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"GigSpace a big draw for jazz listeners" A year ago I had a Goldilocks and the Three Bears kind of jazz concert experience over three consecutive nights. The first night I went to a concert at a very large venue. The next night I went to a concert at a medium sized venue. The third night I went to a show at GigSpace venue. All three shows featured nationally known, Juno Award winning, audience-wowing sorts of talent. But it was the show at GigSpace that I enjoyed the most. And GigSpace Performance Studio was that teeny-tiny venue. January  2019 Bruce Burwell's Jazz pick of the week: Steve Amirault at GigSpace - Over a 26-year and six-album career, pianist Steve Amirault has produced memorable and lyrical compositions which touched our hearts. January 2019

"It's about having my own version of the song," pianist-singer Steve Amirault says

Before he began crooning, Montreal musician Steve Amirault had racked up impressive credits as a pianist.Not only was the Nova Scotia native featured on Juno-winning projects by fellow Montrealers Christine Jensen and François Carrier. He had also played piano for the world-class American jazz stars Sheila Jordan, Eddie Gomez and Eddie Henderson. Janauary 2019 Peter Hum Jazz Blog Ottawa Citizen

"Bryn Roberts and Lage Lund make new conversations - listening to Canadian pianist Bryn Roberts and Norwegian guitarist Lage Lund, you can hear the musical rapport they've built up from playing together for more than a dozen years. They have ust released their second duo album together, and will showcase it to audiences in Montreal, Toronto, and Ottawa this week, including Saturday at GigSpace". December 2018 Alayne McGregor

"GigSpace unveils 2019 shows - GigSpace has just announced its spring 2019 line-up. All the groups so far booked have played in Ottawa before, and most at GigSpace." December 2018 Alayne McGregor

Malcolm Goldstein: "You begin and you play" - Malcolm Goldstein is a violinist, composer, and improviser who has consistently found his own path in music, and expanded possible ways of thinking about music along the way. . . That evening, he'll have a return engagement with Stewart: a completely-improvised concert in the intimate and very quiet environs of GigSpace. November 2018  Alayne McGregor

"Diane Nalini goes beyond English with "magnifique" jazz numbers" In her GigSpace show, Diane Nalini expressively sang favourite jazz and jazzified tunes in French, Portuguese, Spanish, and English, along some of her own compositions in those languages." October 2018 Alayne McGregor

"The strongest music achieves unity with its listeners, vibraphonist Stefan Bauer says. he Brooklyn-based musician and former resident of Canada brings his quintet to Toronto, Ottawa and Winnipeg this month." September 2018  Peter Hum Jazzblog

Ottawa jazzmen Mark Ferguson and Mike Tremblay team up this weekend with big musical guns from Toronto. The Ottawa duo plan to record this year with Toronto jazz heavyweights Dave Young and Terry Clarke" September 2018 Peter Hum Jazzblog

"GigSpace's expanded 2018 fall season draws from NYC, Toronto, and Ottawa" 

This fall, GigSpace has filled every concert slot it can manage, with groups coming from NYC, Toronto, and Ottawa.  August 2018 Alayne McGregor

"Never enough time: How GigSpace schedules shows" GigSpace Performance Studio, now starting its 8th season, has more demand for presentation space than its organizers can handle. August 2018  Alayne McGregor

“Vancouver saxophonist Mike Allen looks forward to musical reunions in Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa” – That’s way too long, any jazz fan familiar with Allen’s commanding playing and musical eloquence will tell you.
April 2018 Peter Hum Jazzblog

“You can hear a nugget of happiness that is just waiting to explode” — The Sharon Minemoto Interview. Below, Minemoto, who has studied with such piano greats as Renee Rosnes, Kenny Werner and Don Thompson, introduces herself.  She also explains that she felt as strongly about hitting the road with her quartet as she did about presenting her music dedicated to her late husband, saxophonist and pianist Ross Taggart. March 2018 Peter Hum JazzBlog

