More than 350 musicians are converging on Victoria from across the globe for the annual TD Victoria International Jazz Fest. And while the word jazz is in the title, don’t think this festival only has jazz to offer. With more than 80 performances on 13 stages across Victoria, this festival has something for every musical taste, whether it’s world, blues, R&B, soul, roots, groove or jazz that you crave.
Check out Jazzvictoria.ca for complete schedule and lineup or pick up a printed copy at Thrifty Foods.
Here are some of Monday’s Top Picks for June 21-30:
Gabriel Alegria Afro-Peruvian Sextet
Here’s a chance to hear trumpet and flugelhorn virtuoso Gabriel Alegria — one of the most influential figures on the current jazz scene in Peru. This blend of Afro-Peruvian music puts a Latin twist on the African-influenced music of coastal Peru.
Alegria and his band are also giving a free workshop Fri., June 28. 4-5:15pm at Wood Hall.
Friday, June 28. 8:30pm
Hermann’s Jazz Club (753 View)
It’s hard to know what to expect from Red Baraat, but the one thing you can be sure of is that the eight-piece knows how to get the party started. Their live show is a hybrid of brass band music and Bhangra rock with five horns and three percussionists, including their leader Sunny Jain who plays the dhol, an East-Indian marching drum.
Thurs., June 27. 7pm
At the top of the Nova Scotia jazz scene is Halifax’s Gypsophelia, a sextet playing together since 2004. Gypsophelia’s original influence was the gypsy jazz of Django Reinhardt, but they’ve since added elements of tango, klezmer, funk, indie rock and bebop into the mix. Bring your dancing shoes.
Wed., June 26. 9:30pm
David Murray Infinity Quartet featuring Macy Gray
Tenor sax legend David Murray brings his latest collaboration with R&B vocalist Macy Gray, backed up by a roaring band, to this year’s jazz fest to preform an unforgettable program of blues, and soul-drenched covers by the likes of Kanye West, Metallica, and Arcade Fire. The incomparable Georgia Murray (no relation) opens the show.
Wed., June 26. 7:30pm
The iconic jazz pianist who came to fame with Miles Davis’s Second Great Quartet, has created a cross-over career with his embrace of funk, soul, rock and techo-pop. Hancock has won 14 Grammys and an Academy Award (for his score of Round Midnight).
Sat., June 29. 7:30pm
Supremely talented soul singer Bettye LaVette is back from a performing hiatus and is stronger than ever. After touring with the likes of James Brown and Otis Redding as a youngster, LaVette fell into obscurity, and made a comeback with 2005’s I’ve Got my Own Hell to Raise. This is LaVette’s Victoria debut.
Fri., June 21. 7:30pm
She made her jazz fest debut in 2007 and has since launched her career into orbit. In 2011, Spalding beat out Justin Bieber to win the Grammy for Best New Artist and in 2013, she snagged Best Jazz Vocal Album. Known for her instrumental, compositional and vocal skills (she sings in three languages), Spalding is one not to miss at this year’s fest.
Sat., June 22. 7:30pm
Get ready to “clapa your hands and stompa your feet” with Serena Ryder. The toronto-born songwriter with the three-octave voice and three Juno wins has moved beyond her start as a folk artist and has carved a niche in the roots, rock and country genres.
Tues., June 25. 7:30pm
It’s been a few years since we heard Nikki Yanofsky belt out the ear-worm of an anthem for the 2010 Winter Olympics, but ask any Canadian and they can probably sing you a line or two. The 19-year-old prodigal jazz vocalist has also caught the ear of Quincy Jones and he’s presenting her at the Royal Theatre Fri., June 28. 7:30pm