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.

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