Ottawa
- Remembering Jacques Emond's life-long love of jazz
- Local jazz fans pack the house for last Monday jazz night at Le Petit Chicago
- What's inside Chocolate Hot Pockets ?
- Our favourite shows (Ottawa-Gatineau jazz in 2012)
- Bill Coon and Tim Bedner attract record crowd to ZenKitchen's jazz brunch
- Oswald, Thomson, Stewart play engaging improvisations at final 2012 IMOO concert
- Holly Cole Christmas at the NAC (review)
- 2013 Geggie series is shorter and starts later, but has the same spirit
- The Nepean All-City Jazz Band: never accepting "good enough"
- The Ottawa Junior Jazz Band: a passion to play
- Dave Brubeck, who thrilled record Ottawa audiences, dies at age 91
- Wayne Shorter, Wynton Marsalis featured at both 2013 Ottawa and Montreal jazz festivals
- Sonia Johnson: not playing it safe with jazz
- Ottawa Jazz Festival AGM talks money, not music
- Tim Bedner finds the right time for his first CD
- A musical connection which spans continents
- Chick Corea & Gary Burton: A fiery delight on a cold, wet night (review)
- IMOOfest 2012 Night 1: showing off variety in improvised music (review)
- Jesse Stewart brings the audience into his D.O.M.E at Electric Fields
- Larry Ochs and Hamid Drake at the Guelph Jazz Festival (review)
- Inaugural IMOOfest opens with a strong lineup, with more to follow tonight
- IMOO: Still making it up as they go, two years later (video)
- NAC Presents - an all-vocal jazz lineup for 2012-13
- The Happiness Project at the Guelph Jazz Festival (review)
- John Coltrane at the Guelph Jazz Festival (review)
- The gift of reverberation: Colin Stetson and Ben Grossman at the Guelph Jazz Festival (review)
- Huntsville: louder in Guelph, quieter in Ottawa?
- 2012 Guelph Jazz Festival: around the world and into new places
- You'll lose sleep over Guelph's Nuit Blanche
- Yoxon/Ferguson CD fundraising campaign reaches its goal
- A musical preview of Renée Yoxon's and Mark Ferguson's new CD
- Strong jazz lineup in Ottawa and Gatineau this fall
- Mark Fewer's violin extravaganza at Ottawa Chamberfest (review)
- John MacLeod Big Band (review)
- John MacLeod harnesses the creative energy of a big band with his Rex Hotel Jazz Orchestra
- Riverside (review)
- Carleton U Jazz Camp goes batty presenting a quartet of duos
- 2012 Chamberfest: "a real fascination with jazz"
- Trumpets, Trumpets at IMOO
- Chamber Elements: Many unique ways of listening to improvised music
- FestivAsia brings Jazz to Chinatown this summer
- Thomson, Hood, and Stewart: Poetry in motion at IMOO
- Rachel Therrien develops new sounds at IMOO
- Notes in Triplicate's world premiere at Avant-Garde
- 2012 Community Fundraising Campaign a great success - thanks to you!
