Wednesday, June 20

Winnipeg Jazz Festival

This is my second year volunteering at Jazz Festival in Winnipeg. Four shifts of four hours then I can go to as many shows that I want for free at 6 different venues over 8 days. Not too bad of an exchange in my opinion.

Too be honest, like modern art, jazz, blues, and R&B have taken me years to learn how to appreciate. I was trained as a musician through regimented classical music so the free flowing forms of these genres of music have been more work for me to appreciate. Since I have 2 siblings and 1 in-law who play trombone jazz and blues trios, I have learned to enjoy this music even more. I still don't know how to jam on my flute but rumour has it there are a few open music jam nights in this artsy city and I may head to one of those one of these days.

There is a definite music, art, creative vibe to Winnipeg that I have not experienced as intimately in other cities, probably because I am more involved at this location. As well, I have noticed that the audience not only sees people performing by then often gets to meet, mix and mingle with the artists post-performance in a relaxed setting like a lobby or in the audience. More often than not, I meet the artists before the performance and exchange a few words or see what they may need (I am that friendly volunteer).  :)

Sunday night I enjoyed a Winnipeg classic electronics band Moses Mayes. I saw them for the first time last year and they are adored here in Le Peg. I know now why, they improvise most of their dance worthy tunes, are each incredibly talented and together just smile, laugh and have a great time while performing. This joy in the creation of music floats out into the crowd and the audience is in rapture of their work.

This year when Moses Mayes was on stage, I was inside the art space called The Cube in which the stage is held. I was backstage watching, helping as dancing. What a show! Incredible opportunity! Not sure that would have happened in another city.

Behind the group Moses Mayes and I am backstage 'helping'
The front of The Cube located in Old Market Square
Tonight I am a at club to which I have never been, Juss Jazz, on Portage Avenue. It has just been refurbished and the Steve Kirby Quartet is on stage, member of the Faculty of Music from the University of Manitoba and special guests. So far a traditional jazz show and the club is full. Enjoying free talent. Just a perfect evening.

Juss Jazz, a new jazz club in Winnipeg

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