Ottawa Jazz fans' favourite jazz festival starts Friday.

Ottawa favourites, guitarist Roddy Ellias and double bassist John Geggie will be joined by drummer Nick Fraser to host the festival jams at the Novotel Hotel Albion Rooms for the first time this year ©Brett Delmage, 2013
Ottawa favourites, guitarist Roddy Ellias and double bassist John Geggie will be joined by drummer Nick Fraser to host the festival jams at the Novotel Hotel Albion Rooms for the first time this year ©Brett Delmage, 2013

The 34th edition of the Ottawa Jazz Festival starts on Friday, June 20, under near-perfect mid-20s temps and rain-free skies expected until next Wednesday. Listeners will especially enjoy the summer festival outdoor experience at the Great Canadian Jazz concerts in Confederation Park, and also in the Laurier Avenue Canadian Music Stage tent at City Hall, where free daily noon-time concerts will be presented by Ottawa's own talented and creative local musicians.

The Ottawa Jazz Festival was chosen as the favourite local jazz/improvised music festival by more than 350 jazz fans who participated in the OttawaJazzScene.ca Jazz Favourites Poll in April. They had many positive comments about this festival. “The lineup is amazing and the atmosphere is great for listening to music,” said one respondent. Another praised the festival's “outdoors atmosphere”.

Check out OttawaJazzScene.ca's easy-to-read guide to the 2014 Ottawa Jazz Festival, with everything in one place. Our listing also includes links to interviews with musicians who will be performing at this festival, and reviews of their previous concerts.

Don't overlook jazz festival jazz offerings in the many places in the next 11 days in addition to Confederation Park and the NAC (and they're all in our guide). New this year: local hotels are offering free after-work shows by local artists. Local clubs in the Market and Gatineau are presenting late-night jazz. And there's a new jazz jam location at the Novotel, only a few blocks from the park and the NAC - easy walking directions are in our guide.

We're publishing concert reviews and stories throughout the festival, so be sure to visit OttawaJazzScene.ca regularly. If you see OttawaJazzScene.ca Editor Alayne McGregor at the festival, please say hello. We've got a little something waiting for those who introduce themselves and mention this article.

Can't make it to the Ottawa Jazz Festival? There's still enjoyable jazz happening around town, although some regular events are taking a break during the festival. Our consistently comprehensive and amazingly accurate Upcoming shows listings have all the details –  every week of the year. And don't forget to subscribe to our free weekly jazz newsletter to keep informed – you might even win free tickets to a highly acclaimed and sold-out upcoming concert!

   – Brett Delmage