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Sights & Sounds

Vintage Trouble as shot by former BSOMA student Rohit Sexena last year.

BSOMA teaches photographers the tools of the trade

Bluesfest School of Art and Music has been making strides lately when it comes to providing workshops on teachable skills for the community. In the past, they’ve worked together with artists, bands and festivals to put on seminars that cover everything from releasing an album to acquiring sponsorship. Their most recent workshop is festival-focused with […]

Kat Edmonson performs at Ottawa Jazzfest on June 24, 2015. All photos by Marina Irick.

Jazzfest: Edmonson dazzles the audience

The stage felt like a cozy living room — five red roses in a glass vase, a few decorative lamps, a guitar, a bass, and a shiny blue drum kit – and set the mood when Texas-born singer Kat Edmonson took the Ottawa Jazzfest’s Marion Dewar stage at City Hall on Wednesday night. Her band […]

Huey Lewis and the News performing at Jazzfest. All photos by Terry Steeves.

Jazzfest: Huey Lewis and the News take Ottawa back in time

Thirty-seven years ago, two San Francisco Bay area rival bands joined forces, and blended their influences of big band jazz with 50’s rock ‘n roll and doo-wop. The result was Huey Lewis and the News, who would go on to carve their definitive sound into 1980’s pop culture, and into our hearts. Wednesday night’s show […]

Photo by Mat Dunlap. All images from B.A. Johnston's website.

Polaris Prize Nominees: B.A. Johnston at Irene’s on Friday

This piece is part of a mini-series covering some of the artists nominated for the Polaris Prize, who are playing shows in Ottawa. Hamilton’s B.A. Johnston, the tenaciously-touring troubadour has become a cornerstone of the Canadian music scene in that when he tours this vast nation, he really covers all of it. His live shows […]

Photo courtesy of Murder Murder.

“Moonshine, and train songs, gunfights and gospel tunes”

Gloria Song has been performing for over a decade, most recently as a member in Scary Bear Soundtrack, who are performing alongside Murder Murder on June 25, 2015. Hailing from Sudbury, Ontario, Murder Murder guarantees “all murder ballads, all the time.” They aren’t exaggerating: that’s exactly what their music is. Self-described as a “bloodgrass band” […]

War performs on the Main Stage in Confederation Park at Jazzfest 2015. All photos by Terry Steeves.

Jazzfest: Low-ridin’ mania with War on the main stage

It’s funk, it’s jazz, it’s rhythm and blues… blended with lots of Latin grooves and elements of pop, rock, and reggae. The band eventually to be known as War was formed in 1969 and became a collective of 7 musicians. The band’s members came from diverse ethnic backgrounds and would each add their own musical […]

Photos taken at Rockfest, courtesy of Tobi Cohen.

Manic Montebello music festival still a rockin’ good time after 10 years

A decade on, Amnesia Rockfest remains a manic mix of music, moshing, misfits and mayhem. Although this year’s line-up wasn’t my particular favourite, it’s the festival’s unique, anything-goes vibe that’s kept me coming back for the last five years. It’s also what has most certainly catapulted the once-tiny, rural Quebec festival onto the must-see international circuit. Let’s just […]

Chris Botti at the Ottawa Jazz Festival, photo by the author.

Jazzfest: Chris Botti review

Chris Botti and his line-up of world-class musicians and special guests completely seduced the crowd on Sunday night’s Main Stage performance in the gorgeous setting of Confederation Park. Botti displayed his mastery of utilizing the trumpet as a tool to add unique shapes to multiple genres of music. His amazing skills of playing and adaptation […]

Victor Nesrallah at the TD Ottawa Jazz Festival. All photos by Terry Steeves.

Jazzfest: Victor Nesrallah review

It didn’t take long for a mass of people to gather around the Rideau Centre stage to see Ottawa’s long-time performer, Victor Nesrallah and his band on Saturday afternoon. He was joined by an accomplished trio of Craig Wallace (double bass), Mike Bellavy (drums), and Keith Snider (violin), where they played an hour long set […]

Photo courtesy of Groenland

Jazzfest: Groenland

Five years ago in Montreal, Sabrina Halde and Jean-Vivier Lévesque started a project that would soon become Groenland. Halde describes the six-person group including her, Lévesque, Gabrielle Girard-Charest, Ariane Gruet-Pelchat, Simon Gosselin and Jonathan Charette, as an indie pop orchestra. “It was my first original project and I kind of wanted it to be big,” […]

Photo of The Cossette Combo courtesy of the Ottawa Jazz Festival

Jazzfest: Perhaps the banjo is the coolest instrument

I am a sucker for people who coin cool words.  Whether it’s comedian Stephen Colbert’s “truthiness“, or the brilliant “plutoed,” I appreciate the creation of a new moniker. So I had to smile when I came across “Djangobilly”, which is how the members of the Cossette Combo (aka the Sick Sick Sicks) describe their irresistible […]