On Saturday evening, Toronto vocalist Denielle Bassels brought her infectious combination of swing, jazz, gypsy jazz, and a touch of funk to Merrickville's Jazz Fest. Playing to a packed ballroom, she and her quintet delivered a mixture of originals and unexpected jazz and jazzified tunes – which got the audience dancing and then on its feet for a standing ovation followed by an encore.
Near the end of Bassels' show, an announcement warned the Afro-Cuban fans in the audience that vocalist Caridad Cruz and pianist Miguel de Armas would shortly start their show in the pub downstairs. Those who came late to that show found it so overflowing with listeners they couldn't get in. “I'm the organizer and even I can't get in!” said festival co-founder Peggy Holloway, standing in the queue to get in, but glad to witness yet another packed concert.
Sunday's day of programming features the festival's first artist-in residence, the renowned pianist Brian Browne. He will give a masterclass at 10:30 a.m., play a duo with Peter Woods at 4 p.m., and appear in the closing highlight concert, A Tribute to Blossom Dearie. At 2 p.m. Norman Marshall Villeneuve brings his Message to Merrickville.
Watch OttawaJazzScene.ca for more photos and reports about Saturday and Sunday at Merrickville's Jazz Fest early this week.
– Alayne McGregor
Read and watch OttawaJazzScene.ca's full coverage of the 2014 Merrickville's Jazz Fest
- Merrickville's Jazz Fest Day 1: full houses and happy listeners and dancers
Norman Marshall Villeneuve brings his Message to Merrickville
- Brian Browne is MJF's first and busy artist-in-residence this year
- Blossom Dearie tribute is 'hip' at Merrickville's Jazz Fest (video)
- Sun Crescent Barbecue Stompers bring The Big Easy to Merrickville
- Adam Daudrich Trio at MJF: melodic and propulsive with a solid bass
Full disclosure: Merrickville's Jazz Fest arranged a billet for Alayne McGregor and Brett Delmage to make it possible for us to report more from the festival during the festival.