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Jamie Baum: developing her own sound on the flute

OJS editor Alayne McGregor interviewed NYC jazz flute player and composer Jamie Baum about her concert Thursday at Café Paradiso.

Jamie Baum - Photo © Enid Farber 2005Jamie Baum's chosen instrument is the flute. Just the flute – well, both the regular C flute and the alto flute – but nothing else professionally. Unlike many jazz musicians, she doesn't double on the sax or the piano, or as a vocalist.  

She composes and she plays the flute.

And that has given the New York City-based musician the time and concentration to become a jazz leader and educator. Baum's last two CDs, Solace (2008) and Moving Forward, Standing Still (2004), were included in "best of the year" lists in Downbeat, All About Jazz, Jazz Times, and Jazziz. She has won awards and grants for composing, and has toured all over the world.

Baum has played Ottawa only once before, in November 2008 at the Avant-Garde Bar. This Thursday, she's at Cafe Paradiso with a quintet: NYC trumpeter Dave Smith, Toronto pianist David Braid, and two local favourites: bassist John Geggie and drummer Nick Fraser. She had previously played with Braid (who was recommended by Smith) in 2008, but this will be her first time playing with Geggie and Fraser. The group (minus Geggie) will also be playing at the Rex in Toronto on Wednesday.

At Paradiso, the quintet will be playing Baum's and Smith's originals and her interpretations of standards. She said the audience should expect modern jazz: primarily compositional but balanced with improvisation.

Read more: Jamie Baum: developing her own sound on the flute


The Mash Potato Mashers: a very big sound

It's Monday. Mike Essoudry finished his ambitious Octet show at the NAC Fourth Stage on Saturday night, and has now come down with a cold. It's likely one outcome of the stress, and certainly the lack of sleep, associated with bringing a big show together.

But on the phone, the Ottawa drummer, composer, and band-leader enthusiastically describes his next project. "Mash Potato Mashers" will debut one week after his previous show, with an even larger group – nine pieces – and a different sound.

"You first describe it to people and they say 'It's kind of big and it's kind of weird. What's this going to be ?' "

Read more: The Mash Potato Mashers: a very big sound


Mike Essoudry: New adventures in sound

Mike Essoudry - © 2008 Brett DelmageThe Mike Essoudry Octet is performing at the NAC Fourth Stage on Saturday February 6 at 8 p.m. See our detailed show listing.

Drummer, composer and band leader Mike Essoudry talked with Brett Delmage about the musicians, how he composed the music, and what listeners can expect to hear.

Some highlights from the interview

“Generally the way I write is melodic, not necessarily chordal. The beauty of the Rhodes is that it can cover a lot of ground... particularly the way [Adam Daudrich] plays it. It's got that bell-like sound and it has chord capability, so if I need it, it's there. The sound of a single-line melody can really cut through on a Rhodes, where sometimes on a piano it doesn't. So I can actually have him double lines with horns and not get it lost in the mix of a octet.”

“I like the compositional element of an Octet. .. the range of larger groups... the textural possibilities- that's a big one for me.”

 "Sometimes you might think 'this might be ok'... and you say 'oh wow – that sounds really good.'”

 “Because [as a drummer] I'm not the melody player, I can't put the emotion that I want to put into the melody because I'm not playing it. So sometimes that makes it a little tricky.”

 “It's music that you can really ride on... it's technical to be sure but the overiding thing is that it's listenable for sure... lots of various melodious things.”

Listen to the interview (9 minutes): [MP3]

Updated 2015 March 2: deleted incorrect reference to Ottawa Jazz Happenings


Coolest concert of the year: Glacialis at Winterlude

Friday, February 5 - 7 p.m. and 11 p.m. (Museum of Civilization)
Sunday, February 7 - 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. (Confederation Park)
Each performance is approximately 15 minutes.

Jesse Stewart plays the ice at Winterlude, 2009 Feb 5 ©2010 Brett DelmageOttawa percussionist Jesse Stewart has a new instrument – ice.

