Jazz Festival Gets it Right!

Christine Jensen Jazz Orchestra

Christine Jensen Jazz Orchestra

I like me jazz, I like me country. I like me folk, I like me blues, gospel, roots and rock n roll. This week though I’m all about the Winnipeg Jazz Festival.
I remember one day complimenting an artistic director of one thing or another (NOT a festival )“Hey man, great season, best I’ve seen…in ages.” Should have dropped the last two words. As it turns out I never got to see much of the season as I was dropped from the free list.

Now I’M free, and I can say whatever the fuck I want, and my former clients can tell me to fuck right off when I do and still ask for comps. This by way of full disclosure, as I was the Major Arts Festival Consultant at the Arts Branch, Department of Tourism, Culture, Heritage, Sports, and Consumer Protection (with responsibilities for Liquor and Lotteries) or as some of us called it to save time the Department of Fun and Games, from 2006 to 2014.

I know, I can’t believe I lasted 8 years, but thanks to them for seeing me through 6 osteoid surgeries, and leaving me with enough “retirement savings” to be free and organize the Envoi Poetry Festival, now concluded.

Ingrid Jensen

Ingrid Jensen

Let’s go. One night at a time, before and after. This Winnipeg International Jazz festival is one of the best for us straight ahead jazz jazz lovers. This year, as often before, these shows are at the MTC Mainstage, which is pretty decent acoustically, but has those incredibly stupid and uncomfortable 19” seats. When was the last time a North American had a 19” butt? I’ll be bringing my walker with a more generous seat.


Wednesday night, June 17th I’m looking forward to hearing the Christine Jensen Jazz Orchestra feat. Ingrid Jensen. Christine runs an amazing big band, has great chops as a leader, arranger, and sax player. As a bonus she’s got her sister Ingrid (who I’ve heard play in Winnipeg with her own band) as the featured trumpet player in the band. They are f-ing amazing, so listen up!


This is “Who’s Next” in Canadian Jazz. My once upon a time boss (God rest his soul) called this “egghead jazz,” but there is really nothing more to figure out when you show-up than to listen. At the Envoi Festival I played one of Bruce Cockburn’s songs from his first record several times, “Keep it open” (“and help me keep mine open too”). Jazz can be adventure, and anyone who has been to a concert at the New Music Festival, can get into that!


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