There will be no RendezVous Rideau Jazz series at the 2017 Ottawa Jazz Festival. 2016 may have been the final year of the long-running local stage at the Rideau Centre since it started in 1990 – 27 years ago.

There will be no Rideau Centre stage at the Ottawa Jazz Festival this year, and maybe forever ©Brett Delmage, 2014
There will be no Rideau Centre stage at the Ottawa Jazz Festival this year, and maybe forever ©Brett Delmage, 2014

“Unfortunately, we will not be staging the RendezVous Rideau Jazz series this year. We have had some changes to our marketing strategy following the completion of our redevelopment and are taking time this year to assess several long-standing partnerships,” Rideau Centre General Manager Cindy VanBuskirk told yesterday by email.

The festival was notified of the cancellation by the Rideau Centre on March 10, less than two weeks before the Festival’s official launch on March 22. The Rideau Centre was one of two local stages offering free shows showcasing local musicians during the day throughout the festival. A third local stage was cancelled in 2011 and not replaced.

Ottawa Jazz Festival Executive Director Catherine O’Grady told today that there were no plans yet for a replacement local performance series.

“I can’t talk about it yet, but we’re working on things. We haven’t got that far yet. We just got the news,” O’Grady said when asked about plans to replace the local performances.

The RendezVous Rideau Jazz series was also absent in 2014 because the centre was undergoing major reconstruction. VanBuskirk said she gave ample notice of that scheduled interruption.

The Ottawa Jazz Festival did not present a replacement local artist stage that year. “We have lots of opportunities for local artists to perform at the Festival. We're quite confident that we have a nice showcase in which we celebrate local presence in the community, and that's all I have to say,” O’Grady told in April 2014.

In 2014, local musicians who had applied to the festival had not been informed of the stage’s long-scheduled closure before reported it on April 17, 2½ months after the application deadline.

Since the The RendezVous Rideau Jazz series started, appreciative audiences have heard performances by hundreds of local jazz groups and festival premieres of dozens of talented musicians [see a partial list below]. Fourteen groups performed in 2016, and sixteen in 2015.

However, acoustics at the inside stage were not ideal, as might be expected in a busy shopping mall with hard-surfaced floors and walls. Complaints from nearby mall merchants required musicians to consistently modulate their volume to just slightly more than the substantial background noise level, which repeatedly measured between 70 to 80 dB SPL (comparable to the noise of a busy roadway) in the past two years.

The RendezVous Rideau Jazz series stage has always presented free music, as have the other local festival stages. Donations were not allowed nor accepted, but groups have sold their CDs after a performance. Performing musicians were required to be musicians' association members and were paid a modest fee from the association’s Music Performance Trust Fund.

The Rideau Centre paid the Ottawa Jazz Festival a sponsorship fee. Although the amount of the Rideau Centre sponsorship has not been disclosed, sponsorship of the festival’s late night jams reportedly cost Alpha Soul restaurant more than $10,000 for one year in 2013.

Before the Ottawa Jazz Festival starts on June 22, there will be one and possibly two notable opportunities to hear an abundance of local musicians featured on one stage. The first GigSpace Jazz Microfest takes place from April 28 to 30 and will present fifteen local jazz ensembles.

The Ottawa Jazz Festival is also hoping to present a second Jazz Ramble in May “with the support of the local musicians,” according to O’Grady. Last June, the first Jazz Ramble at The Record Centre in Hintonburg presented 24 Ottawa-Gatineau groups in a novel presentation: every hour around the clock for 24 hours. It attracted eager listeners, even in the early hours of the morning.

    – Brett Delmage

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Reviews of performances on the Rendez-Vous Rideau Jazz Stage

A partial list of groups who have performed on the Ottawa Jazz Festival's Rideau Centre Stage

Source: Ottawa Jazz Festival printed and website program guides

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Do you have old Ottawa Jazz Festival Program guides or Jazz Ottawa documents that you can donate to the research library so we can complete the list below? Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We’ll pick them up! Thank you.

