The 2010 Ottawa Jazz Festival is giving a prominent place to a number of local jazz groups.

"We're bringing in a lot of local musicians who deserve to be heard," said Ottawa Jazz Festival programming manager Jacques Emond, "because, in my opinion, some of the local musicians are as good as any. Los Gringos, for example, came back this year after many years of being inactive, and the band sounds better than ever." Emond said it was a difficult choice among local groups.

The Soujazz Orchestra at le petit Chicago in March 2010.  photo ©2010 Brett Delmage
The Soujazz Orchestra at le petit Chicago in March 2010. photo ©2010 Brett Delmage

The Soujazz Orchestra: They're packing local clubs, attracting worldwide fans, and performing on the Ottawa Jazz Festival's main stage on July 2. Expect a very big party.  photo ©2010 Brett Delmage

By tradition, a local group is the opening act on the festival's opening and closing nights: "we can't put everyone on the main stage," Emond said, "but we do the best we can." This year, the Mike Essoudry Octet is opening for Herbie Hancock, and singer Kellylee Evans is opening for whatever act is chosen for the final night. Both have performed at the festival before.

But there's two more. Mike Essoudry is leading his Mash Potato Mashers marching band down Elgin Street to the park and onto the Main Stage to advertise and celebrate the start of the festival. And the Souljazz Orchestra will be bringing its blend of funk, soul, jazz, Afrobeat and Latin to the main stage on July 2, creating a groove lots of listeners will want to dance to.

As well, the free afternoon Workshop Series on the OLG stage, curated by NYC-Ottawa multi-instrumentalist Petr Cancura, features large numbers of local jazz musicians, improvising in new combinations and styles.

The three satellite stages scattered through downtown will again feature all local acts. Most of these acts are veterans, with repeated appearances at the festival over the decades. They will be playing at noon hour or in the afternoon. All these events are free, so you can take advantage of the downtown stages to sample different local musicians.  The challenge is that the three stages run at the same time from Monday to Friday.

Rendez-Vous Rideau Jazz - noon on weekdays, and also 2 p.m. on weekends

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

World Exchange Plaza - weekdays only

  • Wayne Eagles Trio
  • The Rialto Rhythm Revellers
  • Jenna Glatt & Group
  • Mike Sasso Group Vince Rimbach Quartet
  • Jazz Youth Summit
  • Caridad Cruz

OLG Stage noon jazz

  • Quintette de Jazz Nicole Ratté
  • Robert Fontaine Quartet
  • Local youth and school bands
  • Monterey Swing Band
  • Los Gringos
  • Straight Ahead Big Band
  • MAM (SRC)
  • Servantes / Bria Showberg
  • Magnolia Rhythm Kings