Each week OttawaJazzScene.ca recommends a live jazz or improvised music performance in Ottawa-Gatineau from our comprehensive Jazz Bulletins. There's a lot of wonderful jazz being presented, so it's often a difficult choice!

Saturday, October 14, 2017: Trombone Summit 2017 at GigSpace

Mark Ferguson and Peter Turner are musicians who love a challenge: to produce a concert of all-trombone music (with a touch of rhythm section). It's a challenge they've successfully met before; they presented their first Trombone Summit 15 years ago, and have kept bringing it back every year or two ever since! As they say, "The group was an instant hit due to the careful selection of trombone-friendly popular jazz standards – combined with a degree of spontaneity that can be achieved only through the strict avoidance of group practice."

Mark and Peter are two of the most active jazz trombone players in town, and both have a deep love and understanding of that instrument and of jazz standards. For this show, they're teaming up again with guitarist Tim Bedner as their formidable one-man rhythm section; Tim has similar deep experience and love of standards, and a willingness to experiment

Expect to hear plenty of harmonizing and spontaneous counterpoint between the two trombones over top of Tim’s infallible swinging groove.

Mark Ferguson, Peter Turner, and Tim Bedner will present Trombone Summit 2017 at GigSpace at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 14. Tickets are $20 and may be purchased in advance on the GigSpace website, or at the door for cash. GigSpace is located within in Alcorn Music Studios at 953 Gladstone Avenue, one long block west of Preston Avenue. OC Transpo route 14 runs by GigSpace; route 85 runs down Preston Avenue nearby.

Every week all season long we send a full-featured Jazz Bulletin full of dozens of live jazz events like this tribute to our supporters. It's our way of saying 'Thank you!' to readers who help us shine a spotlight on the scene all year long.

Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to get your own sample copy and discover 65 more jazz events.

Each week OttawaJazzScene.ca recommends a live jazz or improvised music performance in Ottawa-Gatineau from our comprehensive Jazz Bulletins. There's a lot of wonderful jazz being presented, so it's often a difficult choice!

Saturday, October 7, 2017: A Coltrane Supreme: Love Supreme Tribute at Bar Robo

Tariq Amery ©Brett Delmage, 2017
Tariq Amery in a previous show at Bar Robo ©Brett Delmage, 2017

For any jazz saxophonist (or, for that matter, any jazz aficionado), John Coltrane is an essential listen. In his own quartets and playing with Miles Davis or Thelonious Monk, Coltrane was immeasurably influential as both a composer and a performer. His range was huge: from bebop to modal jazz to free jazz, from beautiful ballads to the angry avant-garde.

He recorded A Love Supreme 1964 with his quartet of pianist McCoy Tyner, bassist Jimmy Garrison, and drummer Elvin Jones. It became that quartet's best-selling album, and is often considered Coltrane's masterpiece. It's a suite in four parts, and the love it refers to is a spiritual love and praise for God. It's an affirmation of faith, and the fourth section, "Psalm", is a musical interpretation of an original devotional poem by Coltrane.

As Coltrane himself said, "My goal is to live the truly religious life, and express it in my music. If you live it, when you play there's no problem because the music is part of the whole thing, To be a musician is really something. It goes very, very deep. My music is the spiritual expression of what I am - my faith, my knowledge, my being."

At this show, a quartet of Ottawa musicians will recreate A Love Supreme – but in their own musical phrasing. Leading the quartet is fiery young saxophonist Tariq Amery. On piano is Peter Hum, and on drums is Amery's frequent collaborator Michel Delage. The bass lines, however, will be provided on tuba by Keith Hartshorn-Walton. The quartet will include a few other Coltrane tunes as well to fill out the evening.

Amery recently released his first CD, at a well-attended and highly enthusiastic concert.

Read our interview with Tariq about his CD and his all-encompassing love of live music: Tariq Amery captures his love affair with live music in his debut CD

Tariq Amery, Peter Hum, Keith Hartshorn-Walton, and Michel Delage will perform a tribute to John Coltrane's A Love Supreme at Bar Robo at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 7. The cover charge is $10. Bar Robo is located at 692 Somerset Street West, just west of Bronson Avenue, and is easily accessible by bike. OC Transpo routes 11 and 4 stop nearby, route 14 is about 5 minutes walk, and it's less than 10 minutes walk from the "Bay" stop on the Transitway.

Every week all season long we send a full-featured Jazz Bulletin full of dozens of live jazz events like this tribute to our supporters. It's our way of saying 'Thank you!' to readers who help us shine a spotlight on the scene all year long.

Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to get your own sample copy and discover 65 more jazz events.

Each week OttawaJazzScene.ca recommends a live jazz or improvised music performance in Ottawa-Gatineau from our comprehensive Jazz Bulletins. There's a lot of wonderful jazz being presented, so it's often a difficult choice!

Saturday, September 30, 2017: Live @ Record Runner: The Benjamin Deschamps Quintet

Montreal saxophonist Benjamin Deschamps recently released his second album, Demi-Nuit. Deschamps is a big fan of the tradition: he plays in two big bands, and loves music by Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Art Blakey, and Thad Jones. But he's also a dedicated composer, taking his inspiration from many eras. The CD's title track, for example, combines traditional New Orleans street music with more modern diminished chords in the bass line. And its title is a pun: in French, "diminished" is “diminué”, which is like “Demi-Nuit”.

Deschamps has been recognized as a strong contender in Quebec. His quartet won the grand prize at the Festi-Jazz Rimouski in 2013, a good indication of success to come. This year, Radio-Canada named him the 2017-18 Révélations jazz artist, the tenth in a series of accomplished young jazz musicians.

This week, he's on a CD release tour in Ontario with his experienced quintet: trombonist Nicolas Trottier, pianist Charles Trudel, bassist Sébastien Pellerin, and drummer Alain Bourgeois. [Long-time Ottawa jazz fans may remember Trottier from John Geggie's all-Quebec invitational concert in 2013, which featured Trottier in intricate and rich conversation with the other members of that quartet.] Deschamps' quintet will perform in Ottawa on Saturday in Record Runner's listening room.

He's also an interesting person to talk with, with unexpected ideas, as you can read in our interview: Benjamin Deschamps evokes the jazz tradition in his own voice

The Benjamin Deschamps Quintet will perform at Record Runner Rehearsal Studios (Unit 6, 159 Colonnade Road South in west Ottawa) at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, September 30. Doors open at 7. The studios are accessible by bicycle or car, and OC Transpo route 86C stops immediately in front. Tickets are $25, and can be ordered from Record Runner.

Every week all season long we send a full-featured Jazz Bulletin full of dozens of live jazz events like this tribute to our supporters. It's our way of saying 'Thank you!' to readers who help us shine a spotlight on the scene all year long.

Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to get your own sample copy and discover 65 more jazz events.

Each week OttawaJazzScene.ca recommends a live jazz or improvised music performance in Ottawa-Gatineau from our comprehensive Jazz Bulletins. There's a lot of wonderful jazz being presented, so it's often a difficult choice!

Saturday, September 23, 2017: John Coltrane Birthday Bash with Marc Decho and the Warp'tet at The Record Centre

The pioneering jazz saxophonist John Coltrane died 50 years ago, at much too young an age. If he had lived, Saturday would have been his 91st birthday.

Coltrane wrote classic jazz compositions like "Giant Steps", and his career itself was a giant step. He was a pioneer in developing modal jazz and near the end of his life was stretching the boundaries with free jazz – and yet was also well-known for creating jazz standards out of unexpected material, like "My Favorite Things" from The Sound of Music. While best known as a tenor saxophonist, he also popularized the soprano sax.

He worked with many jazz greats in the 1950s and 60s, including Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, and Duke Ellington. His own quartets included well-known jazz musicians such as McCoy Tyner, Elvin Jones, Eric Dolphy, and Lee Morgan. He recorded many classic albums including Blue Train, My Favorite Things, Giant Steps, A Love Supreme, and Ascension.

On Saturday afternoon, Ottawa bassist Marc Decho brings together an quintet of well-known Ottawa jazz musicians to celebrate Coltrane's birthday – in an uncommon instrumental line-up. On tenor and soprano sax is Vince Rimbach (echoing Coltrane). Richard Page, who is better known for playing tenor and lately baritone sax, is on bass clarinet (echoing Eric Dolphy). And there's two drummers in the group: Valeriy Nehovora and Michel Delage. [Coltrane briefly played with two drummers: Elvin Jones and Rashied Ali in 1965.]

They'll play music made famous by Coltrane, and have a good chance of channeling Coltrane's energy and passion.

Marc Decho and the Warp'tet will perform at The Record Centre, 1099 Wellington Street West (at Sherbrooke) in Hintonburg, from 4 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, September 23. Admission is free, but donations to the musicians are encouraged.

Every week all season long we send a full-featured Jazz Bulletin full of dozens of live jazz events like this tribute to our supporters. It's our way of saying 'Thank you!' to readers who help us shine a spotlight on the scene all year long.

Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to get your own sample copy and discover 65 more jazz events.

Each week OttawaJazzScene.ca recommends a live jazz or improvised music performance in Ottawa-Gatineau from our comprehensive Jazz Bulletins. There's a lot of wonderful jazz being presented, so it's often a difficult choice!

Monday, September 18, 2017: The Alex Francoeur Quintet at Brookstreet Hotel Options Jazz Lounge

Alex Francoeur is a young saxophonist from Montreal, who's starting to get some serious attention. He received the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal scholarship to study jazz at McGill University, and another to study with the world-renowned saxophonist Joe Lovano in 2014.

He's teamed up with other talented jazz newcomers – including pianist Gentiane MG, whom we profiled earlier this year – in his quintet playing his thoughtful originals. They'll record Francoeur's debut album, Missing Element, live at the Upstairs Jazz Bar in Montreal at the end of September. But, before that, they'll play the same material here in Ottawa at Brookstreet's Options Jazz Lounge. It's a chance to hear jazz up-and-comers before they hit the big time.

The Alex Francoeur Quintet (with Francoeur on tenor sax, Gentiane MG on piano, Chris Edmondson on alto sax, Levi Dover on bass, and Louis-Vincent Hamel on drums) is at the Brookstreet Hotel Options Jazz Lounge, 525 Legget Drive, Kanata, on Monday, September 18, from 7 to 11 p.m. There is no cover charge. Food and drinks are available. The all-day OC Transpo route 63 goes immediately by the hotel, while route 64 stops about 14 minutes walk away.

Every week all season long we send a full-featured Jazz Bulletin full of dozens of live jazz events like this tribute to our supporters. It's our way of saying 'Thank you!' to readers who help us shine a spotlight on the scene all year long.

Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to get your own sample copy and discover 65 more jazz events.

Each week OttawaJazzScene.ca recommends a live jazz or improvised music performance in Ottawa-Gatineau from our comprehensive Jazz Bulletins. There's a lot of wonderful jazz being presented, so it's often a difficult choice!

Friday, September 8, 2017: The Mark Ferguson Trio at GigSpace

The vibraphone isn't an instrument often heard in jazz – but when well-played, it adds elegance and a ringing beauty to the music. From Lionel Hampton's first performances with Benny Goodman, through Milt Jackson in the Modern Jazz Quartet in the 1950s, Gary Burton adding an extra pair of mallets in the 1960s, Bobby Hutcherson introducing avant-garde ideas in the 60s and 70s, and more recent masters like Stefon Harris, the vibraphone has added a highly individual sound to jazz. It also combines particularly well with piano: no surprise, since they're both percussion instruments with melodic possibilities.

Scott Latham plays vibraphone and drums. Although his day gig is in the Central Band of the Canadian Armed Forces, he's also collaborated with local musicians on some fine shows and projects. In particular, he performed on Mark Ferguson's 2015 CD of originals, The Next Chapter. Ferguson told OttawaJazzScene.ca that "I just loved the sound of the vibes and the piano together – beautiful sound. When I heard him playing vibes on these tunes, I just thought that's exactly the sound I want for my tunes!”

At this show, Ferguson is back together with Latham and double bassist John Geggie, playing his original music, plus compositions by Gary Burton and by Milt Jackson and John Lewis of the Modern Jazz Quartet. Expect some magical moments.

The Mark Ferguson Trio (Mark Ferguson on piano and possibly trombone, Scott Latham on vibraphone, and John Geggie on double bass) will perform at GigSpace on Friday, September 8, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 and we recommend purchasing in advance, because it only has 47 seats.

GigSpace is located within in Alcorn Music Studios at 953 Gladstone Avenue, one long block west of Preston Avenue. OC Transpo route 14 runs by GigSpace; route 85 runs down Preston Avenue nearby.

Every week all season long we send a full-featured Jazz Bulletin full of dozens of live jazz events like this tribute to our supporters. It's our way of saying 'Thank you!' to readers who help us shine a spotlight on the scene all year long.

Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to get your own sample copy and discover 65 more jazz events.

Along with other listeners, including our subscribers, we were fortunate to be able to hear the Jazz Pick of the Week we announced in our two recent Jazz Bulletins. It got us thinking about why those shows, and our process of picking them, worked.

Each week OttawaJazzScene.ca recommends a live jazz or improvised music performance in Ottawa-Gatineau from our comprehensive Jazz Bulletins. There's a lot of wonderful jazz being presented, so it's often a difficult choice!

