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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


December 31 deadline for Jazz Festival applications

If you're a local jazz musician who wants to perform at next summer's Ottawa Jazz Festival, you only have a few more days to get your application in.

The Festival 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 December 31, 2009.

Read more: December 31 deadline for Jazz Festival applications


Holiday Listening

Carla's Christmas Carols/Carol Bley
Breath of Heaven/Grover Washington Jr
The Man in the Red Suit/Joe Sealy and Paul Novotny
An Oscar Peterson Christmas/Oscar Peterson
Jazz Pour Noel/Lorraine Desmarais
A Charlie Brown Christmas/Vince Guaraldi
Justin Time for Christmas, Vol. 1
Noel en Jazz/Bernard Primeau

As I write this on the Winter Solstice, I'm listening to Carla Bley's new album, Carla's Christmas Carols. This album should be on the list of anyone who likes jazz interpretations of Xmas tunes with lots of brass: recognizable but not hackneyed.

It inspired me to think of other jazz Christmas albums. There's a surprising number of good ones, ones you can listen to every year and enjoy. My favourites include:

A Charlie Brown Christmas (Vince Guaraldi Trio) - it's a classic. What's more amazing is that it survives over-exposure, perhaps because the songs are so simple and exactly right.

The Man in the Red Suit (Joe Sealy and Paul Novotny) - these Christmas songs are original, but they so perfectly fit the season that you'd think they were the best of standards.

Read more: Holiday Listening


Ottawa Jazz Festival plans program changes for 2010

The Studio and Connoisseur series will not be returning to the 2010 Ottawa Jazz Festival.

At the Festival's annual general meeting November 25, it was revealed that the Festival's agreement with the NAC to use the Studio theatre for 10:30 p.m. concerts would not be renewed because of increased costs. Instead, the Festival will be running late-night programming at its secondary tent near Elgin Street, which was used for afternoon programming in 2009. The Festival has received a noise bylaw exemption from the City of Ottawa which will allow it to present outside shows after 11 PM.

Read more: Ottawa Jazz Festival plans program changes for 2010


Fall in Love with Capital Vox: not your standard fall choir concert

Capital Vox, Ottawa's jazz choir, is stretching its repertoire and challenging its singers with its concert this Saturday.

Choir director Elise Letourneau has included vocal jazz standards by Hoagy Carmichael, Bill Evans, George Gershwin, and Antonio Carlos Jobim, but hasn't stopped at that standard repertoire. She's also translated a well-known jazz instrumental like Dave Brubeck's Take Five into a new vocal context, and given it a funky feel instead of the classic swing. And then she's moved completely outside the jazz comfort zone, rearranging The Rain Song by Led Zeppelin for voices.

Capital Vox Choir - photo 2010 Brett Delmage

"It will be a real mix of styles, especially this time around. We're going to do some straight-ahead, we're going to do some swing, but we're also going to be doing some Latin – and we're doing some rock and pop," she said.

Read more: Fall in Love with Capital Vox: not your standard fall choir concert


4th Stage gets "Extreme Makeover" on Thursday - Jazz versions of pop hits

Jozée Devoua and Steve Berndt are expressive local jazz vocalists, who share an enjoyment of jazz and pop tunes, and a dislike for some traditional attitudes to jazz. On Thursday, October 8, they will combine musical forces with four other Ottawa jazz musicians to perform “Extreme Makeover, Music Edition”. The show features well known popular hits from the 70's and 80's rebuilt, reharmonized, and sung in a variety of jazz styles. The jazz police won't be invited.

Jozée invited Steve to work with her on the NAC Fourth Stage show after Steve heard and liked some of the less common songs that she was singing at Café Paradiso earlier this year. They came up with a program based on “what tunes worked and what we liked,” said Steve. “We had a huge list of songs.”

While Steve noted that during the period “Hall and Oates had huge hits, Duran Duran videos were like mini-movies, and Michael Jackson songs were gigantic,” he remained zipper-lipped about the specific pop songs they would give the jazz treatment to.

“I'm not going to tell you what they are now. Part of the fun is for people to come to the show and be suprised by the tunes we are going to play.”

Read more: 4th Stage gets "Extreme Makeover" on Thursday - Jazz versions of pop hits


Cory Weeds: Dedication inspires me

Vancouver saxophonist Cory Weeds

Photo courtesy coryweeds.com

Cory Weeds is involved in all aspects of the Vancouver jazz scene. The saxophonist leads his own groups. He has a weekly jazz radio show on community station CFRO. He runs the Cellar, the city's premiere jazz club, which regularly features both local and imported talent, and encourages musicians to try special events like recreating a Wynton Marsalis album onstage. And he runs Cellar Records, which has put out more than 50 albums featuring both local and imported talent, many of which were recorded live at his club, and which have received good reviews.

Weeds has released two CDs of his own groups: Big Weeds (2008), and Everything's Coming Up Weeds (2009). This latest album reached #6 on the JazzWeek Charts and has got excellent reviews.

The Cory Weeds Quintet will be in Ottawa Monday night, mid-way through a tour including Montreal, Toronto, and New York. He took the same band around British Columbia and Alberta last month.

Ottawa Jazz Scene editor Alayne McGregor asked Mr, Weeds some questions about the concert and his jazz experience, to which he responded by email:

Read more: Cory Weeds: Dedication inspires me


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