Jazz Fes­ti­val

This is it: the year you’re ac­tu­ally go­ing to Jazz Fest. Here’s all you need to know.

Vancouver Magazine - - June - BY Tyee Bridge

Your guide to groov­ing with the cool kids.

pro­nounced dead more times than Kanye has rapped the word “Kanye” (or Don­ald Trump has tweeted the phrase “witch hunt”), jazz lives. It’s a slip­pery genre to pin down, rooted in protest and im­prov, and it’s a con­stant, dis­rup­tive in‡uence on pop cul­ture— from De La Soul and Nas us­ing Ah­mad Ja­mal’s pi­ano ri’s in the ’90s to Jay-z sam­pling Nina Si­mone last year. (In this vein, in Septem­ber for­mer A Tribe Called Quest pro­ducer Q-tip will be teach­ing the young’uns at NYU an en­light­en­ing course on the jazz roots of hip-hop.)

Over the past 30 years the Vancouver International Jazz Fes­ti­val has carved out a sweet spot in this on­go­ing global con­ver­sa­tion. If you don’t know our back­yard jazz scene, it’s a per­fect £rst foray into a rich mine of lo­cal tal­ent. It’s also a way to check out in­com­ing head­lin­ers, which this year in­clude Macy Gray and two-time Grammy nom­i­nee Roberta Gam­barini.

The fest’s big-tent de£ni­tion of jazz (Robert Plant?) elic­its grum­bles from some purists, but the up­side is that there’s some­thing here for ev­ery­one.

You can £lter for your tastes, some­what, by venue: Py­att Hall for tra­di­tional, clas­sic jazz; Iron­works, the Im­pe­rial and Per­for­mance Works for more pro­gres­sive, cross­over fare; the Vogue for rootsy R&B, folk and salsa; Civic Plaza in North Van for dance­able grooves; and the Queen El­iz­a­beth for a mix of head­lin­ers that varies from rock to jazz.

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