Friday, September 1, 2017: UZEB at the Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival

It's been 25 years since guitarist Michel Cusson, bassist Alain Caron, and drummer Paul Brochu played their last notes together as UZEB. A Canadian powerhouse of jazz fusion, the group was immensely popular in Quebec and across the country in the 1980s. It won Félix awards as group of the year in 1984 and 1989 (in competition with pop and rock bands) as well as for jazz album of the year in 1983, 1984, 1986, and 1987. It also enjoyed great popularity in France and appeared throughout Europe and the far East. Between 1981 and 1990 UZEB had recorded ten albums and sold over 400,000 copies, performing concerts in more than 20 countries, an unprecedented figure for a Canadian jazz group.

And, yes, they did play Ottawa - OttawaJazzScene.ca publisher Brett Delmage can remember hearing them at Barrymore's.

UZEB was noted for what the Montreal Jazz Festival describes as "its extraordinary virtuosity and technical prowess, with an incredibly rich sound and a maturity rarely matched in the world of instrumental music". The festival awarded the group the Oscar Peterson Award in 1991 for contributions to Canadian jazz. The group's final show (until 2017) was outdoors at the festival on July 7, 1992.

Since then, all three musicians have had notable solo careers (the festival also gave a second Oscar Peterson Award to Caron in 2013 for his solo work). But, after some friendly meetings in the last decade, they found that the alchemy was still there. After a rehearsal, they decided that UZEB was back. They are currently on tour throughout Quebec.

The Gatineau Balloon Festival is also featuring other jazz-related groups on Monday afternoon – and, of course, you have the chance to see a large variety of inflated vehicles there, too. On Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, the Sax Appeal quartet will serenade the balloons taking off from the park at about 6:45 a.m.

UZEB will perform at the Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival (Festival des montgolfières) in Parc La Baie (988 Rue Saint-Louis) in vieux Gatineau, on Friday, September 1, at 6 p.m. They will perform on the Hydro-Québec Stage. Information about the festival programming and wristband-passports is available at www.montgolfieresgatineau.com/en .You can also buy a day pass ($29) at any of the entrances.

STO transit routes 85 direction CÔTES-DES-NEIGES or 87 direction STATION LA CITÉ take you from downtown Ottawa to the park. To return, take STO route 67 Ottawa. The festival is also running a free shuttle service from locations in Gatineau.

Every week all season long we send a full-featured Jazz Bulletin full of dozens of live jazz events like this tribute to our supporters. It's our way of saying 'Thank you!' to readers who help us shine a spotlight on the scene all year long.

Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to get your own sample copy and discover 51 more jazz events.

Each week OttawaJazzScene.ca recommends a live jazz or improvised music performance in Ottawa-Gatineau from our comprehensive Jazz Bulletins. There's a lot of wonderful jazz being presented, so it's often a difficult choice!

Michel Delage's satisfying tribute series returns this week after a short summer vacation. Earlier this season, we reviewed tribute shows to jazz greats that he's presented, including Wes Montgomery, Horace Silver, and  Cole Porter.

This month's tribute is to the King of Jazz Tuba, Howard Johnson, featuring tuba advocate Keith Hartshorn-Walton. Hartshorn-Walton studied with Howard Johnson, and continues to explore new sounds, in his own group and with others, including in Safe Low Limit with Delage.

An advocate for jazz and for improvisation on the tuba, Keith Hartshorn-Walton has played in a wide array of musical settings, including performances with Peter Turner, the Ratchet Orchestra, the Lemon Bucket Orkestra, The Boxcar Boys, Acid Brass, R. Murray Schafer’s outdoor opera “The Enchanted Forest” and his own small ensemble collaborations. Music exploration is the reason, tuba is the medium.

Read OttawaJazzScene.ca's interview with Hartshorn-Walton: Jazz tuba advocate Keith Hartshorn-Walton blows his own horn

The Howard Johnson Tribute with the Michel Delage Quartet is at the Brookstreet Hotel Options Jazz Lounge, 525 Legget Drive, Kanata, on Friday, August  25 and Saturday, August 26, starting at 8 p.m. There is no cover charge. Food and drinks are available. The all-day OC Transpo route 63 goes immediately by the hotel, while route 64 stops about 14 minutes walk away.

Every week all season long we send a full-featured Jazz Bulletin full of dozens of live jazz events like this tribute to our supporters. It's our way of saying 'Thank you!' to readers who help us shine a spotlight on the scene all year long.

Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to get your own sample copy and discover 51 more jazz events.