This year will mark the 11th year of the Jazz Sudbury Festival, an event that sets the stage for the industry’s best in jazz, soul, blues and world genres.
Bringing worldly and refined sounds to Sudbury’s unique venues, the Jazz Sudbury Festival runs Sept. 4 to 8.
Headliners this year include Moonchild, Micah Barnes and Jackie Richardson, Robi Botos, Paul Marinaro Trio, Rebecca Noel, Sudbury Jazz Orchestra, Carol Welsman and Alison Young.
This year’s festival will host multiple events at eight downtown venues with main-stage events at the Grace Hartman Amphitheatre in Bell Park.
Main-stage events will be held September 6-7 and other intimate performances will be taking place throughout the weekend. The festival offers a variety of events including the unique Jazz Walk series on Sept. 7, club nights Sept. 4 to 7, Jazz Café Masterclass and Jazz on the Beach on Sept. 8.
The Jazz Walk will resemble New Orleans Bourbon Street, with with free public access to family activities, buskers, circus arts, local artisans, and food vendors. Similar to previous years, ticketed shows will be held at three indoor venues, La Fromagerie, Red Fang Tavern and the Sudbury Theatre Centre.
Sept. 6 lineup:
Sudbury Jazz Orchestra
The Sudbury Jazz Orchestra was created in 2007 and co-directed by Peter Scherzinger and Allan J. Walsh. The group is comprised of local jazz artists, music teachers, and their students. The first performance was at Laurentian University and featured trombonist and composer Christian Overton. The Sudbury Jazz Orchestra performed at the first-ever Jazz Sudbury Festival in 2009. After 10 years the 20-piece orchestra has reformed and recently performed in April to celebrate International Jazz Month. The orchestra is conducted by well-known musician and teacher Dick Van Raadshooven and includes many from the inaugural band.
Vocalist Paul Marinaro, dubbed as having “one of the most beautiful vocal instruments in the business today” by Howard Reich of the Chicago Tribune, is a modern classic. With Chicago as his home base, Paul has become one of the most in-demand and respected male vocalists and has “taken his place among the top five male jazz singers active today.” (Scott Yanow, LA Jazz Scene). Paul demonstrates a mastery of and an infectious passion for the material he chooses, allowing him to successfully command audiences with his fresh interpretations. Paul is also a featured vocalist with The Chicago Jazz Orchestra, appearing in many festivals and concerts. When he is not performing live, he will be busy in the studio recording his next album.
Born and raised in Ottawa, saxophonist and composer Alison Young discovered jazz at an early age, gravitating towards the exuberance and melodicism of Sonny Rollins and Cannonball Adderley, who continue to influence her to this day. As well as being featured in the National Youth Jazz Ensemble at the Ottawa Jazz Festival in 2001 and 2002, she began playing professionally as a teenager, developing an affinity for Soul and R&B as well as Jazz genres. Since moving to Toronto in the early 2000s to study music at the University of Toronto, Alison has been an active presence on the jazz scene, performing regularly in venues such as The Rex, The Jazz Bistro and The Reservoir Lounge, among others, with a variety of projects.
Micah Barnes & Jackie Richardson
Micah Barnes cut his teeth in the cabarets and jazz clubs of Toronto while still a teenager. Micah became a well-loved singer songwriter on the Queen Street scene before joining The Nylons and touring the world. Recording with the A Capella Pop act brought Micah into the global music scene and lande him in Venice Beach, California where he launched a solo career touring the U.S. which led to his #1 international club hit "Welcome to My Head" and coverage in Rolling Stone Magazine as "an Indie artist to watch”. Micah is currently recording a new album which will transport the listener back to the days of legendary Vegas showrooms when the world’s top entertainers worked the strip. Micah is also a highly respected vocal coach who has coached on CBC TV’s “How to Solve a Problem like Maria”.
Jackie Richardson was born near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S., but made her home in Toronto from a very young age. She grew up in Richmond Hill, Ontario. At the age of 16, she began performing professionally for the first time with ‘The Tiaras’ Quartet, later performing frequently at Canadian Armed Forces bases across Canada, throughout the South Pacific, and the Far East. She has since become one of Canada’s most highly regarded stars of gospel, jazz, and blues. She is also well known for her off stage, screen, and studio work. Jackie possesses a powerful and supple voice that is a perfect match for her vibrant stage presence. The awards and nominations for Jackie’s four-decade-long body of work include JUNOs, Geminis, Jessie and Bessie’s, Maple Blues and a Canadian Black Achievement Award for the Arts.
Alternative R&B band Moonchild is known for their spaced-out, Soulquarians-inspired grooves and the wispy, at-ease vocals of Amber Navran (also a saxophonist and flutist) with fellow multi-instrumentalists Max Bryk (keyboards, saxophone, and clarinet) and Andris Mattson (keyboards, trumpet, synth bass).
