Winnipeg-born, New York-based musician Ilya Osachuk returns home to lead a series of late-night jazz jams as part of the TD Winnipeg International Jazz Festival.  

“It’s amazing to be able to come back and play what it is I’ve been working on the last year or two,” says Osachuk, a bassist, composer and arranger.  


Jazz, jams, and Juilliard: bassist Ilya Osachuk on Morning Light

After completing his undergraduate degree at the Desautels Faculty of Music, Osachuk made the move to New York for master’s studies at the prestigious Juilliard School. Having graduated last year, he’s been gigging and playing in the city since.  

“It is completely unparalleled in terms of variety of music, opportunity, and pretty much everything else you can do,” says Osachuk. “It’s absolutely a dream of mine.”  

The opportunity to hear outstanding musicians each and every night at famed venues like Smalls Jazz Club or Mezzrow is also a big draw.  

“I would go to these jam sessions, and I would be trying to meet other musicians who were new or even people who were established... just trying to get myself heard,” he says.  

Osachuk returns to Winnipeg and plans on crafting a similar experience over three nights at the Royal Albert Arms.  

He has put together a quintet featuring Nial Cade on saxophone, Kyle Cobb on guitar, Evan Miles at the piano, and Tetyana Haraschuk on drums, who will open the late-night hangs with jazz standards plus a few of Osachuk’s original tunes before opening up the stage to other musicians.  

“The whole goal here is just to create a melting pot,” explains Osachuk. “To mix age ranges, skills levels, personal experiences, and create some stuff that would not be created otherwise.”  

“Free jazz jam with Ilya Osachuk” runs Thursday, June 20 through Saturday, June 22 at the Royal Albert Arms, beginning at 11 p.m. and running until late.  

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