Recommendations for Ottawa Jazz Festival?
May 15, 2017 8:50 AM   Subscribe

This is a follow-up to my previous question. I have learned that the Ottawa Jazz Festival takes place while I am there. Any recommendations for shows to see, particularly the 23rd and 24th, especially ones that are suited to someone who knows very little about jazz?

I do like blues, particularly in styles from the 1930s to the 1950s, but my exposure to jazz is pretty limited. I tend not to like music that's more about showing off technical skill rather than conveying an emotion, and probably won't appreciate jazz that relies on knowing a lot of context. However, I'll check anything out if it looks interesting.
posted by Grinder to Society & Culture (4 answers total)
I can recommend the Frisell/Morgan duo. Frisell showcases some of the folkier, more reflective edges of jazz - and it looks like his work with Thomas Morgan is in that vein. It's complex, but plenty of emotional space in the music.

If you're looking for neo-traditional - the "right instruments" and musicians who know how to play them - I'd recommend Hudson. All of these folks are top tier, and DeJohnnette is known for his work with Miles. Scofield on guitar suggests this will be lyrical and not "out there."

For more of a "current state of jazz," Robert Glasper is the premier artist right now. He pulls in elements of urban music, and often guests from the artier side of hip hop. I've seen him do solo shows and he's a very melodic/rhythmic player.

This will be the last tour with the Bad Plus in this lineup - they are a little more intellectual, but flip some interesting arrangements of contemporary pop. Dave King is one of my favorite drummers and personalities in jazz.

Lastly, I think it's worth looking at Mark Giuliana - he's one of those heady drummers, but he has a strong sense of propulsion, and his current band sounds like it's in that post-bop vein of mid-60s jazz.
posted by SoundInhabitant at 9:34 AM on May 15, 2017 [1 favorite]

Looking at the acts listed, many of them aren't really the kind of jazz you're worried about. I like world music that you can dance to so I'd go for Gypsophilia and Lemon Bucket Orkestra. Gypsophilia is a "Hot Club" jazz band that should swing like hell and Lemon Bucket is one of those klezmer/Balkan folk/punk bands. Have fun!
posted by irisclara at 12:31 PM on May 15, 2017

Ottawa music festival names, with the exception of Chamberfest, are famously misleading. Folk fest isn't mostly folk; Bluesfest is faaarrr from being a blues fest; and Jazzfest isn't solely jazz (although it is certainly far jazzier than Bluesfest is blues).

I can recommend:
-(non-jazz) artist Serena Ryder, on the 23rd.
-Gypsophilia! A fun Maritimes multi-genre band who tend to fall in and out of jazz and whom I strongly recommend, as they go hog-wild on stage.

Iffier on:
-While Hannah Georgas is well-received here, she will probably be a lower-energy show that you want when you only have 2 days.
-Gordon Grdina - a similar niche to Lemon Bucket, but I'd choose Lemon Bucket.

The only band I'd fully un-recommend is TATRAN, on the 25th (so one day out from your two best days). I think they're exactly the kind of jazz you don't want.
posted by flibbertigibbet at 12:41 PM on May 15, 2017

Lemon Bucket Orkestra
Serena Ryder - I really love this song
posted by irisclara at 1:44 PM on May 15, 2017

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