CD releases and reservoir cruises charm this summer

Now that the Calgary Jazz Festival is over you might be thinking that Calgary has exhausted its jazz diet for the summer. You would be wrong — one of our best annual jazz performances is slated for mid-July. Jazz on the Lake at Heritage Park is a cool jaunt with some of Calgary’s best musicians onboard the SS Moyie sternwheeler. The gig features Resident Artists Ensemble Jazz Is Society members John Reid Allistair Elliott Keith Smith and John Hyde who offer a mix of cool funky jazz and a measure of standards. The event starts with dockside cocktails and snacks followed by an hour-long cruise on the Glenmore Reservoir and wraps up with an onshore performance. Catch the cruise on July 18 and July 19. Tickets are available at Ticketmaster.

For another chance to check out fine homegrown musicians this month don’t miss Gerry Hebert at Beat Niq on July 12. Hebert released his newest CD a couple of months ago and his newest quartet will be featured at this gig. It’s a perfect chance to catch major talents Simon Fisk John May and Aaron Young.

CD releases are becoming more common in town and two of the major jazz labels in Alberta Plunge and Chronograph are based in Calgary. Just a few weeks ago Chronograph artist Mark DeJong played a CD release gig at Beat Niq. Hebert records for Plunge Records and his newest CD is aptly titled The Beat Niq Sessions Volume 2: Constructive Interference since the club partly inspired the tunes on his recording. Beat Niq will again feature a CD release celebration at the end of July — Barbados-born Calgary-based vocalist CiCi winner of a recent Barbados Music award and renowned for her performances in the Caribbean Britain Canada and the U.S. will be here on July 25. This rare and exclusive gig will celebrate the release of her new album Live at the Beat Niq and she’ll be backed by John Gray Bruce Petherick Robin Tufts and Loni Moger. It’s sure to be an evening of sultry soulful jazz.