Charles Gordon, YourOttawaRegion.com
Summer is the right time for a look at the good, the bad and, yes, the ugly in the Canadian arts.
First the good: Last week, during the Ottawa International Jazz Festival, a band of young musicians rehearsed in the theatre of Library and Archives Canada, as part of the TD Jazz Youth Summit. The 17 players, high school, university and college students, were brought together from across the country. Later, they would present two concerts on the festival’s main stage.
Three seasoned pros, all Canadians, worked with them as they struggled to learn a difficult composition, Transit, by Darcy James Argue. The band’s musical director, Jim Lewis, a Toronto trumpeter, composer and teacher, welcomed Argue, who is originally from Vancouver but now leads a New York-based band. One of his trumpet players, Ingrid Jensen, who is also originally from British Columbia, also pitched in, as well as playing fiery trumpet solos.
The guidance was in part technical but also general – it was about breathing, it was about not playing timidly, it was about projecting authority and it was enjoyed by both sides. “I’m very appreciative of you guys playing my music,” Argue told them.
By the end of the 90-minute rehearsal, the piece was sounding almost as professional as it would sound later that night, when Argue’s own band, the Secret Society, played it in Confederation Park.
Read more on the Your Ottawa Region website: The good news and the bad about the arts in Canada