With only days away from the kickoff of Western Canada’s secound biggest jazz festival: The 26th annual Sasktel Saskatchewan Jazz Festival promises to be the best yet. Ten days of incredible international and local talent across Broadway and Downtown with a bigger free stage and beer gardens, moved over from Kiwanis to Friendship Park, will ensure the usual Saskatoon summer highlights. Buzz has been building for months already around most of the headliners – Feist is sold out, The Roots have only 200 tickets remaining and Michael Franti is sure to be a perfect kickstart at the Bes Gardens on opening night. So what else is out there? Lots. Here are some of the must see shows that you likely haven’t heard of.
With the rhythm section from Portishead, UK’s Get The Blesssing have collided fist first into the jazz scene with their infectious beats and full horn section. I also have my fingers crossed that they rock bags on their heads for their entire June 29th set at The Bassment.
The Bes Gardens will be funked up when Robert Randolph and the Family Band lay down their Soul and musicianship June 27th. Listed by Rolling Stone as one of the ‘100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time’, Randolph is sure to mesmerize on his pedal steel guitar especially when backed by the best bass player to hit the festival this year, Danyel Morgan. To add to the party, the ten piece band Five Alarm Funk will open with their incredible live show.
The SpareParts sponsored Groove Series has a mix of everything under the giant musical umbrella that is often called ‘Jazz’. Indie ensamble fans need to catch Hooded Fang at Amigos June 25th. If you are a fan of Broken Social Scene and catchy guitar riff soundtracks backed by a horn section, Hooded Fang will deliver.
With four amazing acts in one show, a special shout out goes to Janelle Monae with guests as it leads up to be the top evening of the festival - and it is all presented by SpareParts! June 24th kicks off with local party starters We Were Lovers (their new track ‘Islands’ is the best single to come out of Saskatoon this year, listen here) followed by live remix kings, Keys N Krates who are filling in for BADBADNOTGOOD. Roman Gianarthur completes the opening acts with his vocals and compositions that have been compared to Prince and Stevie Wonder, and is guaranteed to be selling out venues on his own next time he comes through. So make sure to arrive early for Janelle Monae, as each group is capable of headlining the stage on their own.
Bittersweet Symphony -The Verve (Keys N Krates live remix)
To read our Top 10 of JazzFest's past check this out http://www.therooster.ca/jazz-festival-backstage-top-10
Get your tickets before they sellout! www.saskjazz.com
See you in the Gardens