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Laila Biali Tuesday, June 21, 7:00 PM | Esplanade Terrace
OK. She’s a JazzFest favourite! Admitted!
Award-winning Canadian singer-songwriter, pianist and CBC Music national radio host Laila Biali has headlined festivals and venues spanning five continents from New York City's Carnegie Hall to Beijing's National Centre for the Performing Arts, and supported international icon Sting. In 2020, Laila was honoured by SOCAN Music with the Hagood Hardy Award for Excellence in Songwriting. In 2019, Laila’s self-titled release won her a JUNO for Vocal Jazz Album of the Year. The year prior, she was awarded top prize at the Canadian Songwriting Competition in the Jazz category. Laila was also the youngest ever double winner at Canada’s National Jazz Awards when she was named SOCAN Composer of the Year and Keyboardist of the Year. She received her first JUNO nomination for Tracing Light (2011), and a spot on DownBeat Magazine's Best Albums of the Year for Live in Concert (2013) and Out of Dust (2020). In September of 2017, Laila was brought on as the host for CBC Music's national radio show, Saturday Night Jazz, a weekly show broadcast to listeners across Canada. While Laila continues to earn high honours in the Jazz world, her signature sound transcends genres as she masterfully mixes jazz and pop, creating a style and sound that are all her own. Laila's highly anticipated album, Out of Dust, which features multiple Grammy nominees and winners including Lisa Fischer, Alan Ferber, John Ellis, and Larnell Lewis was released March 27, 2020 and was also nominated for a 2021 JUNO Award.
Joining Laila will be George Koller on bass and Ben Wittman on drums.
Amanda Tosoff feat. Emilie-Claire Barlow | Tuesday, June 21, 9:30 PM | Esplanade Terrace
Amanda Tosoff is a Toronto-based jazz pianist, composer, and educator. She has received various honours, including the Montréal Jazz Festival Grand Prix de Jazz, the Toronto Arts Foundation Emerging Jazz Artist Award, and most recently, a 2022 JUNO nomination for her album Earth Voices. With her latest release, Amanda continues to pursue the creative and stylistic leap she began on her previous album Words, once again blending jazz, pop and art-song, as well as drawing on poetry with a deep personal and emotional connection. This summer, Amanda is touring with 5 of the 16 guest artists on her album, including JUNO Award winning vocalist Emilie-Claire Barlow, saxophonist Allison Au, bassist Jon Maharaj and drummer Morgan Childs. The band will perform music from Earth Voices, plus selections from Emilie-Claire’s repertoire, including clever arrangements of Burt Bacharach, Bob Dylan, Gershwin and more!
Elizabeth Shepherd and Michael Occhipinti | Wednesday, June 22, 7:00 PM | Esplanade Terrace
Elizabeth Shepherd and Michael Occhipinti (ES:MO) have been featured in each other's projects for almost a decade, with Elizabeth being the vocalist and pianist for Michael Occhipinti's The Universe of John Lennon, and Michael touring as the guitarist in Elizabeth's group promoting her albums Montreal and The Signal. Their new duo album, The Weight of Hope, was released in October 2021, and the two are touring across Canada to support the album's release.
ES:MO's recording started in June of 2019 as the two entered the studio at the Banff Centre For the Arts to record the songbook they've built up over years of touring. The completed album includes songs by Canadian legends such as Leonard Cohen, Bruce Cockburn and Gordon Lightfoot, as well as the music of Stevie Wonder and forgotten Toronto soul legend Jackie Shane's Any Other Way. Michael and Elizabeth are working on a new and very different second album, which will consist entirely of original music, much of it started when the two bubbled together with their families at Elizabeth's home in the Laurentian mountains of Quebec.
Michael Occhipinti has been called a guitar chameleon for his ability to work with many colours in different genres, while Elizabeth Shepherd’s unique voice and adventurous compositions also resist easy labelling. Between them, the two have received over a dozen nominations for Canada’s JUNO Award, and two Polaris Prize nominations. Together they create a magical and compelling world of sound and are now venturing out into their post-Covid 19 touring.
Jocelyn Gould | Wednesday, June 22, 9:30 PM | Esplanade Terrace
Jocelyn Gould, seen as a leader in the next generation of great mainstream jazz guitarists, has captivated audiences around the world with her joyful energy. She has absorbed the influences of the jazz guitar greats and has woven them into an exciting personal sound.
