Tuesday, April 25, 2017
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Tim Bedner helps students learn from the masters

Ottawa guitarist Tim Bedner has never forgotten how much he learned from playing with the masters.

When he was a student at Berklee College close to 20 years ago, he had a duo gig every Monday night at an Italian restaurant.  Several world-class Boston jazz musicians, including saxophonist George Garzone and bassist John Lockwood, would regularly drop in and play.

"I can look back now and say that this had to be some of the most important musical instruction and development I've ever received," he said. "I'm still assimilating lessons from them. It's an important part of who I am today."

At the time, he was very nervous and wondered how he could keep up, he said. But "we were open and willing to learn and we took direction."

Now he wants to offer the same experience to student jazz players in Ottawa – as thanks to the musicians "who took the time out to play with a couple of students and to help us."

Starting September 28, and continuing on the last Monday of the month until next April, Tim is offering students the chance to be mentored in live performance by some of Ottawa's best jazz musicians. And jazz fans are welcome to come out to hear the result at Café Paradiso.

Read more: Tim Bedner helps students learn from the masters


Los Gringos has a rousing reunion

Full house listens to Los Gringos reunion at Greenfield's Pub. © 2009 Brett Delmage

A full house enjoys the Los Gringos reunion at Greenfield's Pub  ©2009 Brett Delmage

On September 20, Ottawa Latin jazz band Los Gringos reunited for the first time since 2001, to show that hot jazz can be hot stuff on a otherwise quiet suburban Sunday night. Their lively concert concluded with the enthusiastic audience calling for an encore and giving a standing ovation.

Los Gringos founder, co-leader, composer and trombonist Mark Ferguson told Ottawa Jazz Scene that he was "really knocked out by the reception".

Read more: Los Gringos has a rousing reunion


Ottawa Jazz Festival Fall/Winter series announced

The Ottawa Jazz Festival has announced its fall/winter series of jazz concerts:

  1. October 5: Cory Weeds Quintet with Jim Rotondi (Vancouver)
  2. October 27: Rory Magill - Rake-Star Project (local)
  3. November 16 - Pierre-Yves Martel and Quartetski Does Satie (Montreal)
  4. December 1 - Médéric Collignon (France)
  5. December 8 - Festival benefit concert and auction with Sophie Milman (Toronto)
  6. March 1- Béla Fleck & his Africa Project: Collaborations with Amazing African Musicians
  7. March 8 - Eric Vloeimans (the Netherlands)

Concerts 1-4 and 7 will be held at the National Arts Centre Fourth Stage. Those concerts are $22 (adult) or $15 (student). Package deals are available: $100 for 5 shows, $80 for 4 shows, $64 for 3 shows. Tickets are available at:

  • the NAC box office (for NAC Fourth Stage shows)
  • Compact Music
  • CD Warehouse
  • Rob's Music in Westboro
  • Ticketmaster
  • Ottawa Jazz Festival

The Festival benefit concert will be at Library and Archives Canada. The Béla Fleck concert will be at Dominion Chalmers Church. Tickets for those shows are $50.


The Geggie Project on CBC Radio

Saturday, October 3 - 10 p.m.
CBC Radio 2 103.3 FM

The Signal is scheduled to broadcast its recording of The Geggie Project on October 3. It was recorded at the Guelph Jazz Festival on September 11.

  • John Geggie - bass
  • Marilyn Crispell - piano
  • Nick Fraser - drums

Your editors heard the concert live. It was a fine concert, with extensive and sensitive interplay among the musicians, and some great renditions of Geggie originals.

The same group will be playing live in Ottawa Oct. 31 at the NAC Fourth Stage.

Here what one CBC producer quoted on The Signal blog had to say about the concert: "You'll be amazed at the sound, range, and beauty of the music they create together."


John Geggie's 2009-10 series at the NAC Fourth Stage

John Geggie at Fourth Stage - ©2008 Brett Delmage
John Geggie   ©2008 Brett Delmage

This year's Geggie concert series puts John Geggie in an unusual position -- front and centre.

With CD release concerts for two different Geggie projects included in the series, the Ottawa bassist is unusually prominent. In previous years, although Geggie organized the series and chose the musicians, once the concerts started he was content to highlight his guests, and push their CDs, not his own.

