ottawa jazz festival...

In about 60 days, we're going to revisit the beautiful little jazz festival nestled into the heart of Ottawa, ON. Because both Lisa Fischer and The Roots were playing there last year during our sabbatical, we took a chance and made the trek from Montreal. And damn but it was fine, fine, super fine! So this year, rather than deal with our favorite North American city when it is full to overflowing with tourists, we've booked time in Ottawa. (Nous reviendrons a Montreal at the end of summer this year.)
Three highlights of the Ottawa outing will start by seeing Chick Corea, Christian McBride and Brian Blade play as a jazz trio. Each is a giant in his own right - so to dig them playing standards in this context is a bit of heaven on earth. I have a deep affinity for this type of ensemble - piano, bass and drums - and hope to be able to get some of my own playing in with my local mates in this type of configuration - and maybe bring in a sax man, too! The second artist I am eager to see in Ottawa is Montreal composer and pianist, Marianne Trudel and her quartet with guest sax player Ingrid Jensen. Both women are stunning in their creativity and wildly inventive in their playing. I saw Trudel last year in my favorite Montreal jazz club, Dieze Onze, doing a quartet so this should be a total gas. And the third joy will be the 50th Anniversary of Brian Wilson doing the Pet Sounds Tour. I can still remember when my first Capitol Records Club package arrived with "Pet Sounds" inside. To see this recreated live in Confederation Park should be another encounter with the sublime. I can't wait.

Between now and then, however, there is some important work to embrace at church: we're beginning a drive to "right size" our facilities in a way that is exciting - especially using our real estate to become an asset for ministry rather than wasted space - and that kicks off in May. We will celebrate the ordination into ministry of a young man I have come to cherish and respect now that he has completed seminary and accepted a call to serve a congregation outside of Worcester, MA. There are some memorial services to conduct and also the Rite of 
Confirmation for five of our young people, too.  Lets not forgetting hanging with my loved ones as well as house painting - inside and out - and more work on my bass playing, too. Then, as the summer closes, we'll hang in Montreal for a short spell and soak up the sweet vibe of that sacred place.


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