This week in my neighbourhood, we celebrate the onset of autumn with the biggest jazz and blues festival east of Montreal. Under normal circumstances, I'd be out for the whole week, taking time off work and blowing every spare penny I have on show passes and beergardens. This year, because of my ill-timed surgery, I am unable to attend the majority of the festivities. Thanks to wonderful friends who got me tickets to the best sit-down shows, I will be able to attend. I fully expect to be exhausted by the end of the week, but really good music is worth nearly any price.
So ... here are the headliners. There are lots of other shows, too, but these are the truly recognizable names in th jazz and blues world:
Arturo Sandoval (woohoo latin jazz trumpet - would love to take B to see this! Someday, when he's a bit older, I will pay any price to expose my kid to this calibre of musicianship.)
Shemekia Copeland (heard this NY blues diva a couple of years ago, and she can BLOW!)
Matt Mays and El Torpedo (fantabulous blues band with an international reputation from right here on the East Coast)
Watermelon Slim and the Workers (Oklahoma grassroots blues - wish I could go to this one, 'cause I'm hearing great things about 'em.)
Molly Johnson (Toronto-based jazz singer - she's been here before and is an awesome presence.)
Warren Haynes (doing a solo show, and I'm sooooo gonna be there!!! He's classed as one of the top 25 guitarists of all time, so danged straight I'm pumped!)
Gov't Mule (Warren Haynes and ... didn't score tickets to this - they sold out in 3 minutes. That's a festival record. I could get tickets off the street, but I just don't have that kind of money, ya know?)
Dr. John the Night Tripper (New Orleans blues piano dude. This is the real thing ... the reason I love the blues. Saw him on video before and I'm looking forward to this show even more than the Warren Haynes one, since I am a pianist by trade ... life is great, I tell ya, absolutely grand!)
There's a whole lot more going on than these few: Matt Minglewood, Garrett Mason, Silvio Pupo Quartet, God Made Me Funky, Grand Theft Bus, The Lee Boys, Detroit Women, L'il Brian and the Zydeco Travellers, and the list goes on ... wish I could see it all, but there's no way, not this year ... can't wait till next year, though!