Moonchild is a Los Angeles-based trio that met at the University of Southern California and debuted the year of their formation with the self-released Be Free (2012). They continued to refine their sound with Please Rewind (2015) and Voyageur (2017), the latter of which added harp and other stringed instrumentation to their blissed-out compositions. The discography has garnered them accolades such as Jazz FM's Soul Act of the Year 2018 and an NPR Music feature listing their Voyageur album in the "Five R&B Albums You Slept On In 2017".
Sept. 7 lineup:
The Ian McGimpsey Quartet
Jazz Sudbury’s Emerging Artist Showcase winners, The Ian McGimpsey Quartet is a collaboration of some of the most swinging and energetic players in Toronto's young, up and coming generation of jazz musicians, and consists of Ian McGimpsey, Ben Isenstein, Thomas Hainbuch, and Evan Ng. Collectively; the members cite hard bop and post-bop influences from the 50's through today. With four unique musical voices, the group tackles quintessential standards, bluesy grooves, and inspired originals with an unmistakably hard-hitting attitude.
Rebecca Noelle has been blessed with a searing three octave vocal range. But it’s her natural affinity for soul that has set this stunning singer apart. With a velvety voice that is simply unforgettable, Noelle brings to mind some of the artists of whom she has been influenced by over the years – Etta James, Jamiroquai and K.D. Lang. After making waves as the 1st runner-up on TVA's La Voix (The Voice: Canada), Rebecca was invited by The Jacksons to make a guest appearance at their sold-out Canadian date in Montreal. Now, backed by her 10-piece ensemble, Rebecca brings you on an honest lyrical journey, infectious bass lines, sizzling brass, and flawless harmonies that will conjure up memories of Motown, while the subject matter reflects an honesty that nurtures the connection between audience
Robi Botos has been hailed as one of the most diverse multi-instrumentalists of this generation. From the hard-bop style of Bill Evans and Herbie Hancock, to the swing of Oscar Peterson and the heartfelt melodic expression of Mulgrew Miller and Cedar Walton, Robi has managed to master the technique of his idols, all while showcasing his musical expressions in a voice that is purely his own. Robi is joined by some familiar faces, including long-time collaborators Mike Downes on bass and Larnell Lewis (of Snarky Puppy) on drums, as well as Seamus Blake on saxophone. His most recent album “Old Soul” (2019 Juno-award winner for Jazz Album of the Year in the solo category) pays tribute to his homeland in Hungary as he takes you down memory lane with visions of his childhood neighbourhood and through some of his favourite spots. This record makes you feel like you have a personal connection with one of the most diverse and eclectic artists of our time.
Carol Welsman, a six-time Juno-award Nominee, is an internationally acclaimed jazz vocalist and pianist whose expressive vocal styling and dynamic stage presence have captivated audiences around the world. Carol is a “Distinguished Alumnus” of Berklee College of Music in Boston and in 2010, Carol’s Peggy Lee Tribute CD was voted Top 5 Album of the Year (all genres) in USA Today. She is fluent in English, French, Italian and Spanish, and she sings in all of these languages as well as Portuguese. In support of the release of her latest album For You, Carol is currently touring as a duo (with guitar) or trio (guitar and bass) to complement the album music throughout Canada and the U.S.
Jazzwalk Series (Sept. 7) lineup:
Nickel City Dixie Stompers
Join the parade as The Nickel City Dixie Stompers lead you joyously on our annual Jazz Walk from club to club in the downtown. You can be part of the Second Line in old New Orleans fashion as the stompers play the upbeat Southern music that has captured much of North America. With a traditional lineup of trumpet, clarinet, trombone, banjo, sousaphone and drums the upbeat music of this ensemble will get you on your feet and dancing. From the classic St. Louis Blues to the ever popular Darktown Strutter's Ball you'll feel like you're in the French Quarter sippin' Bourbon or maybe a Sazerac. The ensemble includes leader Allan Walsh with Richard Perras, Blair McNally, Jeff Stewart, Marc Taillefer, and James Dorland.
Heavyweights Brass Band
The Heavyweights Brass Band has built a reputation as Canada’s reigning champions of feel-good horn music. Over the last decade they have toured extensively and shared the stage with Trombone Shorty, The Roots, Galactic, and The Soul Rebels, among many others. Their unique style never fails to move any audience, and has earned them a loyal following from fans across all genres.
The Shuffle Demons are a high-energy Canadian band that blends virtuosic jazz and funk playing with eye-catching costumes and over the top stage antics to produce an incredible show. A hit at festivals all over the world, the Shuffle Demons are a crowd pleasing, full-on musical group that backs up wild stage antics with phenomenal playing by some of Canada's most talented musicians.
Early bird tickets are available until June 30. Early bird weekend passes are $70. Tickets are also available online at jazzsudbury.com, and at La Fromagerie, A&J Home Hardware and Jett Landry Music. Beginning July 1, passes will be priced at $90 and will be available at additional ticket outlets.
For more information visit jazzsudbury.com.