Today (Tuesday June 27, 2017) I did something I really enjoy doing during the Edmonton Jazz Fest – going to Churchill Square at noon and taking in the free jazz performance on The Works stage. These events are especially delightful on warm, sunny early summer days. Alas, today was not one of those days. It was cloudy, cool and a bit of rain came down (at least during the first set).
However, the jazz performance put on by the Brett Hansen trio, made putting up with the elements, worthwhile.
The Brett Hansen Trio
The trio comprises Brett Hansen on guitar, Murray Wood on bass and Jamie Cooper on drums.
On Wednesday, June 24th the early afternoon jazz concerts in Churchill Square continued. This day it was the Latin jazz sound of the TILO PAIZ QUINTET. The leader of the group is drummer Tilo Paiz, originally from El Salvador.
Tilo Paiz, drums
The Heavyweights Brass Band
Today (2015 June 23) on The Works stage in Churchill Square, Edmonton was a band that blew me away – The Heavyweights Brass Band.They are a Toronto-based, New Orleans influenced group. Being a trumpet player myself I have passion for brass instruments in general and trumpets in particular. This band features TWO excellent trumpets as well as a trombone and sousaphone and sax and drums – what a powerful sound!
John Pittman and Jonathon Challoner on trumpets
Some may wonder why there would be two trumpets in a sextet but there was more than enough work to keep the two of them busy. Each took a turn with some impressive solo work and when they teamed up it was great.
Also very impressive was saxophonist Paul Metcalfe.
Metcalfe was a passionate performer and the composer of a number of the band’s original pieces. The original pieces were good as were their versions of traditional jazz pieces (St. James Imaginary Blues was great) and some unexpected jazzifying of rock/pop tunes including Rush’s YYZ and Michael Jackson’s Beat It.
Christopher Butcher, trombone
Butcher, who lived in Sherwood Park for a number of years, was the band’s leader on stage.
Rob Teehan, Sousaphone
Lowell Whitty on drums
It was a very enjoyable show and although I had intended to just be there for the first set, I just had to extend my lunch hour and stay around for the second set. I also had to buy one of their CD’s – their latest Brasstronomical.
This performance in Edmonton was just one stop in their cross-country tour this summer. I doubt that I’ll get a chance to see them again soon but I will definitely look for a future opportunity.
Today I spent my lunchtime in Edmonton’s Churchill Square taking in three of my favorite things: sunshine, art and jazz. As part of The Works (Art and Design Festival) and tying in with the Edmonton International Jazz Festival there are daily jazz concerts from 12:00 to 2:00. Today on stage was the John Sweenie 4Tet.
The John Sweenie 4Tet
The quartet’s leader is Edmonton saxophonist John Sweenie:
Stefan Kijek on keyboard
Murray Smith on drums
Murray Wood on bass
With some solid original works and good takes on classics, the John Sweenie 4Tet delivered a very enjoyable performance! I look forward to hearing them again someday and hearing other jazz artists over the rest of this festival.