1990 - Hot Jazz in the City

1991 - “Rendez Vous Jazz”

  • Tena Palmer Quartet
  • Rob Frayne Trio
  • Peter Appleyard Quintet


  • Scott and the Jazz Pollcats
  • John Burret – Dave Ward Duo

1999 - “Rendez Vous Jazz”

  • Alicia Borisonik Latin Jazz
  • Chris Bartos Trio
  • Bianco Pittoors Quartet
  • The Apex Jazz Band
  • Elliott-Tremblay Quartet
  • Anna Williams & Trio


  • Derek Robertson Jazz Band
  • Elliott-Tremblay Quartet
  • The Ottawa Swing Kings
  • Dr. Jazz Quintet
  • Kim Kaskiw Group
  • Peter Turner Trio + One
  • Apex Jazz Band
  • Wayne Eagles Group
  • Anna Williams & Group


  • Apex Jazz Band
  • Magnolia Rhythm Kings
  • Karen Oxorn and Friends
  • Le Trio Jean-Pierre Allain
  • The Bruce Wittet Trio
  • The Steve Berndt Quartet
  • Josee Deschénes & Group
  • Derek Robertson Jazz Band


  • Derek Robertson Jazz Band
  • Kim Kaskiw Quintet


  • Duchesne Fraser and Wittet Trio
  • Apex Jazz Band
  • Kim Kaskiw Quintet
  • Mermaid Beach
  • John Hayson Trio
  • Steve Groves Quartet
  • New Orleans Express
  • Jean-Pierre Allain Quartet
  • John Steele Quartet


  • Magnolia Rhythm Kings
  • Peter Brown Trio
  • Rialto Rhythm Revellers
  • Dominique Forest Sextet
  • Tom McMahon Trio
  • Nathan Cepelinski Quintet
  • Mermaid Beach
  • Concord Trio
  • Sarah McGlynn & The Ash Trio
  • Jasmine Trio
  • New Orleans Express


  • La Quintette Nicole Ratté
  • Apex Jazz Band
  • Wayne Eagles Trio
  • Alicia Borisonik Argentinian Project
  • Peter Brown Group
  • Jasmine Trio
  • Dr. Jazz
  • Karen Oxorn Quintet
  • Derek Robertson Jazz Band
  • The Concorde Trio
  • Dominique Forest
  • New Orleans Express
  • Howe-Larocca-Martinez


  • Apex Jazz Band
  • Helen Glover Quartet
  • James Cohen Caravan
  • Jasmine Trio
  • East Side Quartet
  • Concorde Trio
  • Dr. Jazz Band
  • Quatuor Martineau/Allain
  • Glebop Jazz Quartet
  • Nicole Ratté Quintet
  • Derek Robertson Jazz Band
  • Karen Oxorn Quintet
  • Floyd Hutchinson Sextet
  • Peter Brown Trio


  • Apex Jazz Band
  • Magnolia Rhythm Kings
  • Helen Glover – Fun with Fats
  • Michael Sasso Dixieland Band
  • The Jasmine Trio
  • Glebop Jazz Quartet
  • Jenna Glatt
  • Martineau/Allain Quartet
  • Derek Robertson Jazz Band
  • Nicole Ratté Quintet
  • Alicia Borisonik Argentinian Project
  • Scott Poll and the Pollcats
  • East Side Quartet
  • Peter Brown Trio
  • Elise Letourneau Trio


  • Souper Jazz
  • Nicole Ratte et son Quatuor
  • Michael Sasso Group
  • East Side Quartet
  • Apex Jazz Band
  • Fats Waller Project
  • Jasmine Trio
  • Derek Robertson Jazz Band
  • Jozée Devoua Quintet
  • Steve Groves Quartet
  • Terminal Baggage Claim


  • Glebop Jazz Qunitet
  • Apex Jazz Band
  • Rachel Beausoleil Trio
  • Peter Brown Trio
  • My Tiny Circus
  • Jozée Devoua Quintet
  • Derek Robertson Jazz Band
  • Jasmine Quartet
  • Sandy Faux Trio
  • East Side Septet
  • Elise Letourneau Quartet
  • New Orleans Express
  • Mermaid Beach
  • Helen Glover Quintet

