Ed. May 13th: Congrats Amanda, you’ve won the Jazz Festival tickets! I’ll be in touch shortly!
This year’s Jazz Festival will take place from June 23rd to July 3rd at Confederation Park, with additional venues including the National Arts Centre, the Rideau Centre, Mercury Lounge and Arc the Hotel. The concert lineup is incredible, and long! The Jazz Festival is celebrating it’s 30th year of consecutive programming, and I took a peek at the Festival’s history to see how it all began:
The OIJF was founded in 1980 by local musicians Bob Misener and Tony Pope –subsequently joined by the late Bill Shuttleworth – who wanted to throw a summertime jazz festival to celebrate and develop the popular jazz scene in Ottawa. Jazz festivals were still a relatively new phenomenon in Canadian cities, and there really was no grand design behind Ottawa’s first edition.
The festival grew quickly, attracting such international names as Stan Getz, Sonny Rollins, Herb Ellis, Bob Brookmeyer, Wynton Marsalis and Milt Jackson. Larger and larger crowds came out each year, and the festival began stretching beyond traditional jazz and attracting new supporters. It also began to expand beyond the borders of its outdoor venue to include indoor satellite events and the late-night jam sessions that are so popular today. Some of the OIJF’s earliest supporters saw the potential of the Festival and worked to expand its scope.
And expand it did! If you’d like to know more about how the Jazz Festival grew from its original roots which had “no grand design” to the incredible international event that it is today, you can find the complete history of the Jazz Festival here.
I’ve got two Jazz Festival tickets to give away! To enter, visit the Jazz Festival website and check out the concert schedule. Leave a comment below indicating which concert you’d love to attend. Choose carefully – if you’re the winner, you’ll get tickets to the concert that you chose! Comments will close on Friday, May 13th at 7pm and I’ll contact the winner by email. Please leave an email address that you check frequently – if I don’t hear back from the winner by Saturday at noon, I’ll have to move on to someone else.