It’s easy to overlook the truly international nature of the TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival. For two weeks, top-tier performers from around the world arrive in Vancouver to show off their unique flair and culture.
Named for a mouth-searing hot sauce, the Norwegian guitar trio Bushman’s Revenge (RUNE GRAMMOFON) embrace prog rock, Hendrix, the exploratory jazz of Sun Ra and Alice Coltrane, and the raw power of Black Sabbath. Superbly paced, and poised in the indefinable zone between composition and improvisation, Bushman’s Revenge balances brute heaviness and meditative bliss. With Gard Nilssen drums, Rune Nergaard bass, Even Helte Hermansen guitar.
Ethiopian-born Israeli singer Ester Rada’s cross-cultural sound blends classic soul with African influences of Fela funk and Ethiopiques cool jazz. Singing in English and Amharic, her irresistible voice carries echoes of Nina Simone and Ella Fitzgerald, while standing shoulder to shoulder with contemporary greats like Lauryn Hill and Erykah Badu.
Photo Credit: Andy Sheppard
One of the UK’s fastest rising stars, pianist/organist Alexander Hawkins has played with Evan Parker, Wadada Leo Smith, and Mulatu Astatke. His wide-ranging style moves “from stride piano to all-out Cecil Taylor-inspired mayhem.”(All About Jazz). JUNO-Award nominee and master of next level harmonic textures, François Houle is “a spectacularly versatile clarinetist who appears to have no limitations stylistically or sonically.”(LA Times). “An inventive drummer who sounds unlike anyone else,” (Jazz Inside) New York-based Canadian Harris Eisenstadt’s challenging modern composition ideas inform his singular approach to improvisation.
Photo Credit: Jimmy Katz
French pianist Baptiste Trotignon unfolds “absorbing stories, full of startling chordal exclamations, plaintively romantic lyricism and a collage of liquid lines.” (The Guardian). Mark Turner (Kurt Rosenwinkel, Fly) “is one of the most respected of the current crop of jazz tenor sax players, with an innate musical intelligence allied to a rare modesty.” (Irish Times). The duo has recorded a masterful disc called Dusk in a Quiet Place full of gorgeous compositions that display a quiet authority. Not to be missed.
From spare, meditative calm, to rigorous groove, this expressive multi-national trio blurs melodic and rhythmic roles, “embedding the piano trio tradition into a new context where things aren’t always as they seem.” (All About Jazz). With German ECM recording artist/pianist Benedikt Jahnel, Spanish bassist Antonio Miguel and JUNO nominated Owen Howard drums.