Winnipeg's Jazz Magazine

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straight up

Our cover feature, straight up profiles an acclaimed jazz artist or a major contributor to jazz culture.

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July/August 2017: Anna-Lisa Kirby

Anna-Lisa Kirby: Coaching the Next Generation of Singers

This August, the University of Manitoba will attract a new band of junior high and high school musicians, along with a handful of adult weekend warriors, for the annual U of M Summer Jazz Camp, now in its 24th year. For a full week, these musicians learn new repertoire, gain new levels of accomplishment on […]

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May/June 2017: Buster Williams (Festival Edition)

Buster Williams: Always Something More

Bassist Buster Williams is one of the most accomplished and in-demand bassists on the jazz scene today. His nearly six-decade career has included performances, tours, and recordings with such luminaries as Art Blakey, Mary Lou Williams, Sarah Vaughan, Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, McCoy Tyner, Lee Konitz, Errol Garner, and Freddie Hubbard, among countless others. Williams […]

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March/April 2017: Neil Watson

The Bridge: Welcome to Canada!

The Bridge: Learning for Life is a voluntary, not-for-credit music class at Hugh John Macdonald School that uses a rhythm-first approach to learning music. It is a privately-funded course offered through the school division’s Children’s Heritage Fund, with the support of private donors and foundations. Those are the program’s credentials, but for me, the Bridge […]

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January/February 2017: Warren Wolf

Warren Wolf: Leading the Pack

Winnipeg audiences are in for a treat this February 18 when vibraphonist Warren Wolf takes his place on the stage at the West End Cultural Centre as part of Steve Kirby’s Oceanic Jazz Orchestra. Wolf is one of the leading voices on the vibes, with three recordings as a leader on the Mack Avenue label—Warren […]

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November/December 2016: Alicia Olatuja

Alicia Olatuja: The Majesty of Sound

Singer Alicia Olatuja is one of the strong new voices in the jazz world. As you listen to her effortless melodies, you can hear a wide range of influences—gospel, soul, jazz, and classical. These are the gifts of growing up in St Louis, a musically diverse city, then soaking up the music of the world […]

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September/October 2016: Robi Botos

Robi Botos: Moving Forward

The Hungarian-born Canadian pianist Robi Botos is a force to be reckoned with. In recent years he has won numerous awards and accolades, including first prize at the Great American Jazz Piano Competition in Jacksonville Florida, first prize at the International Montreux Jazz Festival’s solo piano competition, and most recently a Juno award for Solo […]

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July/August 2016: Greg Lowe

Sundays at the Lyric

For over ten years, preparing for Smooth Sundays at the Lyric Theatre has been a big part of my spring routine. Having the privilege to bring in international world-class talent on a regular basis has been hugely inspiring for me and my band. The task of learning an entire show of new material with only […]

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May/June 2016: Kamasi Washington (Festival Edition)

Kamasi Washington: Epic!

If you haven’t heard the name Kamasi Washington yet, it’s just a matter of time, because this young tenor player is taking the jazz world by storm. A west-coaster—and son of a saxophonist—Washington started playing drums as a little kid, then the clarinet. He listened almost exclusively to hip hop until he was about 13, […]

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March/April 2016: Aaron Diehl

Aaron Diehl: The Real Diehl

What can I say about my good friend, Aaron Diehl? Well…I could mention that he’s been the recipient of numerous awards including the 2013 Jazz Journalists Association Award for Up-And-Coming Artist, the 2012 Prix du jazz Classique recipient for one of his first albums Live at the Players Club, and the 2011 Cole Porter Fellowship […]

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January/February 2016: Seamus Blake

Seamus Blake with the Florian Hoefner Group: Luminosity

Tenor saxophonist Seamus Blake is one of the big voices in contemporary jazz. He’s everywhere in New York, playing with everybody who’s somebody. I’m not exaggerating! As well as his own groups (including an electronic project where he plays the Electric Wind Instrument, or EWI), a shortlist includes John Scofield, Victor Lewis, Antonio Sanchez, Maria […]

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November/December 2015: Grace Kelly

In Search of the Neutral Zone

The truth is like clarinet. Most of us love the sound of it. Every now and then we meet someone who can play it and it’s a wonderful experience. To be fully reverberating with the lyric beauty of a clarinet played by a virtuoso is to be assured that there is something great yet unknowable […]

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November/December 2015: Grace Kelly

Lynne Arriale, Carla Cook, Grace Kelly: Keepers of the Flame

Nina Simone, Abbey Lincoln, and Joni Mitchell: three brilliant singer-songwriters, each original, compelling, and unflinching in pursuing her vision for music and for a life in music. The next set of concerts in the Asper Jazz Performances celebrates the music of these three gifted women. Fittingly, it is headlined by three current heavy hitters: pianist […]

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September/October 2015: Vincent Gardner

Vincent Gardner: This Slide Rules

I met Vincent Gardner in the 90s, and we played here and there on gigs and at jam sessions. I knew even then that he was unique—this bona fide world class jazz trombonist, a guy who had played with Count Basie and the Duke Ellington Band, was suddenly off touring with Grammy-winning hip hop artist, […]

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July/August 2015: Walle Larsson

Smooth Jazz Sundays

It’s a privilege to be the host of Smooth Sundays 2015 at the Lyric Theatre in Assiniboine Park. Having recently returned from the Bahamas Jazz Festival and a ten-day tour in Israel, my band and I are pumped to have the opportunity to back up top international musicians that will be joining us for this […]

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straight up

Esperanza Spalding: Meteoric

Bassist and vocalist Esperanza Spalding has been a household name in the jazz world for a few years now, ever since she burst onto the scene with her 2011 Grammy win for Best New Artist over contenders such as Mumford and Sons, Drake, and (most infamously) Justin Bieber. She was the first jazz musician to […]

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March/April 2015: Regina Carter

Regina Carter: Real Southern Comfort

When most people think of the violin, they think of a solo instrument in a concerto, or a lead in a small ensemble, or a whole section of ten or twenty violinists playing in perfect synchronicity in an orchestral setting. Other styles that often include violin—or fiddle, as it’s more likely to be called—are zydeco, […]

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January/February 2015: big dig! band

Introducing: the Big dig! Band

You might think of past eras when you think of big bands, and it’s true that Duke Ellington, Count Basie, and others took their bands to the highest levels, providing us with many beloved standards. But big bands continue to be popular and relevant, performing not only music from the swing era, but music that […]

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November/December 2014: dig! magazine Turns Ten!

dig! magazine Turns Ten!

I see dig! magazine as an ongoing chronicle of every jazz event that has occurred on my radar since 2004, the year after I arrived in Winnipeg. It’s a staggering amount! I’m amazed when I think about the number of people who’ve come here to play, to teach, to share music with us, and when […]

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September/October 2014: Chick Corea

Chick Corea: Keeping Vigil

When established artists tour, they face a conundrum: whether to play old favourites or exciting new material. Chick Corea, piano virtuoso and innovative master of jazz fusion, has found an ingenious solution. The Vigil tour rolling into Burton Cummings Theatre September 23 will be no mere retrospective. It will be a bold reimagining of the […]

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July/August 2014: Curtis Nowosad

Curtis Nowosad: A Whole Different Animal

After a year away, drummer Curtis Nowosad is becoming a familiar face here in Winnipeg again. Fresh off a headliner show with Jimmy Greene at the TD Winnipeg International Jazz Festival in June, and a rash of events across Canada as the leader of his first tour, Curtis will be reconnecting with friends here in […]

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