The 7th edition of the TD Ottawa Winter Jazz Festival will take place from February 8 – 10, 2018, at La Nouvelle Scène (an amalgamation of four francophone theatre companies in the newly rebuilt theatre of the 1930s) at 333 King Edward Ave.
Shows alternate between two stages (Studio A and Studio B). Don’t miss this year’s free Winter Jazz Jams (included in the ticket price at the Bistro at the entrance lounge) on Friday and Saturday (Feb. 9 & 10) after the last show (10:30pm) with drink service. Any jazz musician is welcome to join the jam!
From improvisational interpretations of classical masterpieces, piano trios, jazz singers, a Latin jazz big band, a jazz interpretation of Michael Jackson to grand master pianist Fred Hersch, this year’s lineup features diverse international and Canadian artists.
Tickets: Full Festival Pass (valid for all shows): $150. Day passes: $60. Single tickets: $30. All tickets are available online, at the Festival office (602 – 294 Albert St., corner Kent St.) or call the office at 613-241-2633 during regular business hours.
Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018
QUARTETSKI DOES BARTÓK’S Mikrokosmos – Studio A – 6pm
Founded by bassist Pierre-Yves Martel in 2007, Quartetski improvisationally reinterprets the works of great classical composers. For Winter Jazz they will take on one of the most significant composers of the 20th century, Hungary’s Béla Viktor János Bartók in what the Festival’s Programming Manager Petr Cancura describes as a “…beautiful, acoustic and meticulous performance.”
Dock in Absolute – Studio B – 7:30pm
With their fresh approach to jazz, Luxembourg’s Dock in Absolute is a piano trio that pushes the boundaries to explore new and exciting unique music. Co-creating their unique jazz style in 2012, with a mutual love of jazz, they combine different styles of progressive jazz, classical music and rock, playing the pianist’s own compositions.
Barbra Lica – Studio A – 9pm
Receiving accolades for her unique vocal ability, singer/songwriter Barbra Lica is a fast-rising star on the Canadian Jazz pop scene. Nominated for a JUNO for her third album released in 2017, Barbra has captivated audiences with her exquisite vocals. Barbra’s debut album That’s What I Do was released to widespread acclaim in 2012, ranking her as Canada’s Top 5 Jazz singers on CBC.
Paolo Angeli – Studio B – 10pm
Whatever you want to call it, nobody else does it quite like Italy’s Paolo Angeli. He has an orchestra of instruments at his command, all on one unique guitar. He has everything from strings, foot-pedal-controls, hammers, and springs as he bows, strikes, plucks and strums while composing unique improvisational music influenced by traditional Sardinian and Arabic music, free jazz, flamenco and folk while accompanied by his own hauntingly beautiful vocals.
Kelsey Hayes – EP Release Party – Mercury Lounge (doors open at 9pm) – Opening act Melo and the Vibes at 9:30pm and Kelsey & band at 10:30pm
Writing from a position of strength and independence, Kelsey Hayes is an Ottawa based singer-songwriter who takes the listener on a journey of love, longing and betrayal. Drawing on her own experience, she combines heartbreak with her own unique style of indie-pop, creating a genuine and soulful sound. Kelsey’s newest EP, brings raw emotion together with a groove that keeps the listener nodding along to her soulful hooks and lyrical stories, will be released at this event.
Friday, Feb. 9, 2018
Hilario Duran & Ottawa Latin Jazz Big Band – Studio A – 6pm
Canada’s most influential Hispanic musician, Cuban born Hilario Durán, is regarded as one of the musicians “that moved jazz into the 21st century.”
The GRAMMY nominated and JUNO winning artist will join the Ottawa Latin Jazz Big Band, created by the Festival, to perform a selection of Duran’s vast repertoire based on his career-long exploration of Afro-Cuban rhythms. The band comprises five saxophonists, four trumpeters, four trombonists, drums, bass and percussion, featuring some of Ottawa’s most prominent and accomplished musicians.
Emma Frank – Studio B – 7:30pm
Originally, from Montreal now residing in Brooklyn, NY, Emma Frank’s music might sound like folk, jazz, or even R&B. It’s music that never stays put, full of moving parts. Her heartfelt songs are journeys of self-discovery, framed by insightful lyrics and a warm, gossamer voice. Ocean Av, her new album, which features jazz heavyweights Aaron Parks and Jim Black, is due out this February 2018 on Susan Records.
Chet Doxas “Rich in Symbols” – Studio A – 9pm
Inspired by the art movement of New York City’s Lower East Side between the years 1975-85, Rich in Symbols, named one of the top jazz albums of 2017 by both the Ottawa Citizen and CBC Music, seamlessly fuses Chet Doxas’ love of painting and music. The performance captures an innovative musician on the rise, fueled by the sights and sounds of the city. An ex-Montrealer, now living in Brooklyn, NY, Doxas composed the music by ear while standing in front of his favorite paintings in various museums throughout New York City. Doxas performs with a stellar range of musicians including: renowned guitarist and saxophonist Matthew Stevens; Rob Ritchie (guitar and synths); Zack Lober (bass and turntables) and Eric Doob (drums and electronics).
Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018
Steve Boudreau Trio – Studio B – 5pm
Cancura, designates Ottawa’s Steve Boudreau Trio as “a great piano trio”. Along with John Geggie (bass) and Michel Delage (drums), they recently celebrated the release of their first album, “Preludes: The Music of George Gershwin”. Incidentally, pianist Steve Boudreau was a student of master pianist Fred Hersch (performing on Feb. 10 at Winter Jazz) at the New England Conservatory in Boston.
The 33z play Michael Jackson – Studio A – 6pm
They’re back! Last year’s debut featured the music of Prince to a packed house at Winter Jazz. This year, The 33z are taking on the music of the ‘one and only’ Michael Jackson. The band will feature Clayton Connel (keyboards), Stephen Adubofour (drums), JP Lapensee (bass), Alex Moxon (guitar), music arranged by Ed Lister (trumpet) and Petr Cancura (saxophone).
The evening will feature an incredible lineup of Ottawa singers including Kellylee Evans, Rebecca Noelle, Jeff Rogers, Angelique Francis, Lisa Pryce, Debbie Braham and Lucia Lacovitti-Villeneuve (a 4th year student at Carleton who looks forward to this great opportunity).
Taps and traps: Heather Cornell and Jesse Stewart (Special Project) – Studio B – 7:30pm
Credited as one of the movers and shakers of the tap dance renaissance, Heather Cornell (tap, wood, sand), the Canadian-born, NYC-based, dancer/percussionist for her Winter Jazz appearance will be joined by Ottawa percussionist Jesse Stewart, “… one of the finest young drummers and percussionists on the scene today.” – One Final Note. Together they won the Festival’s Special Project performance.
Fred Hersch – Studio A – 9pm
Ten-time GRAMMY-Award nominee (including for 2018), piano pantheon, influential creative force, improviser, composer, educator, bandleader, collaborator, recording artist are just some of the achievements of master pianist Fred Hersch. Consistently winning an array of international awards and lavish critical praise for his albums, he has collaborated with the world’s ‘who’s who’ of music.
Fighting HIV since 1984, he has become a significant advocate for HIV awareness and has raised more than $300,000 to combat the disease. His latest book, Good Things Happen Slowly – A Life In and Out of Jazz was listed as one of the 5 best memoirs of 2017 by The Washington Post.