She is a professor and Head of Guitar Department at Humber College in Toronto. Jocelyn has performed internationally in the groups of Grammy nominated vocalist Freddy Cole, trumpeter Etienne Charles and DownBeat Rising Star trombonist Michael Dease. She can be heard on albums led by Michael Dease, Jon Gordon, Diego Rivera, Randy Napoleon and Will Bonness. She was the first place winner of the 2018 Wilson Centre International Jazz Guitar competition.
Jocelyn's debut release as a leader, Elegant Traveler, was nominated for Jazz Album of the Year at the 2021 JUNO awards.
Joining Jocelyn are Will Bonness on piano, Liany Mateo on bass and Curtis nowosad on Drums.
Heavyweights Brass Band | Thursday, June 23, 7:00 PM | Esplanade Terrace
A JazzFest favourite is back! We can’t get enough of these guys!
The Heavyweights Brass Band hits hard with its seasoned blend of groove, energy, virtuosity, and originality! For over a decade, this Toronto-based, New Orleans-inspired brass institution has brought theatre-goers to their feet and club-goers to the dance floor with an inspiring blend of original music and unexpected covers.
Their music has been featured on film, commercials, radio, and television and they have performed and recorded with the best in the game from percussion legend Giovanni Hidalgo to NOLA legends Roger Lewis of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band and Joe Lastie of Preservation Hall fame. Their extensive touring experience has given them the opportunity to share the stage with the likes of Trombone Shorty, The Roots, and The Soul Rebels, among many others.
In a genre typically represented by groups twice its size, this powerhouse quintet punches above its weight and always delivers the feel-good, let-loose energy that leaves audiences clamouring for one more song!
The band is in town for two days, with several performances, so don’t miss this great opportunity!
The Heavyweights brass band is John Pittman on trumpet, Paul Metcalfe on saxophone, RJ Satchithananthan on trombone, Tom Richards on tuba and Lowell Whitty on drums.
Under the Surface | Thursday, June 23, 9:30 PM | Esplanade Terrace
Under The Surface was formed in 2015 and since then the band has enjoyed a great deal of international success. Drummer Joost Lijbaart recognized the group’s potential early on and organized more than 200 concerts in 25 countries on 4 continents: from Africa to South America, Asia, the Middle East and Europe. Inspired by their many travels and the cultures they encountered, the group developed a unique improvisation language that combines jazz, folk, ethnic and electronic music.
The improvisations of Under the Surface are far from abstract and sound as thoughtful compositions; Singer Sanne Rambag's voice rhymes, whispers and sings over the melody lines of guitarist Bram Stadhouders and the subtle percussion of Lijbaart. The atmosphere arises out of silence and reveals the pure communion between the musicians.
The fully improvised concerts of Under the Surface continue to be an experience for both band and audience. This experience can be heard beautifully on the live album Trinity that was released in 2019.
Sanah Kadoura Duality| Friday, June 24, 7:00 PM | Esplanade Terrace
Electrifying Lebanese-Canadian drummer Sanah Kadoura has performed and toured the world with masters of the music industry as well as up and comers. Living in New York City for the last 10 years, Sanah has produced, recorded or shared the stage with the legendary Kirk Lightsey (Dexter Gordon, Sonny Stitt, Chet Baker), Philip Harper (Art Blakey), Ed Cherry (Dizzy Gillespie) Mark Whitfield (Herbie Hancock), Jon Baptiste, Joe Locke, Nicholas Payton, Frank Lacy (The Jazz Messengers), Mike Stern, Pat Bianchi, Joel Frahm, Roy Hargrove, Jeremy Pelt, Johnny O’Neal, Sullivan Fortner, Dayna Stephens, Marquis Hill, Jazzmeia Horn, Ronnie Foster, among many others. Her recent album Hawk Eyes is now available on all platforms.
Joining Sanah will be Andre Wickenheiser on trumpet, Joanna Borromeo on keys, and Adam Pettigrew on bass.
Esteban Herrera Quintet | Friday, June 24, 9:30 PM | Esplanade Terrace
The Esteban Herrera Quintet is a Latin contemporary jazz project with one JUNO nominated album released called The Prophet that presents original compositions from Esteban Herrera. The flavor of this project is a fusion of different influences from the composition to the performance, allowing the musicians to play with total freedom in order to achieve the goal of artistic honesty.
