• By: Keith Whittier

Charles Bradley’s Extraordinary Night at Jazz Fest

Ottawa Life’s Festival City Series is back! We'll provide a unique look at some of your favourite events.
We’ll go beyond the music with artist interviews, volunteer profiles, concert reviews and spotlights on
the tastes, sights and sounds of the festival season. 

Your city! Your festivals and events!
Like a good sunscreen, Ottawa Life has you covered.

Photos by Andre Gagne

Coming out on stage to his grandiose introduction from the band, the 70s came alive as Bradley walked on stage in his shining red outfit. Pulling spins and power poses right back into fashion, "Changes For The World" found him even throwing the mic stand over his shoulder and taking a knee, outdoing himself soon after by tipping over his mic stand and yanking it back up with the cord.

Spreading the love on "Nobody But You" he shed his jacket and let the rhythm move him. Taking the groove further his smooth soul on found "You Put The Flame On It" him ending the song on a full blown dance freak out.

While the instrumental interludes were shaking tracks in their own right, and gave Charles a well deserved break, especially considering his recent cancer battle, it was just hard not to feel like they were filler.

All was forgiven as Charles took back to the stage in a gold and green sequin outfit. "Where Do We Go From Here" had the crowd in a singing frenzy as Charles continued to let out his shrieks, unaffected by time. After posing out his love for the crowd, he stripped down to his vest for a sultry rendition of "Things We Do For Love"

The crowd clearly felt the love on "Lovin' You" with couples holding each other before Charles took another knee dive with the mic stand. Pouring water all over himself before starting, "In You" he was in the spirit of the show, starting and stopping his band with dynamic fury.

Horn players spinning and guitars swaying, "Ain't It A Sin" was a show highlight with Bradley calling all the shots and ending the song on some of his best moves of the night. "Changes" was a heartfelt affair with Charles breaking into a speech about coming together mid song, throwing out roses to the crowd before walking off.

Earning one of the loudest call-backs of the week, Charles returned to a crowd, ready to scream out his encore of "Why Is It So Hard?".

Bixiga 70

Infectious Latin rhythms driven by a four man rhythm crew that could be a band of their own. Brass and woodwinds bounced around the stage, switching instruments and really letting it rip through their exuberant performance. Soloing while members bounced up and down or back and forth, the stage was truly alive. The crowd felt the party mood as they started a congs line that circled the tent while the band jammed away.

Jacob Collier                                

Bringing his unique style of improv and loop-heavy jazz to the festival for his first Ottawa show, the 22-year-old Collier was a sight to behold as he composed music scrambling around the stage. With the crowd in his hands, the claps never ceased throughout his set, with the eager fans in the front hanging on his every move. Through his unique visual display behind him (thanks to his multi-cam setup, his endless talent was seen on stage and on screen. Able to loop all his ideas together seamlessly, he worked his way through some amazing originals and covers from artists like Stevie Wonder, Burt Bacharach, and Brian Wilson.