TUE JUNE 20 - SUN JUNE 25
The Medicine Hat JazzFest is in its 27th year of bringing the best in jazz to south-eastern Alberta. JazzFest features local, Canadian and international artists.
Hear many of the same musicians that are appearing at the other major jazz festivals across Canada, in beautiful, unique and intimate venues that puts the audience in close proximity to the artists.
The Medicine Hat JazzFest is all about high quality jazz music, accessibility, and bringing a fun, community celebration that’s enjoyable for everyone.
Tuesday, June 20 | 7PM | Esplanade Terrace
Malika Tirolien is a remarkable vocalist, musician, songwriter and producer from Guadeloupe, now living in Montreal. She is garnering international attention with her creative collaborations.
Her latest release Higher is the second in a tetralogy featuring earth, air, fire and water themes. It is a shining example of afro-futuristic styling, co-produced with Bokanté creator Michael League. The album showcases a new genre called “high soul,” mixing R&B, soul, hip hop and jazz to create the soundtrack of a psychedelic trip from anger to forgiveness.
Malika’s soaring voice immediately grabs your attention, and her well-crafted compositions present effusive emotions and fresh takes on various genres, from urban to soul, the whole infused with a deep knowledge of jazz. Her love, passion and respect for music can be felt in each song and her sparkling authenticity. She has toured over 20 countries. Two brilliant albums from the band have already earned them worldwide acclaim and a Grammy nomination. Tirolien’s electrifying performance on I’m not the one (1.9 million YouTube views) is a prime track on the Grammy-winning album by Snarky Puppy, inspiring countless covers worldwide.
Joining Malika are Caulder Nash on keyboard, Jean-Michel Frederic on bass, Harvey Bien-Aimee on drums and Philippe L’Allier on guitar. $37.75
Tuesday, June 20 | 9:30 PM | Esplanade Terrace
Kate Wyatt is now considered one of the top tier jazz musicians in the city of Montreal. She has been praised as having “musical ideas and a style of playing and writing that is on par with the current jazz piano elite: Brad Mehldau, Yaron Herman, Shai Maestro, Fred Hersch”, and has been hailed as “one of the top artists of Montreal, Quebec, or even Canadian jazz.” (Cardin/Brunet, panm360.com).
In July 2022, Kate released her debut album Artifact to excellent critical reviews. On this album, she leads a quartet whose effortless chemistry fosters deep interaction and high intensity.
Kate Wyatt has performed with many recognized and respected musicians, including Kenny Wheeler, Jay Clayton, Ira Coleman, Yannick Rieu, Christine Jensen, Itamar Borochov, Ranee Lee, Don Thompson, Barry Elmes, Al McLean, and the Orchestrenational de jazz de Montreal. She has a passion for improvisation and innovation, and strives for a high level of sensitivity and interaction in her performances. Her music has been recognized with awards from the Canada Council for the Arts, FACTOR, and the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Quebec. As well as being a passionate performer and composer, Wyatt is a deeply invested music educator. She conducts master classes and heads the jazz program at Marianopolis College. Kate has been working as part of the Canadian Amateur Musicians/Musiciens Amateurs du Canada (CAMMAC) teaching team for over ten years and has recently been asked to join the faculty at JazzWorks Canada.
Kate is joined by Lex French on trumpet, Adrian Vedady bass and Jim Doxas on drums. $32.25
Wednesday, June 21 | 7:00 PM | Esplanade Terrace
Innovative and electrifying, Toronto jazz drummer Ernesto Cervini has energy to burn, whether radiating it from behind his kit or working on any number of musical and educational projects. With his JUNO-winning sextet Turboprop, Cervini flexes his arranging muscles, creating a vast landscape of musical textures and moods on which these monster musicians can play.
The band features a cross-section of some of North America’s finest and most in-demand musicians: Tara Davidson on alto saxophone, Joel Frahm on tenor saxophone, William Carn on trombone, Adrean Farrugia on piano, Dan Loomis on bass and Cervini on drums.
The band’s sound is reminiscent of the hard-swinging Jazz Messenger bands of Art Blakey, although they tackle a wide range of music; from Charlie Parker to Claude Debussy to Radiohead, plus originals from all the band members. They have already toured across Canada multiple times to rave reviews, and released their JUNO award–winning third album, Abundance, on ANZIC Records (NYC) in the fall of 2018. $37.75
Wednesday, June 21 | 9:30 PM | Esplanade Terrace
Winner of the 2022 JUNO award for Jazz Album of the Year (solo), and Jazz Artist of the Year at the 2022 Western Canada Music Awards, Will Bonness was called “one of finest jazz pianists of his generation” by Monk Competition winner Jon Gordon. Will has been active on the international music scene for two decades. At 17, he joined Maynard Ferguson’s Big Bop Nouveau Band for a world tour, which included performances in Europe, Thailand, and the Caribbean. He has since maintained an active international performance career, appearing at major jazz festivals in Canada and the United States, as well as at venues throughout New York and Toronto, including Smalls, Dizzy’s, and the Jazz Bistro. Locally, Will can often be seen performing with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra.
