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May 8, 2008

Saskatchewan Jazz Festival Lineup

Written by
cindy mcleod

jazz festivals, Canada

SaskTel Saskatchewan Jazz Festival

SaskTel Saskatchewan Jazz Festival
June 20-29
Saskatoon, Regina, North Battleford

Over 600 Musicians to Perform Throughout the Week

The SaskTel Saskatchewan Jazz Festival, running this year June 20-29, have announced their lineup at an official launch on Wednesday in Saskatoon.

The event will feature over 600 musicians, 75% of them regional artists, who will perform a variety of music genres throughout the 10 days, including world, blues, hip hop, gospel, funk and jazz.

Among the headline artists slated to appear on the Bessborough Gardens Mainstage are The Neville Brothers (June 20), Los Lobos (June 21), Pink Martini (June 22), Le Gran Union (June 27), Maceo Parker (June 28), and Robert Cray (June 29). Closing out the festival June 29 at TCU Place is legendary pianist Dave Brubeck.

Over at the Broadway Theatre, nine concerts will take place, including a special double-bill performance with homegrown greats Fred Ballantyne and his Juno Award-winning pianist son, Jon (June 22). Also appearing are Carol Welsman (June 21), E.S.T. (June 23), John Scofield (June 25), Molly Johnson (June 26), Kellylee Evans (June 28), Monty Alexander (June 24) and Naturally 7 (June 27). On June 28 the TD Canada Trust High School Jazz Intensive will perform in the afternoon.

Free jazz events will take place at Kiwanis Park South, running every day throughout the festival and featuring headliners on the StarPhoenix Free Stage. Free concerts are also slated for the Boppin’ on Broadway stage June 21 & 28th, as well as the downtown Barney Kutz Pocket Park on June 20th and 23-27th. The Spadina Freehouse hosts free concerts June 21, 21, 26, 28 & 29, while the 2nd Ave Grill hosts concerts June 22, 23, 24, 26 & 27th.

Fred Ballantyne has also been named as this year’s recipient of a special recognition award, while Mona Chappell, who worked with the festival for 12 years and was president from 1995-1997, will receive the Jim Hill Builder Award.

The fifth largest jazz festival in Canada and the second largest in Western Canada, SasTel Saskatchewan Jazz Festival has seen a 40% increase in attendance over the last four years. Having received funding support from three levels of government, organizers have kept the average ticket price for 2008 at $20, while 60% of the concerts are free.

for more info visit www.saskjazz.com

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