The Jazz Favourites Poll was a journey of discovery – for both us and you. Read why and how we did this poll.

Besides voting for your jazz favourites, you also let us know about you and what you thought of the local jazz scene, and we've also analyzed those results. Sit back and discover!

What do jazz fans think of the local scene?

Respondents were asked to “list up to 5 individual words or a short phrase” that they felt describes the all-year jazz and improvised music scene in Ottawa-Gatineau. Here's what they came up with.

The Jazz Favourites Poll: What do jazz fans think of the scene? © Brett Delmage, 2014
The Jazz Favourites Poll: What do jazz fans think of the scene? © Brett Delmage, 2014

Click on the image for a larger view. Thanks to for the word cloud generator.

Who's listening ?

We analyzed some demographics that respondents provided us with. We compared the results with the StatsCan 2011 Canadian census data, adjusted to 2014.  (We again need to state that this poll was not a random survey of jazz fans; however, we were careful to create the poll and attract respondents to it in an unbiased manner. A truly random poll, that could be more reliably representative of the population of Ottawa-Gatineau jazz listeners and musicians, was beyond our resources.)

The Jazz Favourites Poll: Respondent ages © Brett Delmage, 2014
The Jazz Favourites Poll: Respondent ages © Brett Delmage, 2014

The ages of jazz fans who participated in the poll versus local residents shows that our responding jazz fans are older than the general population. Our own experience visually observing listeners in audiences matches this. There are still solid numbers of jazz fans in all age cohorts, from 15 to 74.

The Jazz Favourites Poll: Respondent sex © Brett Delmage, 2014
The Jazz Favourites Poll: Respondent sex © Brett Delmage, 2014

Clearly, more males responded to the poll than females. However, our own audience observations indicate that there are often more male than female listeners in audiences, as can also be observed on the stages. Could women be less willing to disclose their gender than men? Did they comprise a larger percentage of those who did not answer this question?

Where do jazz listeners live?

Respondents said they lived in Ottawa, and Gatineau – and as far away as Toronto and Montreal. Listeners indicated they lived in nine local Quebec postal code FSAs (Forward Sortation Areas – a geographic area usually including several neighbourhoods) and 44 Ontario FSAs, encompassing most of Ottawa. The postal code areas which had the most respondents (collectively one-third of the total) included:

K1V   K2P   K1S   K2A   K1C   K1H   K2J   K1N

Click any FSA to view a google map of its area. Not surprisingly, more listeners tended to be more centrally located, but Barrhaven was also one of the more populated jazz fan 'hoods.

What do jazz fans like listening to?

The Jazz Favourites Poll: Favourite genres © Brett Delmage, 2014
The Jazz Favourites Poll: Favourite genres © Brett Delmage, 2014

Who listens to live music the most?

The Jazz Favourites Poll: Who listens? © Brett Delmage, 2014
The Jazz Favourites Poll: Who listens? © Brett Delmage, 2014

You told us

We appreciate respondents sharing their suggestions for improvements. The majority commented, unprompted, that they were satisfied with this poll and thought it was a good initiative. Thanks! We appreciate that feedback in considering polling again – it's a lot of work, but at this time we're convinced that we'll do something like this again. We also appreciated you sharing your detailed technical suggestions, and ideas on improving our messages' clarity.

Especially, our sincere thanks to all of you who persisted and completed the poll. We understand it took time (a median completion time of 8 minutes) and mental effort, when you have many other things to do.

CBC/SRC shows not being available as a jazz radio choice was mentioned several times. While this poll was about jazz made and presented locally, including national jazz that is aired locally is being considered for future polls.

A surprising number of respondents took time to share the names of persons and organizations that they felt contributed significantly to the Ottawa-Gatineau jazz scene in 2013. Notably, the contributors who received these accolades came from all types of music from avant-garde to straight-ahead jazz; levels of performance from student bands to accomplished professionals; and music presenters of all kinds.

Some of the contributors have already been recognized as leading favourites in this poll, or are the people behind your favourites. looks forward to telling you more about these contributors and their achievements in the future. In the meantime, if you have not read past articles in the News and interviews section of, we encourage you to do so. You'll discover some fascinating personal stories and commitments to the music, including articles about some of the 2013 CDs that were in this poll.

What you learned from The Poll

A secondary objective of the poll was to help respondents learn more about nominees they did not know about. Links to more information, like the nominee's own website, were provided with their names on the ballot. Our web statistics showed that respondents did take advantage of the links, following these for more information many times, and especially exploring the local CDs.

