June 17-24







Buy Tickets at

Medicine Hat JAZZFEST 2018

June 17, 2018 - June 24, 2018


Appearing in Canada for the first time, and reflecting many of today’s preeminent genre-crossing artists including Snarky Puppy, Hiatus Kaiyote, the Christian Scott Quintet and

Moonchild, Frisson brings something new and exciting to the table for JazzFest and Medicine Hat.

Formed in 2015 at the Oberlin Conservatory in Ohio, Frisson is a collective of musicians from across the United States, the Caribbean, and Europe. With influences ranging from jazz and samba to hip hop and electronic music. The band’s live performances feature hypntic grooves, exhilarating solos and thoughtfully crafted original compositions and arrangements. In2017 Frisson released its debut self-titled album and appeared at festivals and venues across California, Nevada and Utah.  In the summer of 2018, Frisson will release its second studioalbum and tour extensively across North America, making stops across the United States and Western Canada.

The word frisson means a sensation typically expressed as an overwhelming emotional response combined with goosebumps; a sudden strong feeling of excitement or fear; a thrill. That describes the essence of this young band. Not to be missed.

Juno-award winning Jazz Saxophonist, Composer and Arranger, Allison Au refuses to be defined. Born to a Chinese father and Jewish mother, and raised in the multicultural metropolis of Toronto, Allison found music as a young child. Exposed to a wide array of musical styles, she was captivated by the unhinged freedom of Jazz. Jazz became Allison’s lab for self-expression, exploration, and musical experimentation. Her work weaves a mosaic of influences into a seamless and soulful sound, a concoction steeped in the tradition of Jazz but skillfully laced with elements of Classical, Pop, R&B, hip hop, Latin, and world music.

Au’s music transports you to a place where emotions run free. Melodies cascade and collide, highlighting Au’s gift for layering voices and rhythms. Her writing showcases the color and character of each instrument, while providing ample room for her band mates to push her compositions to new heights.

Au earned her first Juno nomination for her debut album, The Sky Was Pale Blue, then Grey in 2013, and in 2016 was awarded the Juno for Best Jazz Album of The Year: Group for Forest Grove.

Formed in 2009, the Allison Au Quartet has toured extensively in Canada and the US. The group was awarded the TD Jazz Fellowship Scholarship in 2011, The Alfred and Phyllis Balm Scholarship in 2012, and The Margareta and Benno Nigg Scholarship in 2013 for three consecutive artist residencies at the Banff Centre.

Most recently the Allison Au Quartet has won the 2017 Montreal Jazz Festival TD Grand Prix de Jazz, received the 2017 Halifax Jazz Festival Sting Ray Rising Star Award, and was named a 2017 Finalist for Toronto Arts Foundation Emerging Jazz Artist Award.

Joining Allison are Todd Pentney on piano, Dan Fortin on bass and Fabio Ragnelli on drums.

Chelsea McBride’s Socialist Night School is a Toronto based 19 piece modern jazz orchestra led by fast-rising, 25 year old orchestration trail-blazer Chelsea McBride. Award-winning veterans like William Carn, Colleen Allen and BrownmanAli stand next to the city’s hottest 20-somethings in this contemporary modern big band. The Socialist Night School’s debut full-length album The Twilight Fall has been hailed by critics as “a dazzling set anyone with even an interest in big band should check out” and “a progressive jazz epic…a musical experience that delights in many ways,” and most recently it received 4 stars in Downbeat Magazine.

Bandleader Chelsea McBride’s compositions are influenced by the lineage of Bob Brookmeyer, Maria Schneider and Darcy James Argue, and the Socialist Night School is a storytelling vehicle for McBride’s evocative writing style.

