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Lethbridge Jazz Festival 2014 has all Canadian line-up

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 The Lethbridge Jazz society is excited about presenting an all Canadian line up for their fourth annual Lethbridge Jazz Festival, which runs at numerous venues all over town June 8-14.

“ This is the fourth season under our own name,” said Lethbridge Jazz Festival president Don Robb adding before that they held the jazz festival in conjunction with the Medicine hat Jazz Festival.

The festival began with Louise Rose who played a jazz gospel concert at Southminster United Church and her own concert at the Sterndale-Bennett Theatre on June 10.

Oliver Miguel, Ellen Doty and Josh Krowhurst play the Lethbridge Jazz Festival this year. Photo by Richard Amery
 High River based guitar icon Amos Garrett, who performed at the South Country Fair a couple years ago, plays the Geomatic Attic with his jazz trio on June 11.
 Mainstays, the Lethbridge Big Band will host the jazz society honours and play a special fiftieth anniversary concert at the Fritz Sick Centre, June 12.

This year’s  festival, in addition to featuring local musicians playing various restaurants and bars for the suppertime jazz series, also brings back some familiar faces from last year. Jack Semple and the Polyjesters both return to the festival this year.
Saskatchewan blues musician Jack Semple returns to the Slice on June 14 as well as plays a free jazz at the park  program with the Polyjesters and Bandemonium in the afternoon.
 Carstairs/ Didsbury based ukulele powered jazz band the Polyjesters play the Owl Acoustic Lounge, June 13.
 Another highlight will be boogie woogie pianist Michael Kaeshammer, who plays the Yates Memorial Centre,  June 14 with the Ellen Doty Quartet opening the show.

 There will also be special nightcaps jazz programs at Telegraph and the Mocha Cabana after the big shows end on June 13 and June 14.

The other big main stage show is Emilie-Claire Barlow who plays the Yates with opening act the Tyler Hornby and his B3 organ trio, June 13.


“ We had a short list of performers that we all really wanted to hear and thought our audience would like to hear and who we could get,” said Robb.
“They were all from Canada, so it was a happy accident,” he said.
“We’re thrilled to have Jack Semple back this year,” Robb said.
 Semple himself is equally thrilled to bring his trio including bassist Dave Chabot and drummer Martin Blonski.
“ We loved playing that festival last year,” Semple enthused.
“ I just love how much they involve the community,” enthused Ellen Doty of the Calgary based jazz quartet also including  Oliver Miguel and Josh Krowhurst, who open for Michael Kaeshammer, June 14.
“ We’re very excited to open for Michael Kaeshammer,” continued Doty, who released the trio's debut CD on May 29.
Amos Garrett is glad things worked out so he could bring his trio to the Geomatic Attic as well as play the Jazz Festival.

“ I had been talking to Mike (Spencer of the Geomatic Attic) about playing there for a while, but didn’t want to give up the jazz festival gig, so I was happy to find out  it was going to be part of it,” said Garrett from his High River home, noting he and his trio including finger style guitarist Keith Smith and bassist Greg Carroll who is also from High River, will be performing a variety of music including Thelonius Monk and  Miles Davis.

 Boogie woogie pianist Michael Kaeshammer hasn’t played Lethbridge for  a long time.
 He is excited to play the festival and hopes to check out some of the other acts playing on the Saturday before he and his trio, bassist/ trombonist  Nick LaRiviere and drummer Roger Travassoss are flying to the UK the next day out of Calgary.

“ If there is anything else happening  on the day we play I will, but we have to fly to the UK the next day,” said Kaeshammer from Kelowna where he is spending time with his girl.
“ It has been a while. I’ve only played Lethbridge twice. The first time was  solo in the late ’90s and the second time was with Anne Murray,” he recalled
 He also hasn’t prepared a setlist, though he will be playing a few songs from his last CD “With You In Mind — a tribute to Allen Toussaint”
“I never have a set list because it is nice to go into a show without any preconceived notions of what it is going to be, but it will be  a fun, upbeat, New Orleans style show,” he said adding he also plans to try out some of the 50 new songs he has written for his next album which he plans to record at the end of the year.

“ I love the breadth of jazz music.  It’s natural and covers  bebop, jazz and blues and more,” Garrett said.
 Something new this year is a guitar show and shine at the SAAG sponsored by Lucky Star Guitars, which will feature a variety of unique guitars on display.
 There are also several free shows including the Young Lions featuring  local school bands at Galt Gardens, June 13, Jazz on the town featuring musicians performing on the streets throughout the noon hour and Jazz In the Park featuring Bandemonium, the Jack Semple Trio and the Polyjesters playing in Galt Gardens, on June 14.
 More information and ticket prices for the main stage shows can be found online at you can  get tickets at the Music Court and Long and McQuade.

 A version of this story appears in the June 11, 2014 edition of the Lethbridge Sun Times

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 11 June 2014 10:01 )  
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