We asked “Was there anything you discovered about the Ottawa-Gatineau jazz and creative improvised music scene by participating in this poll?” About one-third of the participants answered.

“A lot”, “Yes!” and “More going on than I knew about!” summed up their collective responses. “Yes, I discovered there is much more going on than I realized,” wrote another. “I guess there's more improvised music than I thought,” wrote another.

Many stated they learned about local jazz radio shows, with comments like “I didn't know there were so many jazz radio shows in town.” and “Although I may have known about them before, the listing of the jazz radio shows really focused me on the ones I'd like to start listening to.”

“Yes, I discovered quite a lot, including info about jazz camps, and the many venues for live jazz,” was one comment.

Many respondents stated that they had learned about additional venues where they could hear live jazz.

“Jazz is pretty big in Ottawa. There are so many venues and events to perform, listen to and experience jazz music.” “I didn't know about one of the concert venues! Thanks!” One listener learned something new about Brookstreet Hotel Options Jazz Lounge, the favourite bar, cafe or restaurant which presented jazz in 2013: “I was amazed to hear that Brookstreet has jazz every single day and does not have any cover charge,” they wrote.

CDs were also mentioned frequently, with comments like “[I learned] A lot! Mostly the cds that were released.” “Embarrassed that I didn't know any of the local CDs.” “More people w/ Cds than I thought”

Most discoveries were not identified by new jazz fans. In fact, 94 per cent of the comments came from people who had been listening to jazz from six to twenty years or more.

As one person who had been listening to jazz for more than 20 years stated, “Discovered how little I know about the Ottawa-Gatineau jazz scene. I really need to get out and explore more jazz in the Capital.”

Clearly, there's a continuing need for information on jazz and improvised music in Ottawa-Gatineau – and we need to let more people know about the information we already provide, like our regularly updated lists of jazz venues, and of locally-available jazz radio shows.

If you have any ideas on how to get the word out or would like to support our work, please let us know.

Final applause!

We would like to extend our sincere appreciation to the more than 350 jazz fans who participated in this first Jazz Favourites Poll. When we started this project we hoped, but weren't certain, that many listeners would participate. You justified our optimism, celebrating the nominees, and the scene.

Finally, our congratulations to the Ottawa-Gatineau Jazz Favourites and runners-up (see the full list below). All of them made significant contribution to the local jazz and improvised music scene and deserve your collective recognition.

The favourites!

  • Favourite Jazz and Improvised Music Series: NAC Presents    [what listeners wrote]
  • Runner-up: John Geggie Invitational (National Arts Centre 4th Stage)
  • Favourite Jazz Jam: 2013 Ottawa Jazz Festival Jams at the AlphaSoul Café     [what listeners wrote]
  • Runners-up: Jazz Jam with the HML Trio at Brookstreet Hotel Options Jazz Lounge; GigSpace Blues and Jazz Jam (tied)
  • Favourite Jazz Concert Venue: National Arts Centre Fourth Stage    [what listeners wrote]
  • Runner-up: GigSpace Performance Studio
  • Favourite Jazz Bar, Café or Restaurant: Brookstreet Hotel Options Jazz Lounge    [what listeners wrote]
  • Runner-up: Zola's Italian Restaurant and Eatery
  • Favourite Jazz Radio Show: In a Mellow Tone (CKCU-FM)     [what listeners wrote]
  • Runner-up: Swing is in the Air (CKCU-FM)
  • Favourite Jazz or Improvised Music CD: Nepean All-City Jazz Band - The 25th Anniversary Concert   [what listeners wrote]
  • Runner-up: Garry Elliott and Steve Boudreau - Pre-Dawn Skies
  • Favourite Jazz Camp: Carleton University Jazz Camp    [what listeners wrote]
  • Runner-up: JazzWorks Summer Jazz Workshop and Composers' Symposium
  • Favourite Festival: Ottawa Jazz Festival (June)    [what listeners wrote]
  • Runner-up: Merrickville's Jazzfest (October)

   – Brett Delmage and Alayne McGregor

Do you have any comments about this poll or the favourites ? We invite you to share them in our Facebook group, or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Please refer to “The's Jazz Favourites Poll” when citing or linking to results. On twitter please use the #OttJazzFavs tag. Thank you. is community supported. Our content, including projects like this, is made possible by our generous donors. We thank them for their support.

See alsoThe 2011 Jazz Listener Survey Results