2011 - Rendez-Vous Rideau Jazz - Noon

  • June 23: Angele Desbois Jazz Ensemble
  • June 24: Lucas Haneman Trio
  • June 25: Renée Yoxon & René Gely
  • June 26: Nicole Ratté Jazz Quintet
  • June 27: Django Libre
  • June 28: Magnolia Rhythm Kings
  • June 29: Apex Jazz Band
  • June 30: J.P. Allain Trio
  • July 2: Sol da Capital
  • July 3: Nathalie Khoriaty

2011 - Rendez-Vous Rideau Jazz – 2 p.m. weekends

  • June 25: Megan Jerome
  • June 26: My Tiny Circus
  • July 2: Mermaid Beach
  • July 3: Peter Brown Trio

2012 - Rendez-Vous Rideau Jazz - Noon

  • June 21: Doug Martin Quartet
  • June 22: Tim Bedner Trio
  • June 23: Lucas Haneman Trio
  • June 24: Daniel Ko Quartet
  • June 25: Elise Letourneau Quartet
  • June 26: Herbie's Hill (Michel Delage, Steve and Alex Bilodeau, and Steve Boudreau play the music of Herbie Nichols and Andrew Hill)
  • June 27: The Chocolate Hot Pockets
  • June 28: Steve Groves Quartet
  • June 29: Django Libre
  • June 30: Robert Fontaine Quartet

2012 - Rendez-Vous Rideau Jazz  - 2 p.m. weekends

  • June 23: Folk Goes Jazz (Megan Jerome, Dynamite Motel, Erin Saoirse Adair, John Carroll)
  • June 24: Victor Nesrallah
  • June 30: Three Little Birds

2013 - Rendez-Vous Rideau Jazz - Noon

  • June 20: Florquestra
  • June 21: Sax Appeal
  • June 22: Steve Bilodeau Group
  • June 23: Natalia and Montuno
  • June 24: Rick Rangno & Yves Laroche Project
  • June 25: The Peter Liu Quintet
  • June 26: Book of Clay
  • June 27: Nicole Ratté Jazz Quintet
  • June 28: Groove Plus
  • June 29: Steve Boudreau & Garry Elliott
  • June 30: Django Libre

2013 - Rendez-Vous Rideau Jazz - 2 p.m. weekends

  • June 22: Go Long (!)
  • June 23: Folk Goes Jazz
  • June 29: Angèle and her Swingin' Devils
  • June 30: Three Little Birds

2014 - Rendez-Vous Rideau Jazz

  • There was no series this year due to construction

2015 - Rendez-Vous Rideau Jazz - Noon

  • June 19: César Ricardo Band
  • June 20: Dominique Forest & Friends
  • June 21: The Jazz Co-op
  • June 22: Doug Martin Quartet
  • June 23: Beeched Wailers
  • June 24: The Karen Oxorn Quartet
  • June 25: The Claire Devlin Quintet featuring Emily Denison
  • June 26: Danielle Allard
  • June 27: Richard Page's Night On The Town Band
  • June 28: Jazz Goes Folk
  • June 29: Ralph Hopper's East Side Quartet
  • June 30: Steve Bilodeau Trio

2015 - Rendez-Vous Rideau Jazz - 2 p.m. weekends

  • June 20: Victor Nesrallah
  • June 21: Steve Groves Quartet
  • June 27: The Grace Hrabi Quartet
  • June 28: The Four Heavies

2016 - Rendez-Vous Rideau Jazz - Noon

  • June 23: The Beeched Wailers
  • June 24: The Chris Maskell Trio
  • June 25: The Lee Anne Frederickson Quartet
  • June 26: Harea Band
  • June 27: Happenstance Quartet
  • June 28: Peter Brown Quartet
  • June 29: Carlos Alberto Santana Jazz Quintet
  • June 30: Carlo
  • July 2: leMeow
  • July 3: Peter Liu and the Pollcats

2016 - Rendez-Vous Rideau Jazz - 2 p.m. weekends

  • June 25: John Carroll
  • June 26: Megan Jerome and the Together Ensemble
  • July 2: Angelique Francis
  • July 3: Nicole Ratté Quintet featuring William Lamoureux