The titles won't tell you everything when it comes to concerts at the Ottawa Jazz Festival.
Whether it's a local band or a Big Name, often the supporting performers can be as exciting as the leaders. If you don't carefully check the listings you could miss some of your favourite performers.
For example, Winnipeg pianist and composer Michelle Gregoire (June 24) is being supported by some big-name Toronto jazz musicians: Kevin Turcotte on trumpet, Kirk MacDonald on saxophone, Ted Warren on drums, and Jim Vivian on bass.
For guitarists, Herbie Hancock's performance (June 25) could be at least as memorable for the presence of
guitarist Lionel Loueke in Hancock's band.
If you like Montreal avant-garde pianist Adam Daudrich, he'll be playing the Fender Rhodes in Mike Essoudry's octet (June 25).
Al Henderson's septet (June 26) also includes well-known Toronto musicians like saxophonists Kelly Jefferson and Alex Dean, pianist Richard Whiteman, drummer Barry Romberg, and Mark Chambers and Andrew Downing on cello.
We still don't know the fourth person playing with David Sanborn on June 26, along with Joey DeFrancesco on organ and Gene Lake on drums.
Christine Jensen's Jazz Orchestra (June 26) not only features her sister, trumpeter Ingrid Jensen, but some of the best of Montreal jazz: Joel Miller, Chet Doxas, and Donny Kennedy on sax and flute, Jocelyn Couture, Bill Mahar, and Aron Doyle on trumpet, Ken Bibace on guitar, Fraser Hollins on bass, Steve Amirault on piano, Martin Auguste on drums, and more.
Pianist Min Rager's group (June 27) includes some well-known Montreal jazz musicians: Kevin Dean on trumpet, Donny Kennedy on alto sax, Fraser Hollins on bass, and André White on drums.
Toronto sax player Richard Underhill (June 30) is a draw by himself, but your editors are also looking forward to hearing Dave Restivo on piano in the ensemble.
Lorraine Desmarais' Big Band (July 1) will also have a fine selection of Montreal musicians (assuming she's bringing the same ones who played on her 2009 Big Band CD): Jean-Pierre Zanella and André Leroux on saxophones, Jocelyn Couture on trumpet, Aron Doyle on flugelhorn, Frédéric Alarie on bass, and Camil Bélisle on drums, and nine more.
Cellist Asja Valcic performed a mixture of jazz, tango, and classical last October at the Embassy of Austria's Arts Café. She will be performing at the festival as part of the Radio String Quartet Vienna (June 30).
Peter Eldridge gave a video-conference masterclass at the National Arts Centre in April, with a number of local singers. If you want to see him in performance, you need to attend the New York Voices concert (July 2).
If you've been a fan of Toronto trumpet player Lina Allemano's regular gigs at the Black Sheep Inn, you might not think to look for her in the Composers' Collective concert (July 4). But there she is, along with Petr Cancura (saxophones, clarinet, mandolin), Richie Barshay (drums and percussion), and Andrew Downing (bass and more).
Has Ottawa Jazz Scene missed any hidden gems in the side musicians at the festival?
– Alayne McGregor