Sharon Minemoto wishes “Safe Travels” to Ross Taggart “ I hope that they will hear our passion for the music, and I hope that if any of them know Ross they will perhaps hear the humour in it. Because we really don’t feel a lot of sadness when we’re playing that music anymore. It’s mostly just remembering all the fun times that we had with Ross.”
March 2018 Alayne MacGregor’s Jazz pick of the week: So Long Seven at GigSpace
Together, their music is a joyous merging of jazz, world music, and folk, with a good dose of improvisation. Their pieces are exemplified by strong melodies and intertwining lines on guitar, violin, and banjo, all propelled along by the insistent rhythm of the tablas. Their music is almost all original, written by different members of the band. Jan  31/18 Brett Delmage & Alayne MacGregor

Toronto vocalist Felicity Williams, who lends her pure, airy singing to both indie bands such as Bahamas and Broken Social Scene and free-wheeling jazz projects, returns to GigSpace (953 Gladstone Ave.) on Saturday, Oct. 28, for an intimate duet concert with Ottawa guitarist Roddy Ellias. The two have made spontaneous magic at an Ottawa Jazz Festival jam session. At GigSpace, a 46-seat performance, they’ll have two sets during which they will aim for similar highs. The music starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 at or 613-729-0693. Jazz — Peter Hum Best Bets Ottawa Citizen


A conversation with D.D. Jackson – on his Ottawa homecoming and his musical inspirations. This week will be a homecoming for Juno-winning pianist D.D. Jackson – back to the Ottawa student music festivals where he made his first public performances, and back to playing with a long-time musical friend. May 2017 Alayne MacGregor

. . . D.D. Jackson rekindles his passion for jazz. Last week, Jackson played in Murray’s band at New York’s legendary Village Vanguard jazz club, and critic Fred Kaplan wrote of Jackson at “He’s lost none of his brilliance, whether mad-dashing across the keyboard, comping with deep lyricism, or . . . well, anything the occasion demands. I hope Murray’s return means Jackson’s as well.” May 2017 Peter Hum JazzBlog’s Pick of the week for May 11 to 17: Geri Childs presents “Paper Moon” at GigSpace In this show, Ottawa jazz vocalist will pay tribute to Nat King Cole by singing songs that he made famous. Childs says that she has a “cornucopia of wonderful songs to choose from. It was hard to limit ourselves.” May 2017

Israeli saxman Tevet Sela adds sounds of the Middle East to his jazz Montreal saxophonist Tevet Sela likes to say that he plays jazz with an Israeli accent. A graduate of the Thelma Yellin High School of Arts outside Tel Aviv, Sela played in the house bands of Israeli TV shows and toured in Europe, playing jazz festivals and venues. But in the winter of 2010, he relocated to Montreal, bringing with him a personal jazz that draws on Middle Eastern sounds. Sela, who is in his early 40s, plays Ottawa’s intimate, 46-seat venue GigSpace this Saturday, offering a program of original duo music with Montreal pianist John Roney.  April 2017 Peter Hum JazzBlog

“No extra clutter”: James Brown and Jim Vivian have a guitar-bass conversation.  Jazz musician James Brown is a composer, first and foremost. His instrument is the guitar – but his multi-layered musical vision extends well beyond that. He’ll play his compositions – some of which were originally written for classical ensembles and some for jazz quintet – when he makes his GigSpace debut on April 1.  It’s a smaller group, however – a duo concert with well-known Toronto bassist Jim Vivian, where they’ll also play some standards and music by the Beatles and Joni Mitchell. Brown and Vivian have been performing together regularly for two decades – “It’s one of the duos that I keep coming back to,” Brown says. Alayne McGregor March 2017

GigSpace Jazz MicroFest puts the local into International Jazz Day “It’s a community-building effort. It’s raising the profile of the musicians in Ottawa. It’s showing that we do have stellar musicians in our midst, playing at a very high level.” Read moreabout how this came together:   March 2017

“It’s all about growth,” says Ottawa jazz guitarist Garry Elliott Ottawa guitarist Garry Elliott has a musically diverse few days coming up. The veteran six-stringer will be at GigSpace on Gladstone Avenue on Saturday, Jan. 21, co-leading a quartet with Ottawa pianist Steve Boudreau that draws on the seasoned talents of two Montrealers — bassist Adrian Vedady and drummer Camil Belisle, who was raised in Ottawa. Jan 2017 Peter Hum JazzBlog

