By Gillian Slade on May 11, 2018.
The Medicine Hat JazzFest has unveiled the performers Hatters can expect to enjoy this June, with 62 events spread over eight days and featuring 150 musicians.
Musicians have always wanted to come and perform at JazzFest because the quality of the venue, including sound equipment, helps to attract some of the best, event producer Lyle Rebbeck said Thursday during a media event.
“They know they’re coming to a quality event,” said Rebbeck.
With the number of applications received for the 22nd annual event this year, Rebbeck says he could have had enough to arrange about five music festivals. With a reputation for always having an ear to the ground for the next generation of musicians, Rebbeck says JazzFest will not disappoint this year.
Frission, from the U.S. with a debut album last year, will perform in Canada for the first time with influences that include jazz, samba, hip hop and electronic music.
A JazzFest favourite, vocalist Ranee Lee from Montreal, will return this year.
Yuri Honing, the Dutch saxophonist and composer, will perform with his acoustic quartet.
The Heavyweights Brass Band, inspired by the New Orleans brass band tradition, will feature a trombonist, tuba, saxophone, trumpet and drums. Also on the JazzFest bill is a 19-piece modern jazz orchestra from Chelsea McBride’s Socialist Night School in Toronto, and JazzFest favourite Alex Pangman.
The Edmonton-based Mallory Chipman, an important name in modern and vocal jazz, is known for fusing jazz elements with poetry and rock and roll.
If you have enjoyed pianist John Roney at JazzFest in the past, you can look forward to his talents again this year.
For the fourth year in a row the JazzFest dance party will continue at the airport and some events will take place at a local micro brewery.
Mayor Ted Clugston says JazzFest is the unofficial kickoff for summer and Medicine Hat is a better place because of it. He also paid tribute to Rebbeck for decades of hard work to pull it off year after year.
“Lyle is JazzFest,” said Clugston.
It is the community spirit, celebration, connection and of course great music that makes the hard work to produce the festival so worthwhile, said Rebbeck.
“You bring something into the community that bubbles up inside and honestly, even for people that don’t attend, I still get this sense that there’s something that happens because of the festival, that trickles out into the community…” said Rebbeck. “I love the creativeness and the depths that music can take us to.”