Winnipeg's Jazz Magazine

July/August 2011: Derrick Gardner

Up on the Roof

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It’s that time of year again—warm air, long evenings, and the luxury of listening to music outside.

For over thirty years, the Winnipeg Art Gallery has welcomed jazz lovers to its rooftop gallery for a series of summer concerts. The space is open and elegant, and even when everyone is seated and attentive, there’s a certain informality about being outdoors that makes a big family out of the many people who gather.

This summer’s Jazz on the Rooftop season showcases an eclectic line-up of musicians who range across many styles. The series opens on the last day of June with the Ron Paley Big Band, a group that has loyal fans from dance halls to concert halls.

Next up is Big Dave McLean whose gritty vocals and delta blues stylings have made him a favorite with Winnipeg audiences for years.

July ends with the Icelandic guitar work of Bjorn Thoroddsen. He teams up with long-time collaborator Richard Gillis for a small ensemble performance that celebrates that northern sensibility.

August takes you south with the energizing Latin sounds of Papa Mambo, Rodrigo Muñoz’ nine-piece salsa band. The rhythms are infectious, so you might want to choose a chair at the end of the row!

The middle of August features the high-powered faculty of this year’s Summer Jazz Camp at the University of Manitoba—Jimmy Greene, Quincy Davis, George Colligan, and Anna-Lisa and Steve Kirby. This concert introduces the city to the warm sounds and artistry of our new trumpet player, Derrick Gardner.

The season ends with a new group that’s just at the front end of its career. Red Moon Road is an acoustic folk/roots trio featuring singer Erin Propp and two Daniels—Jordan and Peloquin-Hopfner—who play various stringed instruments and add background vocals.

Jazz on the Rooftop shows start at 7:30, but the Storm Restaurant serves a barbeque at 6:00—menus are posted on the WAG website. A concert ticket also gives you access to all of the galleries throughout the day—that’s a bonus that makes it worth coming down for the afternoon too.

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