“The freedom to be able to invent in the moment is absolute,” Toronto pianist-singer-composer Micah Barnes returns to Ottawa Saturday for a solo concert at GigSpace that will be equal parts jazz and holiday classics. Below, Barnes describes the path his life and music have taken. Dec 2016  Peter Hum Jazzblog

“Don’t waste your notes”: an interview with Dong-Won Kim editor Alayne McGregor interviewed Kim on Monday about Friday’s concert, what he’s been teaching at Carleton, and how he approaches music – but also about his experiences as a political prisoner in Korea in the 1980s, and how that solidified his determination to become a musician. Alayne McGregor Nov 2016

Maureen Kennedy’s passion for finding hidden jazz standards Toronto jazz vocalist Maureen Kennedy is always learning new songs and expanding her repertoire of jazz standards. “I have a passion for learning tunes. A real passion for it, and it’s kind of nerdy.” This summer, for example, she learned six new tunes just for one show. She’ll be singing all six in Ottawa this Saturday at her quartet show at GigSpace, performing with saxophonist Rob Frayne, pianist Jeff Johnston, and bassist Alec Walkington.
Alayne McGregor Oct 2016

Felicity Williams and her entrancing singing move from the background to the forefront. Toronto singer Felicity Williams has sung for the masses at Bonnaroo and other music festivals thanks to her backing vocals work with rootsy singer-songwriter Bahamas. But Williams has an eclectic jazz side all her own. It will be on full display this Saturday in Ottawa at GigSpace, when Williams plays free-roaming duets with guitarist Justin Haynes. Peter Hum Oct 2016 Peter Hum Jazzblog

Tim Bedner & Elise Letourneau revisit their Thursday nights at Cafe Paradiso on Saturday Five years later, fans still remember Thursday jazz nights at Café Paradiso – and are paying to hear that music again this weekend. Three jazz listeners are sponsoring a concert on Saturday at GigSpace, where guitarist Tim Bedner and vocalist/pianist/flute player Elise Letourneau will recreate the music they used to play at that former Ottawa jazz venue. Alayne McGregor Sept 2016

Rachel Beausoleil shares the Brazilian popular music you don’t know – Samba, bossa nova, Antonio Carlos Jobim: that’s Brazilian music to most people. But there’s lots of interesting and appealing music from that country rarely heard here. At GigSpace on Saturday, Rachel Beausoleil will introduce a much broader picture of Brazilian music to Ottawa. Alayne McGregor Sept 2016

The swinging style of Denielle Bassels – For Toronto vocalist Denielle Bassels, swing music is a happy escape – one that she likes sharing with her audiences. “I just love that sound. I’m drawn to this kind of rhythm, swing and happy rhythm, because I think it’s an escape for me. You know, to feel this happy, driving force. It just takes you away from the monotony of life, and things that might be bothering you at the time, which for me is kind of an escape.” Alayne MacGregor August 2016

James McGowan, on the maiden voyage of Modasaurus – I’ve come across so many talented musicians in Ottawa — the jazz community here is one of the warmest, most friendly jazz communities I’ve experienced.  In forming Modasaurus, I wanted to tap into strong musicians who are easy to get along with, are strong readers, aren’t afraid to tackle a challenge, can handle a wide and diverse range of styles, and can approach the music both as expert improvisors and thoughtful performers of often complicated composed-out sections. The guys in HML are all that. May 2016 Peter Hum JazzBlog Pick of the Week:  Modasaurus at GigSpace.  Modasaurus is a new collaboration – between pianist and composer James McGowan and the long-running HML Trio of guitarist Alex Moxon, bassist J.P. Lapensée, and drummer Jamie Holmes. At this show, they’ll primarily perform McGowan’s compositions, which are influenced by everything from funk to ECM free-jazz to Latin rhythms to sounds from the Middle East. The set list will contain pieces they’ve already recorded and the première of some new pieces. May 2016

An expanded quartet rethinks the music (video) Boudreau said he liked “a lot of things that they added. It was different from other people would have added. I think that Adrian as a bass player is a really tasteful, melodic bass player, but he also has a really strong meaty time feel… And Camil, really super-swinging and really catches a lot of little details in the melodies. Between them, it was a very different experience.” Watch our video report about that show, with two of the songs played that evening along with an interview with Elliott and Boudreau about their responses to what they collectively created. April 2016 Brett Delmage May 2016

