Every year I look forward to the Winnipeg Jazz Festival, and this year is no different! I am incredibly fortunate to be playing with some of Winnipeg's finest musicians in some really fun bands. This year I will be playing with 6 different acts, and all of them will be taking place at Old Market Square on the Cube Stage. Lets all cross our fingers for a week of sunshine!
I will be kicking off the festival with Niall Bakkestad-Legare's Septet at 8:15 on the first day of opening weekend, Thursday June 11. We will be playing some beautiful music written by Niall and will include some great musicians, some of who are on faculty at the University of Manitoba. I will then stay on stage to play a set of hard hitting, horn heavy brass band music with the Dirty Catfish Brass Band. We have a very exciting set of music prepared which will include both original tunes and some popular cover songs. Bring your dancing game for this one! After a few days off I will be back at the Cube on Monday June 15 for a noon hour performance by the Winnipeg Jazz Collective. We will be playing a full set of Canadian compositions mainly written by members of the band. Following a couple more days off I start the final stretch on Thursday June 18th at 8:45pm with The Big Dig! Band. This band is normally a workshop band that rehearses the first set and performs the 2nd set, but in this case we will be polishing the music at a separate time so we can come out swinging on some great tunes by composers such as Thad Jones, Frank Foster, as well as compositions written by members of the band. One day later at 8:45 again I will be playing with Sunny Roseland, one of the newest bands I am fortunate to be a part of. We play traditional jazz music from jazz legends such as Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, and Billie Holiday to name a few. Our mandate is to play music that was written before 1950 and to stay as authentic to the music as possible. Needless to say I am learning a lot from this project! And lastly, I am excited to be playing with Jeff Presslaff's Septet on Saturday the 20th for a last Cube set of the festival which takes place at 10:45. We will be playing some very cool music written by Jeff and will feature some of Manitoba's top jazz musicians, including my most influential jazz teacher Greg Gatien. Make your way over to my website www.andrewlittleford.com/events to find more detailed info on all of these shows. Hope to see many of you out this coming week. Happy Jazz Fest!!