Winnipeg's Jazz Magazine

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Jazz on Wheels: Soul-Trainin’

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We kicked off the new Jazz on Wheels season with a bang on June 7, at the huge Community Feast hosted by Hugh John Macdonald School on Bannatyne.

A rough head count topped 800 people, and they gathered for the unveiling of a brilliant new mural, a mosaic of dancers from many cultures being supported by a rainbow of music and sheltered by a huge tree of knowledge. If you’re anywhere near Kate and William, it’s worth a few minutes of your time—the colours are vivid, the artistry is high, and the inspiration factor is out of this world.

We’re not exactly surprised when amazing things happen at Hugh John Macdonald School—the kids and teachers there are a special bunch. A whole new crop of kids were part of this year’s Bridge program there, with Neil Watson as their fearless leader. Those young musicians performed a couple of tunes on their own at the Feast, and several of them performed a couple of tunes with the Jazz on Wheels band too.

That’s what Jazz on Wheels is for—not just entertaining people and injecting some lightness in their day, but reaching out to support developing musicians who have their own thing to add to the mix. When we all get together on the bandstand, we’re enjoying the pleasure of great music, but we’re also celebrating the differences that come together in one unique and dynamic experience. In a way, that’s what jazz is: the sound track for the feast of community.

The Jazz on Wheels band got rowdy at a noon-hour show at The Cube during the TD Winnipeg International Jazz Festival. We’ll be out a few times over the summer as well, including a couple of July dates with the kids who make the CSI summer learning program such a success, and the annual August party at Rossbrook House. We have a few other options, so stay tuned for details.

It would be great if you joined us—everybody is welcome at the community feast!

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