The TD PEI Jazz and Blues Festival, August 13–19, will once again feature an all-Canadian cast of established masters, current stars and emerging talents.In the "Masters" category, none can boast more successful careers than bass virtuoso Alain Caron, singer Ranee Lee and, in a return engagement, the incomparable Oliver Jones.
Pianist Oliver Jones (4 Junos, 10 nominations) is a Canadian musical institution, having earned a Governor-General's Award, four Félix Awards, half a dozen honourary degrees and an Order of Canada. At this summer's festival he will be joined by one of his favourite musical partners, singer Ranee Lee, whose pedigree includes five Juno nominations, the 2010 Juno Award for Vocal Jazz Album of the Year , and a Dora for starring as Billy Holiday in Lady Day. She is an Order of Canada Recipient (2006).
Jazz Report magazine has ranked Alain Caron "Best Bass Player " for the past 10 years in a row. Caron, founder of fusion supergroup UZEB, recently released his 7th album under his current band, Le Group. Caron has won 10 Felix Awards, an Oscar Peterson Lifetime Achievement Award from the Montreal Jazz Festival and an honourary Doctorate from U. de Quebec.
Also appearing will be singing sensations Laila Biali and Jill Barber, bluesmen Thom Swift and Ross Neilsen, gypsy jazzers Gypsophilia, plus the genre-bending Ian Sherwood and Coco Love Alcorn.
Keyboardist-singer-songwriter Laila Biali was a 2011 Juno nominee (Best Vocal Jazz Album) and SOCAN Composer of the Year, as well as Keyboardist of the Year at the National Jazz Awards. Singer Jill Barber (2 ECMAs and 2 Juno nominations) charmed PEI festival-goers in 2009 with an eclectic stye that has attracted collaborators as diverse as Ron Sexsmith, Dan Hill and Matt Andersen.
Blues fans will get an earful from Ross Neilsen, Maple Blues and Music New Brunswick awardwinner. Neilsen' s personal motto, "Write. Tour. Record. Tour. Repeat", explains why he was selected to represent Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN.
Bluesman Thom Swift is the winner of an ECMA, a Maple Blues Award and a 2008 Galaxie Rising Star. His band, El Caminos, is an east coast blues supergroup of first-call players including PEI's Chris Corrigan on guitar.
Halifax's Gypophilia, two-time ECMA-winners, will bring their high energy gypsy jazz to the festival stage following a recent sold-out appearance with Symphony Nova Scotia.
Ian Sherwood & Coco Love Alcorn are multi-instrumental singer-songwriters who magnify theirupbeat approach using digital looping technology. Ian Sherwood has twice been named Music Nova Scotia Musician of the Year. Coco Love Alcorn has toured or recorded with 54.40, Ani DiFranco, Burton Cummings, Chantal Kreviazuk, Jesse Cooke & Loudon Wainwright III.
Festival passes and tickets go on sale May 15. For details, including the Early-Bird Special, visit www.jazzandblues.ca.