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Souljazz Orchestra to test drive new material at Glowfair

By Charlie Crabb on June 18, 2014


Ottawa’s Souljazz Orchestra is leading a strong set of local acts heading into Glowfair, the Bank Street BIA’s new street festival, this Friday.

Self-described as “Canada’s hardest-working combo”, The Souljazz Orchestra is hoping the neon, glow-in-the-dark festival will serve as a tune up ahead of their big euro tour launching next week.

“It’s been awhile since we’ve played a proper show in Ottawa,” says lead singer Pierre Chrétien. “It will be a good tune up before we leave for Europe for our big summer tour the same week. We’ll get to test drive a lot of our new stuff.”

The band released its third LP, Inner Fire, this year.  Chrétien crafted most of the tunes, saying he made a conscious effort to reflect the group’s evolution over the last twelve years.

“I really wanted it to reflect the last twelve years with jazz, tropical and Afro vibes in the last three albums,” he says.

To keep things fresh, a few group members learned how to play new instruments. Chrétien learned how to play the harp and another picked up the bass clarinet for the first time. The new additions add a hint of an orchestral feel, but the group’s bread and butter Afro, Latin and Caribbean influences still remain intact.

While touring through Slovenia, Austria, Belgium and other Europeon destination during its summer tour, the group will also be feverishly working on its new LP, which they hope to release by the Fall of 2015, says Chrétien.

Photos by Charlie Crabb.

Photos by Charlie Crabb.


Glowfair is featuring other local artists, including 2React, Blakdenim, Noah and Kappri. Chrétien is excited about the lineup and the new festival, which he describes as something Ottawa needs.

“It’s cool. It’s a different kind of vibe,” he says. “I mean, you have Jazzfest and Bluefest that have been around forever. This has more of a youthful urban vibe, something Ottawa has never really seen before. It’s good.”

The Souljazz Orchestra got together in an Ottawa basement to perform “One Life to Live” from their latest studio album, Inner Fire:


The Souljazz Orchestra will perform on Friday June 20 at 9 pm on the Kronnenberg Stage found in Snider Plaza on Bank Street. For Glowfair’s complete schedule, click here.