TD Ottawa Jazz Festival announces incredible Main Stage lineup!

[Press Release]

The TD Ottawa Jazz Festival reaffirms its place as the event for discerning music fans in the Capital for another year following the announcement of headliners Aretha Franklin, Willie Nelson, Dr. John, David Byrne and St. Vincent, and Macy Gray and David Murray Big Band, as well as jazz heavyweights Chucho Valdés, Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, Wayne Shorter Quartet and many more. The 33rd edition of the longest standing music festival in the region runs June 20-July 1.

Early-Bird Passes for the 11-day Festival are now on sale for $165 until March 4, when the price will increase to $185.

The Chucho Valdés Quintet (June 25), David Sanborn Bob James and Steve Gaad (June 24), and Jason Moran’s Fats Waller Dance Party (June 28) join other previously-announced Main Stage jazz artists on the bill: Jazz at Lincoln Center with Wynton Marsalis (June 29), and The Bad Plus (June 28). The Wayne Shorter Quartet has also been announced, performing at the brand-new indoor Tartan Homes Series housed in Dominion-Chalmers United Church on June 30.

The Festival will also celebrate the life of late Programming Manager Jacques Emond, and his contribution to jazz in Ottawa. The Festival has dedicated June 30 in Confederation Park to Jacques with special tribute concerts from the Rob Frayne Dream Band, Los Gringos and one of Jacques’ all-time favourite ensembles the Vic Vogel Big Band from Montreal. Jacques was the Festival’s first Programming Manager and was at the helm for nearly 30 years. Mr. Emond died on Jan. 7, 2013.

Known around the world by her first name, and as the undisputed reigning “Queen of Soul,” Aretha Franklin is peerless. She is one of the most influential and important voices in American music, with a repertoire that spans jazz, pop, soul, blues and gospel. Aretha Franklin performs June 26.

American music icon Willie Nelson performs on the Main Stage on June 21. The no-excuses Texan is the creative force behind historic recordings like “Crazy,” “Hello Walls,” “Red Headed Stranger” and “Stardust.” Nelson will be joined in Ottawa by his Family band featuring his sister Bobbie Lee Nelson (piano), Robert Paul English (drums), Billy Gene English (drums), Michael “Mickey” Raphael (harmonicas), and Kevin Wilbur Smith (bass).

Dr. John, the newly minted 6-time Grammy award winner after taking home the prize for best blues album of 2012 for his latest offering Locked down, brings his brand of New Orleans SoCo-soaked funk and blues to the Main Stage on opening night of the 2013 Festival. Dr. John’s latest album, produced by Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys, pays tribute to his past, particularly to his ground breaking early albums like Gris-Gris and Babylon, while maintaining a solidly contemporary feel.

David Byrne of Talking Heads fame and the crowned queen of art rock Saint Vincent teamed up in 2012 to produce one of the most inventive recordings of the year, Love This Giant. The soaring brass-backed recording wowed critics, while their live show consistently left audiences awestruck. Their previous touring schedule bypassed Ottawa but the Festival went to great lengths to ensure that its audience did not miss the expiry date for this incredibly unique collaboration. Byrne and St. Vincent perform June 23.

In yet another intriguing collaboration, Macy Gray and David Murray Big Band: Stompin’ and Singin’ the blues, interweaves Gray’s unique vocals with the 15-piece jazz Big Band led by renowned saxophonist David Murray creating a provocative tour de force, bridging blues, pop, soul and jazz. The talent-stacked band assembled by Murray roars through a blues-and-soul-drenched set of covers, complementing Gray’s croaky whisper beautifully. They take the Main Stage June 22.

The full 2013 summer lineup including 20+ concerts in the Improv Invitational Series, seven-plus in the Studio Series, 11+ shows in the After Dark Series, and a few more surprises, will be unveiled on April 10, 2013.