Parc X Trio is a Montreal-based contemporary jazz trio featuring Gabriel Vinuela-Pelletier on piano, Alex Lefaivre on bass and Noam Guerrier Freud on drums. To celebrate its 10-year anniversary, Parc X trio released its 7th recording, Dream, in April 2017. Pursuing the electric trio format, the group’s latest musical explorations showcase their typical original blend of pop song structures, contemporary jazz harmonies, staggering dynamics and break-beat grooves over odd time signatures. As complex as the music might seem on paper, the trio navigates through the material effortlessly with grace and power. New to the table is the group’s foray into studio production. A subtle and tasteful approach to electronic music production spices up the album sonically over the 8 original compositions from all 3 members. One of the album’s highlights is a reworking of Tchaikovsky’s theme from Swan Lake where

Parc X trio’s sonic imprint takes the original classic into the 21st century.
Parc X trio began its journey 10 years ago in an old duplex in Parc-Extension, one of Montreal’s most multi-cultural boroughs.

Gabriel and Alex met while studying at the University of Montreal where they quickly became close friends. The following year, they also became neighbors and the basement of that building became their local hub for playing, practicing and writing music. After a couple of years honing their craft on jazz standards, the two young men began composing music for what would be their first album released in 2009. They quickly found their own voice combining intricate polyrhythms, groove-based beats, compelling melodies as well as electronic and rock elements into their compositions. They also became well-known for the band’s borderline telepathic connection and high energy live performances that focused on group interaction and fearless improvisations.

Ten years later, the duplex is long gone, but the friendship is still strong. To date, Parc X trio has released five records and one EP, has been awarded the TD Grand Prize for Jazz at the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal in 2010, has done a countless number of shows and toured regularly throughout Canada, Mexico, USA and Europe.

Mallory Chipman is quickly becoming one of the most important names in Canadian modern and vocal jazz. Her voice has been described as rich and expressive and her approach described as an old school jazz chanteuse with a new school attitude. Based in Edmonton, Mallory spent years cultivating her own unique sound: one that fuses the improvisational elements of jazz with the poetic lyricism of folk and the grittiness of rock and roll.

Mallory’s composition “Angular Symphony,” from her first album, Nocturnalize, was awarded the Jazz Recording of the Year award at the 2017 Edmonton Music Awards. Her recently released sophomore album, Rags and Feathers: A Tribute to Leonard Cohen, was celebrated with a Western Canadian tour which was met with overwhelming media attention and outstanding audience reception. It was produced by Juno Award winning engineer, Paul Johnston, and is dedicated to her beloved grandfather, Tommy Banks. Mallory’s performance career is balanced by her faculty position at MacEwan University where she teaches voice. Joining Mallory will be Brett Hansen on guitar, Chris Andrew on piano and keyboards, Murray Wood on bass and Jamie Cooper on drums.

One of the most popular groups from JazzFest 2015, the Heavyweights Brass Band has just finished a new recording and is on a Canadian promotional tour with the new material.

Whether receiving props from The Roots on Twitter, jamming with puppets on CBC Kids’ Mamma Yamma, recording with the legendary Giovanni Hidalgo or being championed by influential DJ and tastemaker Gilles Peterson, The Heavyweights Brass Band pack a one-two punch of crossover appeal and respect from music’s elite.

Inspired by the New Orleans brass band tradition, the Heavyweights’ original stance keeps one foot firmly rooted in the rich legacy of jazz, while one foot steps forward into the future. Like the music’s originators, the Heavyweights are unafraid to incorporate influences from disparate areas of the musical spectrum, from pop hits of the day to original compositions, from R&B and funk throwbacks to the infectious rhythms of Latin America, all woven together with the thread of adventuresome sophistication.

The uppercut ascent of the Heavyweights’ arc has been the result of relentless dedication. Touring across Canada and sharing the stage with such influential groups as The Roots, Trombone Shorty, Galactic and Hypnotic Brass Ensemble has helped build the group a loyal following.

The Heavyweights Brass Band is trombonist Christopher Butcher, Tom Richards on tuba, Paul Metcalfe on saxophones, Lowell Whitty on drums and John Pittman on trumpet.

