Juno winner Allison Au and her quartet lead off the festival on Tuesday evening. Au won the Montreal Festival Grand Prix de Jazz in 2017, just one year after Brad Cheeseman brought that award home to Hamilton. In 2016, she won the Juno for Forest Grove. “Au’s music transports you to a place where instrumentals ring bold and emotions run free. Melodies cascade and collide, highlighting Au’s gift for layering voices and rhythms.”
On Wednesday and Friday, Smordin Law Artist-in-Residence Heather Bambrick will be performing. “Heather’s shows are described as what happens when “Ella Fitzgerald meets Carol Burnett”, combining brilliant musicianship with side-splitting laughs. Part musician, part storyteller, part comedienne, Heather is more than just a singer. She is an entertainer in every sense of the word!” She is also a Juno nominee.
Thursday will bring a different flavour of award-winners to Hamilton when Diana Braithwaite and Chris Whiteley take the stage at Artword Artbar. They are both winners of the Maple Blues Awards many times over and promise to deliver both cool jazz and hot blues for this year’s festival. Get a first taste of their new album at this show!
This year’s festival also features a closing evening performance by pianist Thompson Egbo-Egbo on Sunday evening and two Saturday evening performances by home-town favourites Brad Cheeseman at Artword Artbar and The Jazz Connection Big Band at The Music Hall. It will be a tough choice for jazz lovers but you can be sure that either choice will lead you to great energy for the final Saturday in October.