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22. Jun. 2017

Oh Canada: Canadian Artists We Love at the Festival

Here's our run down of some of our favourite Canadians to hit the stages at the TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival! 

Coastal Jazz is very proud to be a Canadian organization, and in light of Canada's 150th coming up on July 1, we wanted to draw some special attention to our favourite Canucks appearing at this year's Jazz Festival!

We are proud to present some local Vancouver favourites this summer, as well as Canadians from across the land. We think that there is no better place than a festival to draw attention to some of the best in the country, so here's to being Canadian and having incredible talent from the Pacific to the Atlantic to show off! 

1. Talking Pictures (Vancouver, BC)

Friday June 23, Midnight at The Ironworks, $21

'Treading the blurry line between new music and jazz, Talking Pictures excels in juxtaposing sonic textures." - Ottawa Citizen

Formed in 1993 by guitarist/composer Ron Samworth, the wide-ranging sonic palette and empathic interplay of Talking Pictures has had a massive influence on Vancouver’s creative music community. A key cultural ambassador through collaborations with the likes of Robin Holcomb and Wayne Horvitz and extensive touring throughout Canada and Europe, the group now performs infrequently for special projects like this collaboration with esteemed friend and colleague, German pianist Achim Kaufmann (Michael Moore, Han Bennink). With Peggy Lee cello, Bill Clark trumpet/EWI, and Dylan van der Schyff drums/percussion.

Songlines Recording Artist-Celebrating 25 years!

2. Nomadic Massive (Montreal, Quebec)

Saturday June 24, 9pm at Performance Works $30

Fiery and festive, “this is hip-hop at its finest—a giddy, funky pass-the-mic throwdown, with smiles all around.”—Montreal Gazette

Music without borders! Reflecting Canada’s vibrant cultural diversity, the nine-member Montreal collective Nomadic Massive combines groove-infused live instrumentation, omnivorous cross-genre sampling, and next-level poetics… in five languages! With their positive message, off the hook lyrical flow, and wildly diverse world/urban music hybrid “Nomadic Massive spare no sonic, stylistic, or linguistic ingredient in their uncanny quest to unite the Americas, and the result of this ambitious experiment will surely have your head spinning, when you're not busy back spinning” (Exclaim! Magazine). 

3. Thus Owls (Montreal, Quebec)

Saturday June 24, midnight at The Ironworks $21

Blending chamber pop with “swirling, forceful and textured modern rock” (Wall Street Journal), Montreal’s ever-morphing, Polaris Prize-nominated Thus Owls is built around the core of Swedish/Canadian couple Erika and Simon Angell. But it’s in the shifting scenery that Thus Owls find their “mystical and enchanting” (Huffington Post) sound: the pair has worked with Liam O’Neill (Suuns), Stefan Schneider (Bell Orchestre) and Icelandic neoclassicist Daniel Bjarnason (Sigur Rós, Efterklang). A Patrick Watson collaborator, Simon’s charismatic guitar meets the urgency of Erika’s voice to stretch their already unusual indie-pop/avant-jazz compositions into new and surprising shapes.

With Joshua Zubot violin, Samuel Joly drums.

4. Nick Fraser Trio with Tony Malaby and Kris Davis (Toronto, On)

Sunday June 25, 9:30pm at The Ironworks. $30

“If one of the major compositional decisions for an improviser is choosing your partners, then Canadian drummer Nick Fraser shows himself to be a master of the form.”—New York City Jazz Record

The JUNO Award-winning Torontonian’s compositions and group improvisations are intense journeys into the unknown, “moving synchronously from delicate opening figures through a coordinated tumult of sound” (Wholenote). New York tenor saxophonist Tony Malaby (Mark Helias, Fred Hersch) is “one of the most distinctive artists of his time" (AllAboutJazz), while Canadian-born, New York-based pianist Kris Davis’s resolutely individual artistry offers “uncommon creative adventure” (JazzTimes). 

Thanks to Canada Council for the Arts

5. Ingrid and Christine Jensen with Ben Monder: Infinitude (Nanaimo, BC)

Monday June 26, 9pm at Performance Works, $35

Led by Canadian jazz giants Ingrid Jensen trumpet/effects and Christine Jensen saxophone, Infinitude has the “rare distinction of being able to simultaneously combine tranquility with rhythmic vibrancy, coalescing in a near hypnotic fusion of tone and colour. A rare delight” (AllAboutJazz). Few talents could reckon with the concept of boundless possibility at the centre of their music, but in a quintet setting featuring renowned guitarist Ben Monder (Paul Motian, Theo Bleckmann), and the foundational artistry of Fraser Hollins bass and Jon Wikan drums, the Jensens find a captivating conversational rapport full of texture, daring and grace. 

6. Land of Talk  (Montreal, Quebec)

Monday June 26, 9pm at The Imperial

Land Of Talk released its debut album in 2008 with the Justin Vernon (Bon Iver)-produced Some are Lakes. Pitchfork called it “steely, tightly-coiled guitar music you can see your breath in.” The New York Times raved “intense yet rarely harsh,” while Rolling Stone stated, “Elizabeth Powell’s sultry howl is like a stiff drink: icy, not too sweet and capable of knocking you on your ass.” The band’s follow-up release Cloak and Cipher in 2010 snagged 8 out of 10 from SPIN. Alternative Press called it “lovely and bewitching, Cloak and Cipher unfolds like an elegantly written novel.” LOT is currently touring in support of the latest release, Life After Youth.

7. Gypsophilia (Halifax, NS)

Friday June 30, 9pm, Performance Works, $25

“Incredible. If you ever see their name you must go and see them – it’s a visual delight as well.”— BBC Radio 2

By turns raucous and sweet, nostalgic and modern, genre-bending Halifax sextet Gypsophilia’s frenzied swing and rousing sing-alongs are chock-full of humour, showmanship, and great chops! Born of a shared love of Django Reinhardt, the four time East Coast Music Award winners are what Exclaim! calls “the perfect mix of cerebral and primal.” Featuring the triple-guitar threat of Alec Frith, Nick Wilkinson, and Ross Burns; Matt Myer trumpet/ keyboards; Adam Fine bass; and Gina Burgess violin. 

Thanks to Canada Council for the Arts.

8. Gordon Grdina Septet feat. Jon Irabagon (Vancouver, BC)

Friday June 30, midnight at The Ironworks, $21

With tenor saxophonist Jon Irabagon (Dave Douglas, Mary Halvorson) as catalyst guitarist/oud player Gordon Grdina fuses two of his stellar—and very distinct—small groups, The Gordon Grdina Trio and East Van Strings, to channel a bold, large-scale composition that features each incredible musician’s voice while also acting as a springboard for group improvisation. The new work—Resist—celebrates all who combat fear and hatred through their art, activism, and everyday conversations. Featuring Kenton Loewen drums, Tommy Babin bass, Peggy Lee cello, Eyvind Kang (Bill Frisell) viola, and Jesse Zubot (Tanya Tagaq) violin, and DownBeat Rising Star Jon Irabagon on saxophones.

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