Tag Archives: confederation park

176. Lightning: Ottawa Jazz Festival 2013 with David Byrne & St. Vincent and Wynton Marsalis and Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, June 23 & 29

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My wristband for the 2013 Ottawa Jazz Festival and Macaulay Culkin sporting an appropriate facial gesture. (All photos and scans by VA.)

176. Lightning: Ottawa Jazz Festival 2013 with David Byrne & St. Vincent, Sunday June 23 / Wynton Marsalis and Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Saturday June 29, Confederation Park, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, $165.00 for a (largely wasted) Festival Pass

Another year, another Ottawa Jazz Festival: more great music intersecting with frustrations.  In other words, business as usual.

This year’s J Fest appeared as a terrific proposition with a stellar line-up anchored by its biggest star, Ms. Aretha Franklin, along with the currently touring collaboration between ex-Talking Head David Byrne and the fabaroony St. Vincent aka Annie Clark.  Sweetness!  Not only that but Willie Nelson, The Bad Plus, Wynton Marsalis and Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Mavis Staples, and a few other options. Continue reading

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172. Locked Inside: Janelle Monáe with Roman GianArthur and the David Mott Quintet, June 23, 2012

 Janelle Monae June 2012 Ottawa Ticket variousartists Locked inside, in the great outdoors.

172. Locked Inside: Janelle Monáe with Roman GianArthur and the David Mott Quintet, Ottawa Jazz Festival, Confederation Park, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, Saturday June 23, 2012, $49.

It was the perfect summer afternoon and evening for sitting outside and taking in live music. There was substantial pre-show buzz in Ottawa for this performance, resulting in a large turn out for this night of tunes capped off by an electrifying set from genre-hopping, R&B-based, tuxedo-clad headliner Janelle Monáe and her dynamite backing band of 12 musicians plus + 1 MC. As an artist who topped my current “New Act I Most Want to See Live” wish list, she exceeded all my expectations for what I hope will merely be the first time I’ll be seeing her perform.

Sounds splendid, doesn’t it? Such a shame, then, that the Ottawa Jazz Fest went out of its way to make this event as teeth-gnashing as possible. Continue reading

163. Splendor in the Grass: Pink Martini, June 26, 2011

Ottawa Jazz Festival 2011

Pink Martini at the 2011 Ottawa Jazz Festival  

After several rainy days, it was splendor in the grass — at last —  for the 2011 Ottawa Jazz Festival with Oregon’s Pink Martini. (Photo of the wristband passes by VA; the image is from the festival program booklet)  

163. Splendor in the Grass: Pink Martini with Mike Essoudry’s Mash Potato Mashers Parade, Confederation Park, Ottawa Jazz Festival, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, Sunday June 26, 2011, $40.

 After three utterly crappadoodles days for the Ottawa Jazz Festival, punctuated by Robert Plant, Elvis Costello, and k.d. lang sneaking in sets amid a bevy of stop-start wet stuff, the Sunday marked a return to hot yet humidity-free weather with an occasional cool breeze, making it a perfect summer day for an outdoor show. And what better way to spend it than chilling out with Portland, Oregon’s “little orchestra,” Pink Martini.

Continue reading

162. Sugar Buzz: k.d. lang and the Siss Boom Bang, June 25, 2011

Jazzfest Bracelests 2011

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Several days of rain finally come to a full stop for k.d. lang and the Siss Boom Bang at the 2011 Ottawa Jazz Festival (Photo of the wristband passes by VA; the image is from the festival program booklet).

It’s Day Three of the 2011 Ottawa Jazz Festival, with Day One’s headlining set by Robert Plant ending in a downpour and Elvis Costello’s miraculously dry outing on Day Two bracketed by relentless rain. Throughout the Saturday prior to k.d. lang and the Siss Boom Bang’s arrival on stage, we anxiously monitored a revolving Lazy Susan of meteorological possibilities: sunshine, uneasy darkness, dry warmth, moments of rain, clearing, and cloudiness. Conditions were going to be a crap shoot.

Not that we were going to miss k.d. Not a chance. Continue reading

161. The Other Side of Summer: Elvis Costello & the Imposters, June 24, 2011

Ottawa Jazz Festival Bracelets 2011

Elvis Costello Ottawa Jazz Festival 2011  

A relentless night-and-day-long downpour preceded the second evening of the 2011 Ottawa Jazz Festival starring Elvis Costello & the Imposters (Photo of the wristband passes by VA; the image is from the festival program booklet).  

161. The Other Side of Summer: Elvis Costello & the Imposters, Confederation Park, Ottawa Jazz Festival, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, Friday June 24, 2011, $40.

When I last checked in with you, dear readers, I was leaving Robert Plant’s opening night show of the 2011 Ottawa Jazz Festival in a downpour — one that railed on during the night, continuing in blistering successions throughout the entirety of Friday. Lightning flashed across coal black skies as sheets of rain accumulated in Arc-appropriate units of relentless precipitation, accessorized by thunder and chaperoned by a wind forceful enough to sweep one right off course.

Hey kids, who wants to go see an outdoor rock concert?! Continue reading

160. The Rain Song: Robert Plant & the Band of Joy, June 23, 2011

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2011’s Ottawa Jazz Festival, sporting its oft un-jazzy high profile headliners, is kicked off under dark skies with Robert Plant to a full house in Confederation Park. (Photo of the wristband passes by VA; the image is from the festival booklet).

160. The Rain Song: Robert Plant & the Band of Joy with Bahamas, Ottawa Jazz Festival, Confederation Park, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, Thursday June 23, 2011, $40.

“Upon us all a little rain must fall” 

… from “The Rain Song” by Led Zeppelin from Houses of the Holy (1973)

1973 LZ Halifax

VariousArtists, aged 10 in 1973, holding up my newly purchased copy of Led Zeppelin’s then-latest release, Houses of the Holy, in a Halifax hotel room while on an east coast vacation with my family. (Photo by VA Snr.)

After a shaky start, spring sprung around these parts in 2011 with a welcome excess of gorgeous warmth and sunshine. Late May through spring’s conclusion was pure meteorological sweetness. And so it was all the more frustrating when this year’s highly anticipated Ottawa Jazz Festival began amid the temperature suddenly dipping and the skies turning from sunny to dark and grumpy for several days of wet sogginess. Jesus Murphy! Continue reading