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SOUL JAZZ ORCHESTRA - Sunday July 29 - Beaches Jazz Fest in the park FREE


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Since 2002, the Ottawa-based band has been keeping the classic sounds of raw, gritty groove alive and well in Canada. Their style combines jazz, funk, African and Latin music with messages touching on politics and spirituality.

The blaring horns, retro keyboards and polyrhythmic beats show the influence of James Brown, Herbie Hancock, Fela Kuti and Tito Puente, but the sound remains refreshingly original. Their stylistic variety is in part due to the diverse musical backgrounds of the band's individual members : jazz, funk, blues, reggae, classical, and traditional Cuban, Brazilian and West African percussion.

The Souljazz Orchestra has had the chance to collaborate with notable artists such as Beautiful Nubia and Mighty Popo, and has opened up for Etta James, Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, John Lee Hooker Jr., The Sadies, Fred Eaglesmith, and more. The band has appeared at the Montreal Jazz Festival, the Ottawa Jazz Festival, the Ottawa Blues Festival, and the Ottawa Tulip Festival.

The Souljazz Orchestra released their second album, Freedom No Go Die, in September of 2006. This high-energy release focuses mainly on afrobeat music, and features the vocal stylings of Mighty Popo, Alanna Stuart and Marielle Rivard. The album is already creating quite a stir in the dancefloor jazz scene, prompting legendary DJ Gilles Peterson from BBC Radio 1 to enthuse, "That's made for music, that is!" Exclaim! Magazine went on to state that "the Ottawa quintet [...] craft a sound as tight as the power fists that adorn the cover. Songs of resistance, revolution and positivity in the best of the afrobeat tradition." The album is soon to be re-released worldwide through Do Right! Music, a Toronto-based label showcasing Canada's best new jazz, funk, hip-hop and electronic music.

The Souljazz Orchestra's all-original debut album, Uprooted, was released in April of 2005, also to critical acclaim. The Ottawa Fulcrum stated that the album "captures the energy and bounce that is characteristic of their live show" and that it is "definitely an all-around feel-good album, in that James Brown kinda way", while the Ottawa Sun noted that the band "lend itself equally well to afrobeat, modern jazz or JBs-style funk".

Both releases have received worldwide airplay, mostly through public and campus radio, topping many Canadian station charts at #1.

Artist Information:

Steve Patterson tenor sax

Zakari Frantz alto sax, soprano sax, flute

Pierre Chrétien electric piano, organ, clavinet, analog synth

Phil Lafrenière drums, percussion

Ray Murray alto sax, baritone sax

All members sing and play percussion as well.

12:30 P.M. - like in 40 minutes!!! Main Stage Kew Gardens

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