Will has four releases to his credit: Subtle Fire (2009), Halcyon (2016), Change of Plans (2020), and Is This a Dream? (2023). He has appeared as an accompanist on over 30 albums, many of which have been nominated for or won JUNO and Western Canada Music Awards.
Change of Plans has received international critical acclaim, a JUNO award, and over 2 million streams on Spotify. Will’s new album Is This a Dream?, released in anticipation of his 2023 Canadian Jazz Festival tour, features compositions and arrangements for his new quintet.
Appearing with Will are Virginia MacDonald on clarinet, Jocelyn Gould on vocals, Jonathan Chapman on bass and Fabio Ragnelli on drums. $32.25
Thursday, June 22 | 7:00 PM | Esplanade Terrace
Aline Homzy is an award-winning violinist and composer. Praised as one of Canada’s finest jazz violinists, she has performed and/or recorded with Danilo Pérez, Munir Hossn and The Weather Station. Her music has been performed by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Swedish guitarist Mikko Hilden, and South-Korean bassist Yongwon Cho. Homzy is also a community builder, with a focus on highlighting women instrumentalists and improvisers. She was the recipient of a 2018 TD Discovery Projects Award that saw her curate a sold-out concert featuring female improvisers at the Canadian Music Centre. During the pandemic, she produced the documentary Sounds of Davenport, which aimed to showcase musicians in her community through a beautifully captured video-concert, supported by her political representatives. Homzy has performed at the TD International Toronto Jazz Festival, Festival international de Jazz de Montréal, Stockholm International Jazz Festival, and Daigu - South Korea- International Jazz Festival. She was a finalist for the 2022 Toronto Emerging Jazz Artist Award, and was awarded a distinguished fellowship to attend the prestigious Hambidge Artist Residency in Georgia, USA, also in 2022. Her debut album Éclipse supported by the Canada Council for the Arts and FACTOR), features her group Aline’s étoile magique and will be released in the summer of 2023, coinciding with a 2023 Canadian jazz festival tour.
Joining Aline are Michael Davidson on vibes, Thom Gill on guitar, Dan Fortin on bass and Marito Marques on drums. $37.75
Thursday, June 22 | 9:30 PM | Esplanade Terrace
Malleus Trio is an exciting instrumental band based out of Vancouver, BC. Their music seamlessly weaves together high-octane improvisation with original compositions executed by a musical rapport forged over more than a decade. Sought-after players in their own right, the members of Malleus Trio remain active in various bands from distinctly different genres (Boom Booms, Pugs and Crows and Coco Jafro).
This diverse experience and palpable chemistry pulses through a music that is unconventional yet accessible. They released their acclaimed self-titled debut album in 2017. Their follow-up record Play Nice is a new collection of songs that showcases their exemplary skills and remarkable scope. The trio has performed at summer jazz festivals in Edmonton, Winnipeg, Saskatoon and Halifax.
Members of Malleus Trio are Ben Brown on drums, Geordie Hart on upright bass and Dominic Conway on tenor saxophone. $32.25
Friday, June 23 | 2:00 PM | Esplanade Front Lawn | FREE Workshop
Friday, June 23 | 7:00 PM | Esplanade Theatre | Double Bill Show
If ever there was a “who to watch for” in Canadian jazz, this is the one.
Caity Gyorgy (pronounced George) is a two-time JUNO award–winning Canadian vocalist who is known for singing bebop and swing music. She was part of our 2021 online JazzFest and we are thrilled to have her here in person this year! She has performed at popular clubs and jazz festivals across Canada and the USA and has worked and recorded with incredible musicians and groups, including Christine Jensen, Pat LaBarbera, Jocelyn Gould, Ira Coleman, Allison Au, Bryn Roberts and Postmodern Jukebox, to name a few.In addition to performing, Caity is also an avid writer and composes songs in the style of the Great American Songbook. Her compositions have been sung by other vocalists around the world, and she was recently named the Grand Prize Winner of the 2021 John Lennon Songwriting Contest in the Jazz category for her song Secret Safe.She has released several albums of original and standard music. In 2021, she released Now Pronouncing, an EP of original music arranged for large ensemble on Brooklyn based label La Reserve which won the JUNO for Vocal Jazz Album of the Year at the 2022 JUNO Awards. She received the 2023 JUNO award for Vocal Jazz Album of the Year for her debut full-length LP Featuring on La Reserve which released on November 4th, 2022. Her next album You’re Alike, You Two, a collection of Jerome Kern songs performed with pianist Mark Limacher, will be released on July 21st, 2023.