Joining Esteban on piano are Shane Statz on saxophone, Johnny Summers on trumpet, Rob Hutchinson on bass, and Luis Tovar on percussion.
Calgary Latin Orchestra | Saturday, June 25, 7:00 PM | Super T Aviation. Hangar 7. Medicine Hat Airport
The dance party in the Super T Aviation Hanger 7 at the Medicine Hat Airport is one of the most popular events at JazzFest!
And this year we are pleased to present, for the first time at our festival, the Calgary Latin Orchestra.
This group is a music combo created to perform a fusion of all the Latin American folk traditions.
Band leader Esteban Herrera says, “Latin American music has evolved through many years and peculiar circumstances, resulting in a very rich and versatile spectrum of rhythms, melodies and harmonies. Before the conquest of America, there were a great number of cultures that had their unique ways of artistic expression used for politics, rituals, entertainment and communication. After the conquest, a great fusion of cultures from all the continents happened. For Latin America, Spain and Portugal as conquerors, and Africa through slavery, became the major influences to conform what today we know as Latin Music. In the 20th century, the U.S.A. incorporated Latin Music to its culture, catapulting and enriching this gigantic cluster of genres. This is why and how the Calgary Latin Orchestra performs, paying tribute to this history and showing it to the world from Canada.”
Esteban Herrera and his Calgary Latin Orchestra perform a delightful repertoire going from original songs to the traditional songbook encouraging the audience to dance and celebrate. Horns, percussions, rhythm section and vocals bring a complete Latin orchestra experience to the audience, with the best quality and the best musicians.
The magical venue at the airport, paired with this incredible band are adding up to what will be one of the highlights of JazzFest this year!
Bring your lawn chair! (Note: there is no ATM available at this venue. Cash only at the door.
Baritone Madness | Saturday, June 25, 9:30 PM | Esplanade Terrace
Baritone Madness was formed by Pat Belliveau, Keith O’Rourke, and Gareth Bane to bring the magic of the baritone saxophone to audiences across North America.
Pat Belliveau is a Canadian saxophonist who has played with artists such as Herbie Hancock, Harry Connick Jr., The New York Voices and Nikki Yanofsky. He has played on over 50 records and has released two albums as a leader, La Zona Blanca and The Pat Belliveau Quintet Live in Panama.
Keith O’Rourke is a born and raised Albertan. He released his debut album Sketches from the Road in 2017. Keith is the co-leader of the Past Present Quintet and a member of the Prime Time Big Band. He also plays with the Calgary Jazz Orchestra, the Calgary Creative Arts Ensemble and Stage West Calgary.
Since returning to Alberta from New York City in 2011 after taking his Masters in Jazz Performance at Rutgers University, Gareth Bane has continued to push the boundaries of the baritone saxophone. Modern improvisational jazz concepts and the roots of blues, combined with a “take no prisoners” approach to the horn, thus creating a unique and powerful voice on that instrument.
Rounding out the band are Kodi Hutchinson on bass and Tyler Hornby on drums.
Ciara Hager Quartet | Sunday, June 26, 7:00 PM | Esplanade Terrace
The Ciara Hager Quartet is comprised of four Alberta musicians. While originally studying her Bachelor’s degree in classical violin performance at the Eastman School of Music, violinist Ciara Hager became influenced by the culture of the Jazz students and mentors around her and as a result, will be pursuing her Master’s degree in Jazz violin performance at the University of North Texas in the fall of 2022. Hager, as well as guitarist Christian Ferguson, currently reside in Medicine Hat, and began their journey playing music together in 2020. In 2021. the two began playing in bands such as The Haggards, which included members from Ferguson’s jazz funk band Phat Daphne from Medicine Hat. Bassist Sean Croal from Edmonton, an alum of MacEwan University, travels between the cities of Calgary and Edmonton to perform in ensembles and teach. Sean also performs in several ensembles within Alberta including the Don Berner Big Band and MacEwan Big Band. Drummer Harry Faunt, a Calgary local, currently teaches band at Dr. Gordon Higgins School in Calgary and received his Bachelor’s degree in Jazz Performance at Ambrose University, and a Bachelor’s of Education from the U of C.