Te first day of October 2016 was gloomy, wet and cool (see part 1 post) but on Sunday October 2nd, the sun was out, shedding a whole new light <groan> on the autumn beauty in Edmonton. Here are a few shots from that day:
Autumn in all its glory, has arrived in Edmonton. The colors may have peaked a week earlier but here is some of the beauty from the first weekend of October.
The Saturday (October 1st) was gloomy, cool and wet but the wetness brought out the color saturation and contrast in the river valley:
For more images of early October in Edmonton see part 2, taken on the very sunny day that followed the day of these images.
In part 1 I looked at the 2016 Edmonton International Jazz Festival as I experienced it through the first 5 days. In this post, I continue to share what I saw from Wednesday June 29th.
The noon hour performance at the Works with Jazz Stage in Churchill Square featured Blue Moon Marque. Blue Moon Marque is a duo featuring A.W. Cardinal on guitar and vocals, with Jasmine Colette on bass (while adding some drums using her feet). When I first saw and heard a bit of this duo I though it might not be for me but after listening to a couple of tunes I quickly grew to appreciate their unique style – gypsy jazz and blues?
On Thursday at noon I was back in the Churchill Square as the Berner Brothers took to the stage and paid tribute to the other B-Brothers: The Brecker Brothers, most famous for their fusion jazz sounds in the 70’s.
On the evening of June 30 I was back at the Yardbird Suite to hear some more innovative trumpet playing – this time from Jacques Kuba Seguin:
On Friday (Canada Day 2016) I was again sitting up front at the Yardbird suite for what might have been the high point of the festival – the Edmonton Jazz Orchestra featuring Bob Tildesley (trumpet) and Mike Rud (guitar).
The next morning I hiked across the river valley to attend Jazz in the Park (with a pancake breakfast. During the morning, Joel Gray’s Quintet played fine sets of great dixieland-style jazz.
The end of the 2016 Jazz Fest for me was back at the Works with Jazz stage on sunday July 3rd for the John Sweenie Quartet. Particularly strong this day were leadman Sweenie and keyboardist Chris Andrew.
It was a great end to a superb jazz festival.
The 2016 Edmonton International Jazz Fest was a good one! I made a point to take in as many of the events as I could and between June 24th and July 3rd I attended 12 events and enjoyed 14 bands. As much as I enjoyed the varied jazz music I also enjoyed photographing the performers in action.
Ths first performance I took in was at noon on Friday June 24 on the Works with Jazz stage in Churchill Square. This show featured guitarist Marc Beaudin, with bassist Josh McHan and Sandro Dominelli on drums.
On Saturday afternoon I was at the Community Big Band Bash. Three big bands associated with MacEwan University performed on the OSPAC (Old Strathcona Performing Arts Centre) stage.
The Littlebirds opened, followed by the MacEwan Outreach Big Band and finally the MacEwan University Big Band. All three groups were solid and very enjoyable.
On Monday at noon it was Brett Miles with his Magilla Funk Conduit taking the Churchill Square stage for a couple of sets starting at noon. Their form of jazz was wonderfully funky and energetic.
Later that afternoon, I was at the Yardbird Suite (somehow, it was my first visit ever to the venue but it would be there three more times that week). The afternoon I observed a Master Class with Marianne Trudel and Ingrid Jensen. They listened to and gave good feedback on performance and composition to three student combos – quite interesting.
That evening, Trudel (piano) and Jensen (trumpet), with Remi-Jean LeBlanc (bass) and Rich Irwin (drums) put on an innovative/experimental sometimes atmospheric/moody and always captivating, performance.
On Tuesday at noon, I was back in Churchill Square to enjoy another free performance on the Works stage. This day is was the MacEwan Jazz Combo – a sextet performing a fairly standard jazz combo fare with impressive improvised solos.
Well that was the first half of the 2016 festival and of course only touching on those performances that I was able to get to – there was something like 27 events over those first 5 days!
See more of the Edmonton International Jazz Festival in Part 2.
It was only May 1st, in this year of early spring (and even earlier summer-like weather), but there was already a bit of activity on the North Saskatchewan River in central Edmonton on a lovely Sunday afternoon:
Last Saturday, my wanderings took me into Old Strathcona and by the Yardbird Suite. There in front of the iconic jazz venue is a statue commemorating the legendary blues singer Big Miller. I’ve seen the statue from a distance many times but finally decided to check it out up close:
The wonderfully emotive statue, created by world class Edmonton sculptor Danek Mozdzenski is BIG – but just a big head and big hand!
Miller was born in Sioux City, Iowa but settled in Edmonton in the early 70’s and lived here until his death in 1992. The statue was unveiled in September 2009.
The Muttart Conservatory with its 4 striking glass pyramids is one of my favorite Edmonton landmarks. It is wonderful to be inside the pyramids, each of which is a greenhouse featuring a different eco-system. I don’t get inside as often as I would like but I still enjoy the pyramids from the outside. They frequently appear in my photos of the river valley. Here are a few recent (April 2016) images:
Three in Formation
Muttart greenhouse (foreground) where plants are prepped for show and sale.