This year, he has two of his own CDs to promote.

October 31 will be the official launch of "The Geggie Project", featuring Geggie and two long-time collaborators: pianist Marilyn Crispell and drummer Nick Fraser. "It's taken me a while to get everyone together: their schedules are rather occupied."

And then on January 30, the Geggie Trio (Geggie, Fraser, and pianist Nancy Walker) will join with saxophonist Donny McCaslin to celebrate their new CD, "Across the Sky". Both projects have been in the works for a while: Geggie said the Trio CD had been recorded about 1 1/2 years ago.Geggie has teamed up with Walker and Fraser as the house band for the Ottawa Jazz Festival jams for the past several years.

Read more: John Geggie's 2009-10 series at the NAC Fourth Stage


Geggie series released

John Geggie has released the details of his NAC Fourth Stage concert series.

You can see the details in our Upcoming Shows listings. The dates are September 26, October 31, November 28, January 30, March 6, April 17, and May 15.

You can buy mini-subscriptions to your choice of the remaining Geggie concerts (minimum four for $77). Subscriptions are available at the NAC box office or online at www.nac-cna.ca/subscribe (go to the "NAC Fourth Stage" section and click on "Create a NEW Subscription").

Subscribers also get a discounted price to the Geggie New Year's Eve Show with John Geggie, Tena Palmer, Paul Rainville, Mark Ferguson, and Charles Gay.


Live soundtracks by local jazz musicians at the Mayfair Theatre

Thursday, September 17 - 9:30 p.m.
Buster Keaton's The General
score composed by Mike Essoudry

Friday, October 16 - 9:30 p.m.
The Phantom of The Opera
Score composed by Mark Molnar and performed by Kingdom Shore

Friday, October 16 - 12 midnight
The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari
Score composed by Mike Dubue and performed by the Hilotrons

Friday, October 23 - 9:30 p.m.
Score composed and performed by The Flaps

Friday, October 23 - 12 midnight
Score composed by Mike Dubue and featuring compositions by Mike Essoudry, Kristy Nease, and The Ventures

Tickets: $15 for Mayfair members, $20 non-members

Building on its very popular screenings of Metropolis and Nosferatu with live improvised music last spring, the Mayfair Theatre is showing five classic silent films, with live accompaniment by local jazz musicians, in September/October. The prints are newly-restored and will be brought in from New York City.

See the classics as you've never heard them before!

Mayfair Theatre
1074 Bank Street (at Sunnyside)


One fewer jazz club in Ottawa

The Cabana Supper Club, an important venue for local jazz jams and jazz artists, closed in mid-August.

The Bank St. location is for rent, but the landlord told OttawaJazzScene.ca that he didn't see renting it again as a music venue because of vandalism problems with non-jazz events there.

For the last two years, the JazzWorks monthly jam sessions were held at the Cabana (formerly the New Bayou). Starting in February, Peter Liu and the Jazz Mutants also held their monthly Jazz Evolution jams there. Other jazz events, ranging from CD release parties to the Obama inaugural ball (Ottawa edition), also occurred at the club.

Read more: One fewer jazz club in Ottawa


RIP: Doug McNab

For the last 20-odd years, Doug McNab was the heart and soul of the Ottawa Jazz Festival.

He was the short guy with the big radio and even bigger smile, who was always moving, talking, fixing problems, schmoozing, and making sure everything worked properly. His title was Volunteer Coordinator, but he was more than that: he was the fixer, the guy who cheered you up in the rain, the guy who brought new volunteers into the festival community.

At this year's festival, Doug was publicly recognized for his incredible hard work.  This well-deserved tribute came as he finished his last year as coordinator, and trained his replacement. At the volunteer party after the festival, he was feted again, with pictures and slide shows, and lot of cheers.

I was hoping Dougie could just put his feet up and enjoy the music at the next few festivals. But, unfortunately, he died suddenly on July 31 at the age of 74. It's a great loss for the festival and for jazz in Ottawa -- and for his local library and the many other volunteer groups which he helped.

In lieu of flowers, the family has said that memorial donations to CHEO or to the Carp Library would be appreciated.

-- Alayne McGregor


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