For "Glacialis", his new large-scale compositional project, Jesse has built musical instruments out of ice. Jointly commissioned by the NCC and the City of Toronto, this project was premiered in Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto last Sunday as part of the WinterCity festival, and will appear at Winterlude this weekend.

He will be demonstrating and performing with this instrument on Friday evening and Sunday afternoon. On Friday, he will be at the Museum of Civilization for a demonstration of the instruments at 7 p.m. and 11 p.m., and a musical performance at 7:30 p.m.

On Sunday, he'll be at Confederation Park at 1 p.m., and again at 3 p.m.

CBC's All in Day had an interview with Jesse on January 28. You can download and listen to it at CBC also has pictures at .

"These performances, coupled with the Nathan Phillips Square shows, mark the debut of the Jesse Stewart Ensemble, an ensemble I've formed to play music that I've written primarily for
instruments that I've made out of a variety of elemental materials, namely earth/stone, metal, wood, fire, and water. This is the first time I've worked with water in its solid form," says Jesse.

photo ©2010 Brett Delmage


January 29 deadline for Jazz Festival applications

Ottawa Jazz Scene reported earlier that applications for local musicians to perform at next summer's Ottawa Jazz Festival closed December 31, 2009. The Festival has apparently extended that deadline.

The Festival NOW says:

"Musicians wishing to submit applications for a possible performance at the 2010 TD Canada Trust Ottawa International Jazz Festival must send their submissions to the festival office no later than [Friday] January 29, 2010.

The festival requires that you send a CD, bio material and a list of all the musicians in your group. (All members of the group must be members in good standing of the Ottawa/Gatineau Federation of Musicians.)

Send your material to the attention of:

Jacques Emond
Programming Manager
Ottawa Jazz Festival
294 Albert Street, Suite 602
Ottawa, On  K1P 6E6

or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it "


One, Two, Three for Haiti raises $570

Despite only two days' notice, the "One, Two, Three for Haiti" concert at Carleton University on January 22 raised $570. The money will be donated to Unicef for its work to help Haitian children, and matched by the federal government.

The concert featured Jesse Stewart (drums, percussion), John Daapah (piano), and Linsey Wellman (saxophone, flute). The musicians started with each playing a solo piece and then moved to duos. Finally, all three played together.

Highlights included a soulful Gershwin piece by Daapah, a composition from Wellman's upcoming album featuring circular breathing, and a very new improvised piece from Stewart for electric guitar, vibraphone, drums, and "Happy Apple". (And, if you happen to see any (working) Happy Apples in thrift shops, he collects them.)


Still undecided for New Year's?

If you want to start 2010 off right with jazz on New Year's Eve, you still have lots of local options, some more expensive than others, in all parts of the region:



West End:


Or you could just stay home with a selection of jazz CDs  or DVDs, or your favourite Internet streaming jazz station.


Roddy Ellias unveils his 2010 series at Café Paradiso

Roddy Ellias has announced a new series of special concerts over the next five months at Café Paradiso.

Following his successful series of guitar duets in 2009, Roddy is back with a slightly more varied series, featuring guests:

  • Montreal singer Jeri Brown (January 23)
  • Montreal flute genius Guy Pelletier (February 20) (NOTE UPDATED DATE)
  • Toronto guitar wizard Lorne Lofsky (March 27)
  • Toronto saxophonist and composer Kirk MacDonald (May 8)

Tickets for individual shows are $20 per show and the series is $75 for four shows. They will be available at Café Paradiso as of January 8.

Read more: Roddy Ellias unveils his 2010 series at Café Paradiso


The John Geggie Project interview on RWAC - tonight

Rabble Without A Cause
CKCU  93.1 FM
Wednesday December 23 - 11 p.m. to midnight

John Geggie has been launched into the international but highly competitive Jazz circuit for a while now. While this normally would mean a loss for the local scene, the good news is that Geggie collects associations with some heavyweights around the world and brings them back home like Santa Claus. One of these heavy weights is pianist Marylin Crispell that like John encompasses many different musical genres and particularly classical music. John will be in the studio tonight and provide ample explanations to host Bernard Stepien.

See our radio listings for this and other jazz programming at ottawa-jazz-radio


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