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  1. Photos: Mike Bouchard Charles Bradley took the stage after a quick two number hype warm-up by his backing band, Extraordinaires. His music career started when he was booking gigs as an impersonator for James Brown in a band called Black Velvet. This led to his discovery by Daptone Records, which produced his album and launched his career. He's performed in Ottawa previously, at Ottawa Bluesfest, and later a club show. A performance at the Bronson Centre last year was cancelled due to illness, yet he is clearly back on his smooth feet, with all of the energy of a musical man in full health
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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.
  5. 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
  6. More Photos Brian Wilson's performance of the epic masterpiece Pet Sounds at Ottawa Jazz Festival didn't open with "Wouldn't it Be Nice" or close with "Good Vibrations" (a song that could have been on the album but is a literal finale to that album's period), it actually opened with "Heroes and Villains" and closed with a strong melody of Beach Boys' early stuff like "Help Me Rhonda" and "Surfin USA". Pet Sounds is an incredible album and performing it live with the true arrangement wouldn't be possible, but it would be nice. Out of the 10 backing musicians on stage, there were at le
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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 ”
  11. More photos of Snarky Puppy at Ottawa Jazzfest Written by: Jay McConnery Friday evening brought fresh temperatures and electric nerves to the Ottawa Jazz Festival at Confederation Park. The (almost) iconic Joel Plaskett took the stage with a slightly newer version of the Emergency, and wrestled with inconsistencies between his brand of punchy Can-Rock and the intangible expectations of Jazz Festival performance. It was an abnormally quiet outing. The smaller than expected turnout may have added to the feeling of deflation, but regardless, Joel treated the audience to some acou
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