• By: Marie Waine

Diary of a Jazz Fest Goer

When I lived with my parents, Saturday afternoons meant it was jazz time. Actually, any time was really jazz time, but Saturday afternoons especially. Latin Jazz would heat up my living room as Café Latino host Laura Fernandez shared her favourites. Whether my family was busy or not, we would always take the time to tune in.

Maybe that’s why I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a pass for the TD Ottawa Jazz Festival this year. I’m not a hardcore fan, or very knowledgeable, but I know I love jazz and the feeling it gives me.

If you are anything like me and enjoy the sweet melodies of jazz music too, take a read and don’t forget to check out the festival–going on now!

Day 1-4steve1

Okay, I couldn’t make it out to Day 1 and 2 of Jazz Fest because of prior commitments, but luckily I scurried my feet over to Confederation Park for Day 3. I could not miss the chance to see Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers take the stage. You see, Steve Martin holds many memories for me. As a child, my Friday nights were often spent ordering a pizza or eating a burger with my brother, mom and dad, as we watched Steve Martin movies. Whether it was Bowfinger, Father of the Bride or the Out-of-Towners, laughter was inevitable with Martin on the screen.

That is why no force of nature could have stopped me from seeing the funny-man play the banjo and sing a few songs this past Sunday evening. He delivered on both fronts. Between songs such as Pretty Little One and Jubilation Day, Martin cracked the audience up with one-liners and silly commentary. It brought me back to those Friday nights and made me love him all over again.

And everyone else in attendance seemed to love him too. Joined on stage with Edie Brickell, the music was fabulous and had everyone grooving in their seats. The show ended with an explosion of applause and a standing ovation. I spent the entire ride home humming and foot-tapping, excited to see what else Jazz Fest had in store for me.

steve4The next night I found myself back at Confederation Park to see Alex Pangman and Tedeschi Trucks Band burn the house down. Alex Pangman holds a special spot in my heart—my mom and I even have a little dance move we always do whenever her song It Felt So Good To Be So Bad plays. It was great to be serenaded by Canada’s Sweetheart of Swing, who shared with the audience she is a recipient of donor lungs. With the summer sun setting on the audience, as Pangman decided to get ‘dirty’ with some blues songs, Monday became my new favourite day of the week. Bravo, Ms. Pangman.

Tedeschi Trucks Band wrapped up Day 4, but not before laying out true Grammy-winning talent for all to hear. Eleven performers took the stage to deliver favourites, such as Made Up Mind and Love Has Something Else To Say. Each song was charmingly crafted to showcase the individual talents, ranging from drums and horns to bass, keyboard and vocals.

Another night, another happy audience. This was my first time hearing Tedeschi Trucks Band, and I can promise you it won’t be my last.

I cannot wait to see what talent is hidden within the next few days.

Keep it jazzy Ottawa Lifers!