The 34th annual TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival, taking place June 21 to July 1, genre-bending performances from diverse, cutting-edge artists at Performance Works.
Donny McCaslin and his Band
June 21 • Performance Works @ 8pm • $29
Having collaborated on Bowie’s final album, Blackstar, the shapeshifting legend’s profound influence inhabits saxophonist Donny McCaslin’s powerhouse new music. Gritty grooves that take cues from hip hop and electronica, crafty hooks, and soaring post-rock are tied together by McCaslin’s high-octane tenor, Jason Lindner on keys, Zach Danziver on drums, Tim Lefebvre on bass, and local indie/alt-rock luminary Ryan Dahle (Limblifter, Mounties) on vocals.
Marquis Hill Blacktet
June 22 • Performance Works @ 8pm • $29
Contemporary and classic jazz, hip-hop, R&B, Chicago house, neo-soul—to Marquis Hill, they’re all branches of the same fertile tree of African-American creative expression. A startlingly gifted trumpeter with a soulful, highly textured tone, the Downbeat Rising Star Award winner’s sound is a tour through jazz-trumpet history, evoking the high-drama stillness and space of Miles, the virtuosity of Freddie Hubbard, and the groove-savvy phrasing of Donald Byrd, while remaining unmistakably Marquis.
June 23 • Performance Works @ 8pm • $29
Montreal-based Inuk singer, film director, and activist Elisapie Isaac uses English to explore folk, French for more romantic writing, and Inuktitut to speak profoundly about Indigenous culture. With Joe Grass (Patrick Watson) on guitar/vocals, Joshua Toal (Plants & Animals) on bass/guitar/keyboard, and Evan Tighe (Basia Bulat) on drums.
June 25 • Performance Works @ 8pm • $29
After a 20-year absence from performing, Beverly Glenn-Copeland returned to the stage in 2018, finding an audience at 74 and sharing his experiences of identity as a means of encouraging others. His self-titled album from 1970 (reissued last year) is a lush folk-jazz album in the vein of peers such as Tim Buckley and Joni Mitchell. Don’t miss this rare live performance by one of music’s purest individualists and his five-piece band.
June 26 • Performance Works @ 8pm • $29 | June 27 • Tom Lee (workshop) @ 1pm • Free
Celebrated vocalist/pianist Patricia Barber has again broken artistic boundaries with her first album in six years, Higher, which rethinks the canons of jazz songwriting into a highly personal, uncompromising musical language. Broadly inspired by jazz as well as Fauré and Debussy, Barber’s harmonic sophistication and incisive lyrics lead the charge of an audacious new musical expression alongside her superb longtime collaborators Patrick Mulcahy on bass, and Jon Deitemyer on drums.
Davina and The Vagabonds
June 28 • Performance Works @ 8pm • $29
With New Orleans charm, Memphis soul swagger and tender gospel passages, Davina and The Vagabonds synthesize 100 years of American music with original tunes full of edgy nostalgia and fresh new directions. Vocalist/pianist Davina has released two albums (Black Cloud, Sunshine) that swell with heart and swing.
Brian Jackson Plays Songs from the Gil Scott-Heron & Brian Jackson Songbook
June 29 • Performance Works @ 8pm • $29
The late Gil Scott-Heron is revered as one of the founding fathers of spoken word. He and his musical co-conspirators invented a style at the crossroads of jazz, soul, blues, and funk: deeply political and in turns terrifying and uplifting. Keyboard player and flutist Brian Jackson co-composed many of the poet’s recorded masterpieces.
Melissa Aldana Quartet
June 30 • Performance Works @ 8pm • $29
Fast-rising New York-based tenor saxophonist Melissa Aldana has made quite a splash since relocating from her native Chile. Her pure tone draws on the traditions of Lester Young, Sonny Rollins, and Stan Getz while bringing a fresh and distinct new voice to the conversation. In 2013, she won the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition for saxophone, becoming the first female instrumentalist to win the award since its inception in 1987.
Tickets & more details at www.coastaljazz.ca
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