Downtown Oakville is already hip, but when the TD Downtown Oakville Jazz Festival hits, Lakeshore becomes a jiving jam session. For over 24 years the festival has been proud to present some of the finest artists and legends in jazz, extending from its branches right down to its roots including: Acid, Latin, Dixeland, Smooth, World Music, Ragtime, Swing, Blues, Fusion and much more.
While jazz enthusiasts are obviously welcome, you don’t need to be hip to all the jazz jive. Even the littlest family members will find an opportunity to tap their feet and get their groove on. This year’s festival theme is all about the drummers: those who play the conga, hit the hi hat and can throw down a mean snare solo. The festival features some of the top drummers in the world. Omar Hakim, Dan Brubeck and Mark Kelso will all be taking the stage August 5 – 6, in Downtown Oakville.
Trio of Oz
Dan Brubeck Quartet
Jason Wilson and the Perennials
Frog and Henry
Alex Pangman & Her Alley Cats
Youth in the Spotlight
High Rendition Jazz
Jazz FM 91 Youth Band
Mark Kelso & the Jazz Exiles
The Boxcar Boys
Here are profiles of some of the artists who will be attending the festival this year:
Trio of Oz with Omar Hakim
Legendary drummer Omar Hakim from Weather Report, Sting, Miles Davis and David Bowie has teamed up with pianist extraordinaire Rachel Z, whose work with such artists as Wayne Shorter, Steps Ahead, and Peter Gabriel has earned her international recognition and acclaim from her peers and fans alike. This exciting musical partnership features the tasteful virtuosity and sensitivity of these Grammy Award winning musicians as they take you on an exciting journey performing some of the most creative and unique arrangements of jazz and rock hits of the last 30 years.
Electro-Fi artist Harrison Kennedy was awarded the 2016 “Blues Album of the Year” JUNO for his album “This Is From Here” at the 45th annual JUNO Awards (Canada’s Grammy) in Calgary on April 2nd. This was the 6th nomination for the Hamilton-based artist. Harrison will be touring Southern Ontario in April with the dynamic Ruthie Foster, in addition to performing both solo and with his band throughout North America during the Summer Festival season.
When it comes to one-man bands, Steve Hill has no limits. This guitarist and singer extraordinaire was a 2015 Juno Award winner for Blues Album of the Year. The truest definition of a one-man band, Hill performs standing up while singing and playing guitar, his feet playing bass drum, snare drum, hi-hats and with a drum stick fused to the head of his trusty guitar, any other percussion within reach.
Hill has showcased his talents at some of Canada’s biggest music festivals including the Montreal Jazz Festival, Ottawa Blues Festival, Mont Tremblant International Blues Festival, Thunder Bay Blues Festival, Kitchener Blues Festival and more.
Twenty-year-old Liz Loughrey (pronounced lockree) is a classically trained pop/soul vocalist, who has been called many things: a youth prodigy, a musical savant, the future of vocal music. But one thing she has never been called is a singer who needs studio enhancements to help showcase her vocal prowess – which is nothing short of mesmerizing.
Dan Brubeck Quartet
The Dan Brubeck Quartet is Dan’s exciting new group, originally created for performing the music on the “Celebrating the Music and Lyrics of Dave & Iola Brubeck” 2 CD set. Based in Vancouver, the group features the exceptional vocal talent of Adam Thomas (also on bass), with saxophonist Steve Kaldestad, and pianist Tony Foster.
Cynthia Sayer is an award-winning instrumentalist, vocalist and bandleader, who defies all the banjo player assumptions as she single-handedly repopularizes the 4-string banjo in jazz. Sayer is celebrated as one of the top 4-string jazz banjoists in the world today: soulful, edgy, both contemporary and classic, with a playing style that is all her own. Cynthia has played with Bucky Pizzarelli, Dick Hyman, Les Paul, Marvin Hamlisch, Wynton Marsalis, Marian McPartland, Andy Statman, John McEuen (Nitty Gritty Dirt Band), and many others.