For any local music-lover, the current condition of Calgary’s jazz scene is something that should be celebrated.
Brought back from the brink thanks in large part to the folks at JazzYYC, we’re now blessed with hundreds of different programs and events throughout the calendar year and, more importantly, not one, but two festivals featuring the music that skronks, scats, swings, doo-wops, croons and bebops.
On Tuesday at the Ironwood, organizers announced the lineup for the fall version of the fest, the Canadian Jazz Festival, which takes place this year from Nov. 9-12 at various venues around the city.
Once again, we’ll be treated to four days of fantastic Main Stage shows at the Ironwood, the Late Night Series at Lolita’s, special shows and events, workshops, and the beloved free Sunday Jazzwalk in the Inglewood neighbourhood.
Artists being featured on the Main Stage include: a Thursday, Nov. 9 double bill with The North, featuring Juno-winners David Braid and Mike Murley, and Toronto heavyweight Steve Amirault; rising T.O. guitar star Trevor Giancola and his trio on the Friday; another amazing double bill featuring local treasures, vocalist Johanna Sillanpaa and her quintet, and pianist Sheldon Zandboer in quartet configuration; and Quebec bassist Alain Bedard and his Auguste Quartet will wrap things up on the Sunday night.
Late Night at Lolita’s also yields some amazing talent, with the MJ de Waal Quintet, Bow Djangos and the Esteban Herrera Trio taking you from Thursday to Saturday.
On the special concert side of things, there are a couple that will get you out and get you up on your feet, including: a Foothills Brass concert on Nov. 11 at Scarboro United Church (134 Scarboro Ave. S.W.), featuring, in honour of Remembrance Day, music of the Forties complete with a faux Andrews Sisters; a Swing Night the same evening at Festival Hall, with New York-based Canadian clarinetist and saxman Evan Arntzen with Calgary’s Top Cat Swing; and a Sunday wrap-up concert at the Ironwood with a reunion of genre-defying threesome Sinistrio.
And, finally, it should also be reiterated that the jewel in the crown of JazzYYC’s festivals, both summer and fall, is the Jazzwalk. On every corner, in every nook and cranny of Inglewood, you’ll be treated to all that the music has to offer. It is, as president Debra Rasmussen noted on Tuesday, a free and easy entrance into jazz, a way for young and old to discover what flavour of the music suits them best, and a gateway to, hopefully, a lifelong love affair.
The JazzYYC Canadian Jazz Festival runs Nov. 9-12 at various venues around Calgary. For tickets and more information, please go to jazzyyc.com.
Mike Bell has been covering the Calgary music scene for the past 25 years with publications such as VOX, Fast Forward, the Calgary Sun and, most recently, the Calgary Herald. He is currently the music writer and content editor for theYYSCENE.com. Follow him on Twitter/@mrbell_23 or email him at email@example.com.