June 23rd, 2018

Jazz Picks: JazzFest will get Savage this year

By Medicine Hat News on May 12, 2017.

At just 24 years of age Matt Savage is considered one of the finest young players on the jazz scene. He'll play at Medicine Hat JazzFest on June 23 at the Esplanade. -- Submitted Photo

The JazzFest 2017 lineup has just been announced. From June 18-25, Medicine Hat will once again come alive to the sounds of jazz, Latin, swing and a wide array of styles as the clubs, streets and concert halls host local, provincial, national and international musicians.

In celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday, JazzFest will be featuring a wide variety of the finest in Canadian talent. While perusing the brochures that are around town now, or the website at http://www.medicinehatjazzfest.com, you’ll notice a maple leaf beside the names of the Canadian artists.

JazzFest has added a swing dance to the mix this year! On June 24 at 9 p.m. in the Beveridge Landmark Events, Brad Shigeta’s Swingtime Band will be playing music from the Swing Era, made famous by the likes of Benny Goodman and Duke Ellington. Swing dance lessons are being offered during the day for those looking to get a start at this style that is fast gaining a renewed passion among people of all ages!

Over the next few weeks, we will be taking a look at this year’s artists.

We begin this week with pianist Matt Savage. He has played Carnegie Hall, Birdland, and The Blue Note and appeared on the likes of “The Late Show with David Letterman,” “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” and Marian McPartland’s famous Piano Jazz show on NPR. At the age of 24, Savage has already had a 15-year professional career as a jazz musician, bandleader and composer, playing with some of the biggest names in jazz, such as Chick Corea, Wynton Marsalis and Chaka Khan. He has opened for Neil Young, and Shawn Colvin and has performed with Steve Earle and Jackson Browne at Town Hall in New York City.

Savage’s career began early. As a child prodigy, he was playing with some of the biggest names in jazz before his feet could touch the ground from the piano bench.

A quick search of YouTube will result in countless clips of Savage performing at various stages of his young career.

Savage has matured into one of the finest young players on the jazz scene. He teaches at Community Music Center of Boston, and at Applied Behavioral Learning Services (an organization near Boston for children and adults with autism and other developmental disabilities). He teaches privately and maintains an active performing career.

Savage appears at JazzFest on  June 23 at 7:30 p.m. in the Esplanade Theatre. Savage will be in double bill with Calgary vocalist and host of CBC radio two’s Tonic, Tim Tamashiro.

There are lots of ways to connect with JazzFest. The website has all of the information about the artists as well as daily schedules, links to sound and video files and a downloadable brochure. Follow JazzFest on Twitter and Instagram at @medhatjazz and use the JazzFest hashtag #medhatjazz for everything JazzFest related that you post. You can also find the Facebook page at Medicine Hat JazzFest and keep up on all video content on the YouTube channel.

Brochures have been delivered all over town, to coffee shops, the Esplanade, the Tourist Centre, the Cultural Centre and the Public Library. They will be in the Medicine Hat News in the weeks prior to JazzFest.

Tickets and passes are available at all Esplanade ticket outlets including http://www.tixx.ca.

Lyle Rebbeck is producer of Medicine Hat JazzFest.

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