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Our favourite shows (Ottawa-Gatineau jazz in 2012)

One “problem” with the Ottawa-Gatineau jazz scene in 2012 was choice. There were many really great artists playing in and visiting Ottawa-Gatineau and one simply didn't have the time or energy to hear them all. Here's a few that we remember...

2012 was jam-packed with jazz. The John MacLeod Big Band at Carleton University Jazz Camp was part of it.   ©Brett Delmage, 2012


What were your favourites and shows you wish you hadn't missed in 2012? Share your thoughts with other jazz fans on our Facebook discussion group, or email us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Alayne McGregor, editor: My first cut at this list contained almost 20 concerts. Just assume that all the ones Brett lists I enjoyed too, and more! We are blessed in Ottawa with our own strong jazz musicians and composers, and placed as we are between Toronto and Montreal, and with many embassies here, we're lucky enough to get an amazing range of musicians. But even beyond that, I wouldn't have expected a poetry series to bring in the CCMC, one of Canada's iconic free improvising groups, or to hear the fascinating story of how a German audiophile collaborated with Oscar Peterson, or to see labours of love like Rob Frayne's Dream Band.

  • March 1 - Rafael Zaldivar (Jean-Despréz Hall)
  • March 20 - Amy Cervini (NAC Fourth Stage) [interview]
  • March 24 - Mike Rud Trio (GigSpace) [review]
  • April 4 - "Oscar Peterson in the Black Forest" (NAC Fourth Stage) [review]
  • April 21 - Geggie Series 2011 – 2012: Pat LaBarbera, Josh Rager, and Nick Fraser (NAC Fourth Stage) [review]
  • August 10 - The John MacLeod Big Band (Carleton University Jazz Camp) [review]
  • September 29 - Roddy Ellias concert series 2012-13: Roddy Ellias Trio (GigSpace)
  • October 1 - A tribute to Willem Breuker (NAC Fourth Stage)
  • October 28 - IMOO: Hat and Beard (Umi Café)
  • October 31 - The Rob Frayne Dream Band (NAC Fourth Stage) [interview]
  • December 20 - Holly Cole Christmas Concert (NAC Theatre) [review]

Brett Delmage, publisher and photojournalist: I've listed some of the formal concerts that I enjoyed below, but there were so many more! Then there were many enjoyable Sunday nights at IMOO Series, Monday nights with Curiosity Killed the Quartet at Le Petit Chicago, and Wednesday nights at Cafe Nostalgica before they closed for renovations.  And that doesn't include the Ottawa Jazzfest, the Montreal Jazz Festival, Chamberfest, and the Guelph Festival overloads! And yet, there is much music I regret missing...

I often enjoyed performances where the people on the stage were visibly having a good time themselves.

  • February 11 - Capital Youth Jazz Orchestra with Patrick Breiner (National Library) [review]
  • April 26 - My Pal Frishberg: A nights of the Songs of Dave Frishberg (NAC Fourth Stage) [review]
  • May 10 - CCMC and Phil Minton at the NAC 4th Stage [review]
  • May 11 – Kelly Craig Sextet plays Adam Daudrich (NAC Fourth Stage) [review]
  • May 18 - Peace & Rhythm: Frantz/Bedner/Essoudry (GigSpace)
  • August 4,5 - Chamber Elements (National Gallery) [interview]
  • October 5 - Lori Freedman (IMOOfest) [review]

Some of the concerts we're sorry we missed:

  • January 14 - Geggie Series 2011 - 2012: with Ron Miles and David Occhipinti (NAC Fourth Stage)
  • May 12 - Ottawa's Feral Choir with Phil Minton (Church of St John the Evangelist)
  • October 20 - Roddy Ellias concert series 2012-13: with Petr Cancura (GigSpace)
  • November 3 - Tim Bedner and John Geggie Duo (GigSpace)
  • November 15 - Sienna Dahlen CD Release Concert (GigSpace)
  • November 25 - Klub Podrum and Nicholas Dyson's Spastic Songbook (Mercury Lounge)
  • November 30 - Capital Vox Presents: An Evening of Duke Ellington (St. Brigid's)
  • December 2 - Sonia Johnson (Les Brasseurs du Temps)
  • The Experimental Music series at Pressed this fall

    – Alayne McGregor, Brett Delmage

And read about the jazz festival experience in 2012...