Canada Day in the capital typically means an explosion of people all over Parliament and Major’s Hill—a daunting crowd for the most enthusiastic of party-goers, and almost unbearable for those uncomfortable with the idea of an entire city packed into such a small area. Still, there’s no need to miss out on the celebrations just because narry a patch of grass can be seen after 12 in front of Parliament. The Ottawa JazzFest is still going on in Confederation Park on Sunday, providing free(!) entertainment just a couple of blocks away from the city’s party—close enough to feel apart of it, and far enough away to cling to sanity.
Starting at the same time as the first show on the Hill (noon), Kandle, a twenty-one-year-old from Victoria, will be taking the stage in Confederation Park to perform some songs off her debut EP. Her stunning and soothing voice contrasts nicely with the edgy nature of her band, and while this is her first solo album, it’s not her first band or tour.
Hooded Fang have been growing their audience over the past couple of years, and gaining recognition internationally, including being signed by a UK indie music imprint. The rock group from Toronto will be livening things up at 1pm.
JazzFest isn’t just about bringing fantastic musicians to Ottawa for audience entertainment. During the week leading up to Canada Day, selected youths from across Canada have been participating in the TD Jazz Youth Summit—attending workshops run by special guests and putting together a show, which they will perform at 2pm.
At 3pm, the divisive Tequila Mockingbird Orchestra takes the stage with their multi-genre roots band. Often sparking debates about what kind of music they play, TMO fuses together about as many styles as they can, and have been described as a Gypsy-Roots-Folk-Grass band. Decide for yourself, and get a taste of their new album coming out in October.
The Central Band of the Canadian Forces, which is based in Ottawa, will perform at 4pm. While mostly comprised of members from the Air Force, the band represents all elements of the Canadian military. Lately they’ve also been garnering themselves an international reputation.
Emma-Lee has been getting a lot of praise for her vocal development on her second album, Backseat Heroine. Working with Luke Doucet among others for her new album, she has nailed a country/folk rock sound and a powerful vocal presence. She performs at 5pm.
And at 6pm, Lost Fingers, a jazz trio from Québec City takes the stage with their own mix of genre—all in the name of fun. Bringing together 80’s retro and modern hip hop, the group is interesting, catchy, and inventive.
And once Lost Fingers is done, it’s time to mark your territory and gaze upwards for the fireworks!