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The Ottawa Jazz Festival stage at City Hall in 2019. Photo: Greggory Clark/Apt613.

New dates for Jazzfest 2021

By Greggory Clark on May 10, 2021

Jazzfest will collaborate with renowned video designer Jean-Marc Abela (Montreal Symphony Orchestra) and award-winning local sound engineer Ross Murray (Bruce Cockburn, Jane Siberry, Ian Tamblyn, Lynn Miles) to produce a virtual experience for the 2021 Ottawa Jazz Festival, with new dates from August 19 to 22.

If permitted for small audiences, Jazzfest organizers may also produce pop-up concerts “in both common and unexpected venues” around the city. “We are keenly aware that artists, technical and production crew, small businesses and tourism partners rely in part on music festivals for some of their livelihood,” says Executive Director Catherine O’Grady. “To that end, we are determined to help in the fiscal recovery of our friends wherever and however we can.”

“Despite our best efforts to create a live event in our beautiful downtown locations, Ottawa’s Confederation Park and Festival Plaza, we are, for safety’s sake, unable to do so! However, we are still committed to bringing the finest talent on the Canadian music scene to Ottawa albeit virtually.”

The Ottawa Jazz Festival stage at City Hall in 2019. Photo: Greggory Clark/Apt613.

For their 2020 pandemic edition, Jazzfest produced TENACITY, a 12-show series of live and pre-recorded concerts with music chats hosted by Downbeat Magazine critic James Hale. For an extra visual experience, Canadian artists Darryl Lahteenmaa, Spencer Moreland, and Natalie Nehlawi created animations to interact with music in the pre-recorded concert videos.

Since then, Jazzfest produced a fall series of concerts from behind closed doors at Arts Court Theatre, and another six shows for Winter Jazzfest 2021. On the bright side, it’s great to see the Jazzfest organization presenting a higher number of shows in the “off-season” between summer festivals.

Next in the Jazzfest calendar, local tribute band The 33z play Dolly Parton via for Jazzfest’s annual benefit show and fundraising auction this Wednesday, May 12. Kellyee Evans, Rebecca Noëlle, and Julie Corrigan will feature with The 33z regular players Petr Cancura (sax), Ed Lister (trumpet), Alex Moxon (guitar), Michael Herring (bass), Jamie Holmes (drums), and Clayton Connell (keys).

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