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  1. An hour was way too short of a set time for Broken Social Scene to hit their stride at Ottawa CityFolk Festival. Coming off a tour with sets being over two hours in length, the pacing at CityFolk seemed rushed. BSS missed turning what could have been another outstanding show into a quick run through of some of their best material. When BSS are in full flight, they are a jet plane who’s wings are about to come off. There can be moments of sheer chaos, a tearing at the seams, where the music and the band can be falling apart, right up to a cliff’s edge, looking down, taking that last step
  2. August 19, 2017 Claude Munson There is a new Canadiana sound. Bands like Patrick Watson, Joe Grass, Jesse Mac Cormack and the Barr Brothers share a musical aesthetic that is coming to the forefront of contemporary Canadian songwriting. There is a new generation of alternative folk music that is at a ground swell, and is set to catch a fire in our music scene. Claude Munson fits this bill. The Forest stage was the perfect venue for experiencing him, and his on again, off again fellow band mates. Late summer sun, under a tent, in the woods and loads of fresh air, complemented this earl
  3. August 18, 2017 Cadence Weapon Edmonton’s Roland Pemberton III, offered up a blistering hip hop set. Never taking himself too seriously, and clearly enjoying the vibe of the forest stage, his smiles were a counter point to some of the most astute lyrics in rap today. He’s got game. Although he was personable, understated (rare in the hip hop genre), and charming, his words were full of insight and social commentary. His diction was perfect, with rapid fire vocals not getting lost in the DJ’s beats. Perhaps, hip hops urban element was a bit misplaced with the farm atmosphere, but his cl
  4. Arboretum Festival Photos: Jimmy Skyline Music and Food. I have spent my life dedicated to these two pursuits. These are the cornerstones for humanity. They distinguish us from the kingdoms of other animals. Before words, it was music and food that established the constructs of human culture. These are the parts of culture shared by all peoples, of all times. They are pre-language. The modern celebration of these noble arts is everywhere, but seldom are they the focus of a singularly well-planned event. The Arboretum Festival held on Rideau Pines Farms took it’s first steps of transfor
  5. Photo: Mike Bouchard A conga line was formed with the encouragement from Cris Scabello. It took over the tent winding and snaking from the front to the back of the tent, and back again. But it was the tiger shirted guitarist and keyboardist Mauricio Fleury that stood out. His sun glasses and orange t shirt with a stunning black guitar and frizzed out hair had him looking like a mid 1970’s California porn star. Way too cool for school. His wiry guitar playing gave them a real authentic Nigerian feel. Near the end of the set Mauricio had a chance to shout out his appreciation for those who hel
  6. Photo: Mike Bouchard More Photos The Ottawa Jazz Festival and City Folk Festivals bookmark the summer for me. It starts with the rush of good weather and sounds of all sorts of jazz, and then the bitter sweet wave goodbye in the fall, with a farewell to the summer festival season at City Folk. The Jazz fest is the crown jewel of Ottawa’s Festivals. It’s for people who really listen to music. Some looking for the strange, some for the traditional. It’s all here, and every year seems to have incredible depth. I’m missing most of this years shows because I travelled to another fest a scant 7
  7. It's interesting to see a night with a full range of musical styles offering opportunities for some to catch another style of music aside from which they initially intended seeing. This is made possible by the multiple stages, however, conflicting choices like seeing an act inside while another is on the main stage makes it difficult to really see it all.
  8. Photo: Mike Bouchard More photos Setting up soul power band St. Paul and the Broken Bones for opening night of the Ottawa Jazz Festival was a wise choice and those that attended made the correct decision. The 6-piece Alabama soul band has been playing the festival circuit for years. They appeared at the CityFolk festival in Ottawa a couple of years ago to a packed audience inside one of the buildings. It was hot and sweaty that night. This night, was probably perfect weather for an outdoor live music performance. Warm enough for shorts and a t-shirt, yet cool enough for lead man Pau
  9. Sharon Jones came riding a wave of anticipatory excitement as she strolled on stage at the Ottawa Jazzfest, but not before her backing band The Dap Kings were first allowed to warm up with a few songs. Almost immediately the Dap Kings filled the grounds with fantastic 70's-feel soul grooves. This band can stop on a dime and appears to be led through the optics offered by their bass player, Bosco Mann and the man he most certainly was. He held that pocket much like would in his heyday. I kept watching the fingers he would count out and the signs he would flash at the guitar players or the h
  10. John Scofield can be seen perform in many configurations and styles like Funk and Soul-Jazz, or joining Phil Lesh and Friends, Medeski, Martin & Wood for tours. He brings a hell of a lot of skill to those acts which comes from a place which he invited everyone to at the Ottawa Jazz Festival on Saturday night. He's fundamentally a master jazz musician who happens to have figured out the guitar in ways very few have achieved. This is why he spent much of his career as a sideman for legends like Herbie Hancock, Miles Davis, and Chet Baker. He's formed many trios and quartets as well, one
  11. The Barr Brothers were in town for another sold-out show at the Ottawa Jazz Festival inside the 190 seat NAC Studio on Friday night. The anticipation was high with bronze pass holders lining up as early as 5pm to ensure entry. Single ticket holders have priority after-all. Having unfortunately missed it, news came out early on saturday morning they would be doing another set at noon in the Tartan Homes stage for the "Mystery Show" which is new to the Ottawa Jazzfest so there was some consolation to catch them before they left town.. This show was also considered free so everyone was w
  12. Go here for more photos 20 minutes after the soft-opening of the 2016 edition of the Ottawa Jazz Festival kicked-off, the first song of nearly a 2 hour set by Kamasi Washington and his dynamically led band had finished their first number. Kamasi thanked and welcomed the crowd to tremendous applause, and began his evening long pattern of personal storytelling. Of how he met each of his band mates, how they affected him musically, and why they are here. “ It’s not what you have in life, it’s what you do in life that’s important ”
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