See the 2013 Ottawa Jazz Festival Main Stage line-up, announced February 22.

Both the Ottawa and Montreal Jazz Festivals advanced toward their 2013 summer festivals this past week by announcing several major artists you'll be able to hear next June.

The Ottawa and Montreal Jazz Festivals announced popular artists for their 2013 summer festival
The Ottawa and Montreal Jazz Festivals announced popular artists for their 2013 summer festival

In celebration of Wayne Shorter's 80th birthday, both festivals will put this legendary jazz master on a major indoor stage. Shorter's quartet previously played on the Ottawa festival's main stage in the pouring rain in 2009. In 2013, the quartet will be part of the Ottawa Jazz Festival's new Signature Series inside Dominion Chalmers United Church, as one of the closing acts on June 30. Listeners may appreciate the respite from possible rain and/or extreme heat this time.

It remains to be seen how listeners will react to this newly announced jazz festival indoor venue, which is a 15-minute walk from the Main Stage. In our past jazz listener survey, jazz fans expressed general approval of the more acoustically-supportive indoor venues (like the Studio Series at the NAC) but a dislike for venues further away from Confederation Park; specifically, the jam sessions formerly at the far end of downtown.

Sustaining its reputation for big and bold, the Montreal Jazz Festival will also present Shorter's quartet next year, as part of a three-hour extravaganza the day before his Ottawa appearance. The concert will open with Joe Lovano and Dave Douglas Sound Prints project, followed by the trio of Geri Allen, Terri Lyne Carrington and Esperanza Spalding. Shorter's Quartet will wrap up the concert. The grand spectacle does come with a commensurate price of $82.43 for most seats.

Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis

The Ottawa Jazz Festival will present a much larger sound not suitable for Dominion Chalmers, Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, on its Main Stage on Saturday June 29. Marsalis has been a favourite of Ottawa listeners in his multiple appearances over the years. The Orchestra and he should be able to reliably fill Confederation Park with their sound. And in past years, big bands and big sounds have filled the park with listeners too. Venues full of listeners will be something that the Festival will no doubt be seeking, in response to their lower audience numbers and ticket sales in 2012.

Montreal will also present this highly respected big band (again a day earlier than Ottawa, on June 28) but in an indoor venue, Maison symphonique at Place des Arts.

The Bad Plus in Ottawa, Aretha Franklin in Montreal

On Friday, June 28, the Ottawa Jazz Festival will present The Bad Plus on the Main Stage in Confederation Park. Ethan Iverson (piano), Reid Anderson (bass), and David King (drums) will present their original music and genre-jumping covers. This group has good potential to grab the ears of listeners who may not yet declare themselves 'jazz fans'. It's just a little unfortunate that they are appearing closer to the end of the Ottawa festival, where they will have less opportunity to possibly introduce new listeners to more jazz.

With their third announcement, the Montreal festival swung to the more classic end, with Aretha Franklin on June 29. The “Queen of Soul” is returning to Montreal five years after her first appearance at the Festival, a performance that thrilled her many fans according to the Montreal festival.

Gold passes now on sale now for donors, December 15 for the public

All three Ottawa Jazz Festival concerts will be included in the price of the Gold Pass, which is now on advance sale for $299 (HST included) to festival donors. The Gold Passes will be become available for purchase by the general public on-line, by telephone, or in-person at the Ottawa Jazz Festival festival office on December 15. The Gold Pass price is the same as in 2012.

The Montreal concerts will take place in Place des Arts, and are sold by individual tickets from the Place des Arts website. The 2013 Montreal Jazz Festival runs from June 28 to July 7, 2013.

The Ottawa Jazz Festival, which will run from June 20 to July 1, 2013 will announce its full summer line-up in April, 2013 – and may yet include some of the artists who will play with Shorter in Montreal, in separate concerts.

Ottawa Winter Jazzfest coming soon

The artists for the festival's second Ottawa Winter Jazzfest, which takes place January 31 to February 2 will be be announced this week according to festival executive producer Catherine O'Grady.

    – Brett Delmage

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