This is it: the year you’re actually going to Jazz Fest. Here’s all you need to know.
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 inuence on pop culture— from De La Soul and Nas using Ahmad Jamal’s piano ris 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.