After an exciting week of shows in every corner of Saskatoon’s downtown, you still have a few days left to get your groove on. Here are my picks for the final weekend at the SaskTel Saskatchewan Jazz Festival.
Groovy Comeback Thursday
It’s been a while since Juno-winning Kellylee Evans has been on the Saskatoon stage. The jazz/groove singer last performed at the festival in 2011 and that was quite nearly the last time we could’ve heard from her at all. In 2013, Evans was struck by lightning, an event that lefter her trouble breathing and even speaking. The artist’s road to recovery has been long and hard. She has just released a new album called Come On one that took several years to release. Evans has promised her new music to be a soothing escape. Tickets are $40.
Fusion Fun Thursday & Friday
Nutrien Free Stage & Capitol Music Club
Called the best party band in years by NPR, the music of Red Barat dares you not to get up and move to the music. This Brooklyn based band blends Bhangra music with a rock and roll sensibility. This group is exactly the kind of act you’ll want to take the crew to see at the free stage Thursday night. If you just can’t get enough, they head over to the Capitol Music Club for their set Friday night. Tickets are $25.
Got Dem Blues Friday
This duo sold out the gardens at their 2014 jazz festival show and now they make their triumphant return. Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite have just released an album called No Mercy In This Land and it’s full of hard living, honking blues tunes. If you’re looking for a show to see on a hot summer night, this is one. Tickets are $75.
Rock & Reggae Infusion Saturday
Rock, reggae and latin rhythms collide on the dance floor when Minivandal performs. It’s hard to beat a rock band that has a horn section and these will be energy infused performances. Ben Fortosky on horns has a special place on the jazz festival landscape because this young musician came up through the TD Jazz Intensive. That’s the musical mentorship program for aspiring musicians that runs alongside the festival every year. Minivandal will be opening for Brooklyn based saxophone dance band Moon Hooch at the Amigos Cantina show. Tickets are $20.
Concert Master Saturday
He’s got swagger, charm and dang can this guy play the piano. Michael Kaeshammer is no stranger to our festival and he’s back with a new album called No Filter. Kaeshammer will have you entertained from the first note and his band is outstanding. It’s a chance to see a real showman in action. Tickets are $55.
Fresh Folk Sunday
One listen to the John Butler Trio and you’ll be relaxed and refreshed. This group is a top sell in their native Austrailia and they are just starting to break into the North American scene. This music is introspective, light and dark and really beautiful. This will be an evening to soothe the soul in the Bessborough Gardens. Tickets are $60.