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Canadian Jazz from Vancouver 2005

Jane Bunnett, from a publicity photo  

Jane Bunnett

The first Vancouver International Jazz Festival, held in 1986, presented groups led by Miles Davis and newcomer Wynton Marsalis, Ornette Coleman, percussionists Tony Williams and Tito Puente, Bobby McFerrin, and bluesman Albert Collins.

From the git-go, Vancouver's broad programming has been its claim to fame -- a state-of-the-art global perspective of jazz and improvised music.

The original festival grew out of a "Jazz Forum," a program on listener-supported Co-op Radio, CFRO. Ken Pickering, John Orysik and Robert Kerr from "Jazz Forum" organized the Coastal Jazz and Blues Society, now active year round. All three of the founders are still deeply involved. What a challenge to JazzSet -- to start a festival!

Denzal Sinclaire, from a publicity photo  

Denzal Sinclaire

Twenty years later, from June 23-July 2, 2006, Vancouver will present over 1,800 musicians at 400 concerts over 40 venues throughout the city.

Some highlights: Elvis Costello and Allen Toussaint with New Orleans horns, Tony Bennett, Bobby Hutcherson Quartet featuring Renee Rosnes, Paquito D'Rivera, McCoy Tyner, Andy Bey, the Campbell Brothers' gospel, Ivan Neville's Dumpstaphunk, Baaba Mall from Senegal, E.S.T. from Europe, Marilyn Crispell, Mike Stern and so much more.

This week, JazzSet drops in on two wonderful Canadian artists performing at Vancouver 2005. Jane Bunnett from Toronto has made more than 50 trips to Cuba. Earlier this year Jane won a Juno, the Canadian Grammy, for the CD Radio Guantanamo. But her Vancouver set is a departure from all of that. It's traditional folksongs from central Canada, the Navajo people, and Japan for the Jane Bunnett Quintet and the Penderecki String Quartet. Jane's positive musical energy shines through.

The Vancouver vibe lured singer/pianist Denzal Sinclaire to relocate from Toronto to western Canada. Host Dee Dee Bridgewater met Sinclaire at an Ella Fitzgerald tribute at the Hollywood Bowl. In the words of a blogger on the internet: "This guy has got it all going on -- stunning good looks, a powerful and silky smooth voice, and an amazingly graceful and accommodating disposition." We think you will agree.

From Jane Bunnett Quintet with Penderecki String Quartet:
"Red Dragonfly" (Japanese folksong)
"Witchi tia to" (Jim Pepper)
"She's Like a Swallow" (Canadian folksong)
Bunnett, saxophone
Larry Cramer, trumpet
David Virelles, piano
Kieran Overs, bass
Mark McLean, drums
Jerzy Kaplanek, violin
Jeremy Bell, viola
Christine Vlajk, viola
Simon Fraser, cello


From Denzel Sinclaire Trio:
"Smoke Gets in Your Eyes" (Kern and Harbach)
"Estate" (Martino and Siegel)
"Here Comes the Honeyman" (Gershwin)
"You Don't Know How Glad I Am" (Harrison and Williams)

Sinclaire, piano and vocal
Russ Botten, bass
Blane Wikjord, drums



  • Vancouver International Jazz Festival
  • Jane Bunnett
  • Denzal Sinclaire
  • JazzSet Festival Calendar

    Thanks to the CBC -- recording engineer Gary Heald, assisted by Peter Cracknell and Sasha Koerbler -- and the European Broadcast Union, for our Vancouver sets on JazzSet.
    Our team is Ginger Bruner @ KUNV, Duke Markos, Becca Pulliam and Thurston Briscoe III @ Jazz 88 WBGO in Newark, NJ.

    Copyright 2007 NPR