From tribute shows to jam sessions, Jazz Winnipeg’s Fall Fest has a little bit of something for everyone. Running from Friday, October 1 through Sunday, October 3, the festival features a plethora of esteemed performers in a variety of formats and venues.
Opening with back-to-back Sting tribute shows, Jazz Winnipeg pays homage to the English musician and former Police bassist in honour of his 70th birthday (October 2) while also challenging performers to explore his diverse catalogue.
“We were looking for an opportunity to provide creative work for our musicians,” explains Jazz Winnipeg programs manager Zachary Rushing.
Featuring Jennifer Hanson, Sol James, Onna Lou, Ben Tamana, and Brandi Vezina, all backed by house band Ego Spank, the shows promise to bring each of the singers' unique takes on the Sting classics.
“Everybody comes from such a different musical perspective,” says Rushing. “We have rockers and jazzers and hip-hoppers and a country singer… they’re all bringing their own unique flair to the program.”
Also taking place on Friday evening is a Jon Gordon show. Having recently released a new album, the lauded saxophonist, band leader, and professor in the Desautels Faculty of Music at the University of Manitoba takes the Rachel Brown Theatre stage at 7 pm.
Later that night, a stone’s throw away, electro-alternative artist Rayannah returns to Jazz Winnipeg in a performance at the King’s Head Pub. Featuring lush projections, dreamy music, and a performance by drag artist Ruby Chopstix, the night will feature Rayannah’s “a very eclectic, well-rounded artistic vision,” according to Rushing.
On Saturday, Harlem-based Curtis Nowosad returns home to perform before a sold-out crowd at the Rachel Brown Theatre while Romi Mayes and Curtis Newton host a Blues Night at the King’s Head Pub.
Fall Fest wraps up Sunday with a good old-fashioned Jazz Jam featuring Free Time (Carter Graham, Julian Bradford, Kevin Waters) plus saxophonist Niall Cade.
For a complete schedule of events, visit: www.jazzwinnipeg.com