With his highly acclaimed acoustic quartet, Holland’s best-selling artist and double Dutch Grammy winner saxophonist and composer Yuri Honing has released his 22nd album and is touring the world promoting its release.

Goldbrun is about Europe and heroism. At a time when Europe is constantly subject to discussion, Honing defends the European history and identity in a musically binding album.
During the recording of Goldbrun Yuri’s father – his first and last hero – passed away. It reminded him of something: John Coltrane’s masterpiece A Love Supreme, that for so many decades was like an unanswered question for Yuri that needed a personal reply. With Goldbrun in some ways, Yuri found his highly personal, contemporary and European answer to this masterpiece. Richard Strauss’s Vier Letzte Lieder, inspired Yuri to compose Goldbrun. The composition has seven parts, ending with an ascension.

Yuri is a Double Edison (Dutch Grammy) winner and over his three decades career has worked with people like Pat Metheny, Paul Bley, Craig Taborn, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Charlie Haden and many others. He won his first Edison in 2001 for his album Seven with Paul Bley, Gary Peacock and Paul Motian. In 2012 Honing won the Boy Edgar Prize, Hollands main jazz prize for the more than twenty albums he made since his debut in 1992. Last year his album Desire not only reached number 1 on the charts, but was also named by the general Dutch press as album of the year and finally won Honing his second Edison.

A concert with Honing and his band is always an event. Being a well-known face on Dutch television the saxophonist knows how to produce a memorable evening for everybody. Joining

After a fabulous reception last year, The Bow Djangos are back on the terrace! Calgary’s own gypsy jazz ambassadors bring the flavour of the past into the here and now! Their hot swing and gypsy jazz repertoire derives from the music of the infamous Hot Club de France of Django Reinhardt and his modern-day contemporaries.

Founded in 2003, this gypsy jazz quartet offers a perfect balance of instrumentation and vocals. Their animated clarinet, dynamic acoustic guitars, rich melodic bass lines, and vocals in both French and English make this genre of jazz accessible to music lovers of all ages. Their energy is contagious! You’ll have a hard time staying in your seat once ‘la pompe’ is unleashed!

Tess “the countess” Bassie began classical piano training at an early age and went on to extend her musical study through a variety of genres and instruments. From folk to symphonic, banjo to bass, Tess has played and sung with such diverse groups as Baroque and Buskin,’ Take the Oy Train, The Satin Dolls, The Stray Dawgs, and The Bow Djangos. Tess is also a bassist with the Calgary Civic Symphony.

Cédric Blary first started playing clarinet at the age of twelve in his school band but it was a Benny Goodman recording from his dad’s collection that really got him hooked. Since then, he has completed a BMus degree in Calgary and gone on to perform in a wide variety of musical settings. He can be heard on over thirty-five recordings with artists including Little Miss Higgins, Heather Blush, Tim Williams, Steve Fisher, The Travelling Mabels, The Bow Djangos and Jazz Winds. Cédric also sings bass with the award-winning acappella group, The Heebee-jeebees and is an active performer and instructor in and around Calgary.

Tristan Euzen is a guitarist and singer strongly influenced by the gypsy jazz musicians and French popular music of the 1930-1960s. Tristan joined The Bow Djangos in 2009 where he provides a solid swing guitar rhythm, rich melodic solos, and warm baritone singing in English and en Français.

Phill West started playing guitar at age six and now has created a thriving guitar teaching biz, “Calgary’s Best Guitar Lessons”. No styles and musical adventures are off limits, and Phill even has some heavy metal recordings under his belt. Besides sheer force of talent, Phill brings a valued entrepreneurial spirit to the band.

With a true hot club sound that swing audiences love, The Bow Djangos are welcome performers at dances, festivals, clubs, holiday and life celebrations. Their recordings Hot Swing and Gypsy Jazz, A Perfect Match, and Forward Into Yesterday have been featured on such radio/television programs as The Vinyl Café, A Time For Jazz, Tonic, A Room Full of Sound, and Hello-Bonjour Alberta.