Joining Caity are Jacob Wutzke on drums, Anthony D’Allessandro on piano and Thomas Hainbuch on bass. $58.25
The Ostara Project - Double Bill with Caity Gyorgy
The Ostara Project, spear-headed by award-winning musicians Jodi Proznick and Amanda Tosoff, is a jazz super-group that showcases the strength and creativity of Canadian women in jazz. Ostara artists are all top-tier musicians, composers and bandleaders who reflect the geographical, cultural and creative diversity of Canada’s musical landscape. The focus is on presenting original compositions by band members, creating a diverse and provocative repertoire that is given continuity by skilled and nuanced performers.
Membership is fluid to suit the wide spectrum of projects the ensemble presents: what remains constant is the heart, creativity and artistry that defines The Ostara Project.
The Ostara Project played to sold-out crowds during a November 2022 tour of Western Canada. The self-titled debut album, released in November 2022, was nominated for a JUNO award in the category of Vocal Jazz Album of the Year. The ensemble is touring in the summer of 2023, playing ten major jazz festivals across Canada.
In a genre and industry where women have been underrepresented, the Ostara Project is a beautiful example of perseverance, community, and a deep love for the music.
Joining Jodi and Amanda are Laila Biali on vocals and keys, Rachel Therrien on trumpet, Allison Au on saxophone, Valèrie Lacombe on drums and Shruti Ramani on vocals. $58.25
Friday, June 23 | 9:30 PM | Esplanade Lobby
Born and raised in Germany, trained in New York City and now based in Canada, 2023 JUNO award–winning jazz pianist and composer, Florian Hoefner, draws from a myriad of influences that cumulate in his unique brand of modern jazz. Praised as a “composer-bandleader of insightful resolve” by the New York Times and a “harmonically daring pianist ... reaching toward new sonic territory” by Downbeat Magazine, Florian Hoefner has made his mark as an inventive creator and performer of exciting contemporary Jazz.
With his quartet, the Florian Hoefner Group, he has released three albums on Origin Records that have received rave reviews around the globe. Their busy touring schedule has taken the group to North America, Europe and Australia so far, including a celebrated performance at the Melbourne Jazz Festival 2019.
As a member of the Germany-based collective, Subtone, he has released four critically acclaimed albums. Florian’s work as a sideman has led to numerous additional CD releases including a collaboration with guitarist, Kurt Rosenwinkel on Fresh Sounds Records.
Since 2018, Hoefner has been working with his new Canadian trio with Andrew Downing on bass and Nick Fraser on drums. Their award-winning debut album First Spring was released in September 2019 on Alma Records/Universal. The album, that focuses on Hoefner’s arrangements of folk tunes from around the world, was nominated for a 2021 JUNO award in the category Jazz Album of the Year (Group) and won Instrumental Recording of the Year and Jazz Recording of the Year at the 2020 East Coast Music Awards in Atlantic Canada. Now the three are presenting their follow-up album, Desert Bloom (release: June 3rd, Alma Records). The new program includes seven original compositions showcasing Hoefner’s hallmark lyricism and knack for suspenseful dramaturgy, and two new arrangements of pieces from the contemporarty Indie Rock and Bluegrass world. The album has just earned a JUNO award for Jazz Album of the Year (Group) as well as two East Coast Music Award nominations. $32.25
Saturday, June 24 | 9:00 PM (Note the early start time) | Esplanade Terrace
VOLK is a Calgary-grown project led by trombonist Carsten Rubeling featuring some of the city’s most exciting and creative musicians. The result is a powerful and fluid blend of jazz, soul, hip-hop and electronic music created with a vision to mix acoustic and electronic palettes in a way that doesn’t obscure a human feel. In 2019, Rubeling released the album VOLK//PEOPLE on Inner Ocean Records to wide acclaim, and a new album is slated for release later this year. VOLK features Carsten Rubeling on trombone and keyboards, André Wickenheiser on trumpet, Daniel Nava on bass, and Luis “El Pana” Tovar on drums. $32.25
Sunday, June 25 |7:00 PM | Esplanade Terrace
André Wickenheiser’s sound is all his own. Whether it’s the sound of his trumpet, or his compositional style, it is immediately recognizable.
Calgary-based trumpeter André Wickenheiser began his musical studies at Mount Royal University where he completed an Artist Diploma in jazz performance. From there, he went on to finish both a Bachelor’s Degree and Master’s Degree in jazz performance at McGill University in Montreal.
André is quickly making a name for himself as one of the top jazz trumpet players in Calgary and Alberta. He is an enthusiastic educator on the music faculty as a trumpet instructor at the University of Calgary, Ambrose University, and the Mount Royal Conservatory. You can find André performing with groups including the Canadian National Jazz Orchestra, Decidedly Jazz Danceworks, the Esteban Herrera quintet/septet, and VOLK.
Joining André are Carsten Rubeling on trombone, Mark Dejong on tenor saxophone, Jon Day on piano, Steve Shepard on upright bass, and Jon May on drums. $37.75