The announcement of the lineup for the 36th annual TD Ottawa Jazz Festival, from June 23 to July 3 at Confederation Park and the National Arts Centre, shows that the festival continues to deliver on its namesake, with genre headliners such as Wynton Marsalis, and the Grammy-winning trio of Chick Corea, Christian McBride & Brian Blade.
But it also offers a veritable sound buffet – with music to suit just about anyone, including non-jazz lovers.
Here, 8 reasons music lovers of any persuasion will be excited about this year’s festival:
1. Pet Sounds — Brian Wilson celebrates the 50th anniversary of this iconic Beach Boys’ album, with a helping hand from two former bandmates Al Jardine and Blondie Chaplin. So hoist up the John B’s sail; we guarantee that no one in the audience will feel “broke up” or “want to go home” (July 3).
2. Old Soul: Nobody can get a crowd moving faster than Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings (June 26).
3. Born on the Bayou: And the award for best band name goes to… Jon Cleary & the Absolute Monster Gentlemen. They’ll deliver mesmerizing Bayou-born R&B guaranteed to put a spell on you (June 28).
4. Mexicana: Want to visit Mexico without leaving the capital? Check out this Brooklyn-based Banda de Los Muertos, who offer a brassy, spicy-take on traditional Mexican banda music (June 25).
5. Hot Jazz: Not a fan of modern jazz, but love the classics? The Hot Sardines are no can of worms. Their music fuses together the best of ‘20s, ‘30s and ‘40s New Orleans, Paris and New York. Want to hear the likes of Louis Armstrong, Django Reinhardt, Count Basie, and Billie Holiday play live? Who doesn’t? But unless you can build a time machine, this band is your next best option. Bonus: Parisian-born frontwoman, Miz Eliz, sings in both French and English! (July 3).
6. Alternative Scene: Ben Caplan delivers smoky, gritty Canadian alt-folk. With his half-growled vocals, he’s maturing into Canada’s Tom Waits. And we mean that as a compliment! (June 27).
7 & 8. Singer-songwriters: Canada’s got talent; hard to beat the master class combo of Buffy Sainte-Marie (June 28) and Sarah McLachlan (June 25).