Get that swing with The Bow Djangos!

Yuri are Wolfert Brederode on piano, Tijs Klaassen on bass and Joost Lijbaart on drums.

One of our favourite JazzFest performers is back. Brooklyn born, Ranee Lee is now celebrating forty-eight years in Montreal, where she enjoys a successful, multi-faceted career as one of Canada’s most popular jazz vocalists. An award-winning actress, teacher and songwriter, she is a member of the Order of Canada and a proud author of children’s books. Ranee has recorded 13 albums for the Justin Time label, winning the JUNO Award for 2010’s Lives Upstairs. Throughout her career, Ranee has performed with many jazz notables, including Clark Terry, Terry Clarke, Bill Mayes, Herbie Ellis, Red Mitchell, Milt Hinton and Oliver Jones.

A Dora Mavor Moore Award winning actress, Ranee starred in Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill, Canada’s first production of the musical portrayal of Billie Holiday. Her subsequent recording, Deep Song, featured label mate Oliver Jones as well as Milt Hinton, bassist with Billie Holiday. The recording was met with acclaim, bringing Ranee’s voice to the attention of jazz fans and concert producers throughout the world.
Her latest touring show is the production Dark Divas, which Ranee wrote and performs in. It is a musical about the lives of some of the most compelling women singers of the century. The show honours the divas who have influenced her most in her career as a jazz diva herself, featuring songs that were sung by Josephine Baker, Billie Holiday, Pearl Bailey, Dinah Washington, Sarah Vaughan and Ella Fitzgerald.

Ranee received the International Association of Jazz Educators Award for outstanding service to jazz education, at the twenty first IAJE conference in 1994. As an educator, Ranee has been part of the University of Laval faculty in Quebec City and The Schulich School of Music of McGill University faculty for over twenty years. She was appointed as a Member to The Order Of Canada and in 2007 was given an award for her contribution to the development of the McGill Jazz Program by the McGill Schulich School of Music. Joining Ranee for her Medicine Hat performance will be Richard Ring on guitar, Dave Watts on bass, Dave Laing on drums,
Taurey Butler on piano and Ron Di Lauro on trumpet.

Pianist John Roney has been a performer at JazzFest going back to the earliest years and we welcome him back this year with his latest solo piano project.

Since his arrival in Montreal in 2001, John Roney has established himself as one of the most well-known and well-respected names in jazz piano. He has performed and recorded with top local artists such as Alain Caron, Bernard Primeau, Ginette Reno, Remi Bolduc, Michel Donato, and the Effendi Jazzlab, and also leads many of his own projects from solo piano to large ensemble.

His versatility as a performer, composer, and arranger have led him to perform all over the world, and record with some of the top names in the music industry – Frank Gambale, Johnny Mandel, Vince Mendoza, Nick Brignola, Jerry Bergonzi, Donny McCaslin, Horacio el Negro Hernandez, Sheila Jordan, Dennis Chambers, Seamus Blake, Ingrid Jensen, and more…

With numerous nominations at the Felix l’ADISQ Awards, Juno Awards, Canadian Jazz Awards, and les Prix d’Opus, John can be heard on over 50 recordings as a leader, sideman or composer. In January of 2013, CBC Radio-Canada paid tribute to John’s creative output with a 2.5-hour feature broadcast of exclusively his music, as presented by Stanley Péan. John has garnered numerous grants and prizes for his piano playing, including the 1996 Yamaha Rising Star Award, the 1999 First Prize at Toronto’s ‘Jazz Stars of the Future,’ and the 2011 Prix Étoiles Galaxie composition prize by the Montreal Jazz Festival for his piece “Choices”.

Currently professeur adjoint a Université de Montreal, John has also taught at CEGEP Marie-Victorin, McGill University, SUNY Potsdam University, UDC – the Ultimate Drum Camp, and the Orford Academie of the Arts. John Roney is a Korg Canada endorsee and plays Fandrich Pianos.