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.