- Love lost, music found (review)
- Happy birthday – with saxophones (review)
- Mash Potato Mashers attract the masses in Montreal
- The Souljazz Orchestra sets the beat at the Montreal Jazz Festival
- More jazz - in Montreal
- Marc Copland and Roddy Ellias: finding connections
- David Mott's Journey to the Land of Oz
- NAC to showcase three jazz artists next fall
- Last song for JazzWorks jam coordinator Peter Liu
- Two voices are more than one at Boy's Night Out
- Poetry inspires music at IMOO on Sunday
- CKCU host Ron Sweetman previews the 2012 Ottawa Jazz Festival line-up
- 2011-12 Geggie Series: Ballads and blues and quiet (review)
- Diane White: a career with unexpected twists
- Craig Pedersen explores Grey Areas with his new CD
- Hear about the new Jazz Festival CD
- Kelly Craig Sextet plays Adam Daudrich at the NAC 4th Stage (review)
- Ottawa Hard Bop Association co-leaders speak about their music
- Michael Snow: making music in the now
- It's Déjá Vu with Steve Berndt and Brian Browne
- Making the most of great songs (review)
- The benefits of experience (review)
- Brandi Disterheft Quartet brings an energetic vibe to the Fourth Stage (review)
- Alex Moxon talks about his new 4tet and his music
- Brandi Disterheft: "you can only be who you are, on stage"
- Norah Jones, Souljazz Orchestra, Lucas Haneman at Bluesfest 2012
- Jazzfest 2012: Jazz music highlights of the 2012 Ottawa Jazz Festival
- Renée Yoxon: making Dave Frishberg her pal
- Jazzfest 2012: Younger and a bit jazzier but definitely covered (an analysis)
- Oscar Peterson: Germans and Canadians celebrate music that transcends boundaries
- Amy Cervini: swinging in her own way with Blossom Dearie
- The Stretch Orchestra wins a 2012 Juno Award; tour delayed
- Three Ottawa vocalists await their critiques in the final NAC Manhattan on the Rideau masterclass
- Juno nominee Fern Lindzon: "whatever inspires"
- CYJO heats up Ottawa with a Latin vibe and 46 musicians
- Celebrating Katie Malloch's commitment to jazz
- Mike Rud tells stories with his guitar (review)
- 2011-12 Geggie Series: "It's not work, it's play" (review)
- 2011-12 Geggie Series: four musicians in concert (review)
- 2012 Ottawa Jazz Festival: pass prices increase
- The Walrus Guitar Quartet: all together
- Ottawa Winter Jazzfest engages audiences for Canadian and local artists
- Two personae of Patrick Breiner
- Pulse Mondiale warms up the Winter 2012 Ottawa Jazz Festival
- Our 2011 recap: jazz and improvisation probe the boundaries in Ottawa
- Guitar wizards satisfy audience (review)
- Full house, intent listeners greet Titanium Trio
- SSS Trio brings youthful energy to January Wednesdays
- David Occhipinti: beyond categories
- Kellylee Evans: body and soul (review)
- Franky Rousseau: thinking large
- Inside the Music: every musician has a story
- IMOO musicians explore new 'instruments' and new approaches
- Craig Pedersen Quartet CD Release Concert gets a bravo
- 2011-12 Geggie Series: two masters communicate (review)
- JunoFest: an opportunity for Ottawa-area jazz musicians
- Two modern big bands: one small bar
- Craig Pedersen, Hands-on musician
- Controversy over non-jazz acts reaches Ottawa Jazz Festival Annual Meeting
- NCC cuts funding for Canada Day jazz programming and Jazz Youth Summit
- Jensen / Geggie / Olin Trio: jazz flowing out into the quiet (review)
- Beatlemania: music for all ages
- Curiosity Killed the Quartet - Again
- Renée Yoxon: Two years of Monday late-night jazz
- Season tickets available for 2011-12 Geggie series
- Hear jazz artists on CBC before you see them!
- Alice Groves: a flowing lateral arabesque
- 2011 Guelph Jazz Festival: Creative Collective
- Standards singers overflow new GigSpace at Culture Days
- The 2011 OttawaJazzScene.ca Jazz Listener Survey Results
- Where there's no smoke there's Fire
- 2011 Guelph Jazz Festival: Tilting, and Plimley-Parker-Martin
- Bill Jupp Sextet packs in appreciative audience at Taste of Wellington
- IMOO's "quiet" concert #31 ends a successful first year
- Carleton University Jazz Camp: from the inside
- Jazz to look forward to in 2011-12
- NAC announces 2011-12 Manhattan on the Rideau masterclasses
- Roddy Ellias, Brian Browne, Michel Donato: emphasizing the melody
- Differences in ticket prices?
- Jerry Granelli interview on CBC, now on-line
- An improvised rock concert
- Carleton University Jazz Camp (from the vault)
- JazzWorks jams feeling the pressures of success
- Django Libre gets listeners out of their seats at Rendez-Vous Rideau Jazz Stage
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