“Garry Elliott and Steve Boudreau add new voices and viewpoints to their music”. They’re also expanding the sound with Vedady and Belisle. “I think it’s really neat for Steve and I to share our music with people from elsewhere, too, and to play it and see what their take is on it.” April 2016 Alayne MacGregor

Garry Elliott and Steve Boudreau, on expanding their duo to a quartet. Over the last few years, guitarist Garry Elliott and pianist Steve Boudreau, both Ottawans, have built up a fine duo relationship and body of original music documented in their disc Pre Dawn Skies. They take their music to another level this Saturday when they play GigSpace with Montrealers Adrian Vedady on bass and drummer Camil Belisle. April 2016  Peter Hum Jazz Blog

On Friday, McGarry and guitarist Keith Ganz, who is also her husband, will play the 46-seat GigSpace Performance Studio on Gladstone Avenue.  The cosy show will be on the same scale as the experiences that entranced McGarry when she was growing up in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and hearing music outside her home. March 2016 Peter Hum Jazz Blog

“Brazilian drumming inspires Rob Frayne’s latest percussive project, DrumSwamp” When Rob Frayne heard a performance by his son Charlie’s Brazilian drumming class in January, “it just blew me away”. And the reason why was his son’s teacher, percussionist Liz Hanson. That inspired the Ottawa cofor Fmposer and saxophonist to start jamming with Hanson, and to create his newest project, DrumSwamp. The quintet, playing “jazz and drum-grounded music”, will have its debut at GigSpace on Saturday. March 2016 Alayne MacGregor

“Only applause broke the silence as the Sonoluminescence Trio played the Record Centre” “But it wasn’t just the trio’s fluid musical interaction that kept the audience’s attention. For their Ontario tour this week, they’re being accompanied by painter Jeff Schlanger, who sat at a low easel beside the musicians. He drew as they performed, using calligraphy pens and coloured markers on a large sheet of paper.” March 2016 Alayne MacGregor,

“David Mott on the Sonoluminescence Trio in performance” “The Sonoluminescence Trio returns to Ottawa on March 18, 2016, at GigSpace, this time with painter Jeff Schlanger witnessing their performance”. “The trio also performs their encore improvisation to an enthusiastic audience in the video.” Be sure to also read the associated story, William Parker, David Mott, and Jesse Stewart have many stories to tell.“  Check out the video from April 2015 at  March 2016 Brett Delmage

The many colours of the Jesse Stewart trio “This Friday’s free-jazz concert by Ottawa drummer Jesse Stewart and his trio will give the audience a double dose of insight into the artistic process. Not only will Stewart, New York bassist William Parker and Toronto baritone saxophonist David Mott perform utterly improvised and unfettered music. A row of seats at GigSpace on Gladstone Avenue will be removed so that New York artist Jeff Schlanger can paint his reaction to the music, in full view of the audience, if not the musicians who are inspiring him”. March 2016 Peter Hum Jazz Blog

“James McGowan and Jesse Stewart improvise music from many streams”.  “McGowan and Stewart, both professors of music at Carleton University, have played together at the university a number of times, but Friday’s show will be their first more public performance. As before, the music they’ll play will be created completely in the moment – nothing written in advance”.  March 2016 Alayne McGregor,

René Lavoie pays hommage to Cannonball Adderley, the saxophonist who changed his life. “On Saturday, February 27, the Ottawa-area saxophonist and flutist will pay tribute to the music of the renowned alto saxophonist who recorded with Miles Davis and John Coltrane. Lavoie first heard Cannonball Adderley’s music as a teenager, and it set him on his path as a saxophonist and Latin jazz performer.” Feb.2016 Alayne McGregor,

Saxophonist René Lavoie’s concert Saturday night at GigSpace is a bit of a sentimental, with a trip-down-memory-lane aspect to it. Joined by pianist J.P. Allain, bassist Normand Glaude and vocalist Megan Jerome, Lavoie will be paying tribute to Julian “Cannonball” Adderley, the larger-than-life alto player who put his own stamp on bebop. As Lavoie notes below, it was Adderley’s soulful example that drove him to strive to be more than an amateur saxophonist. Feb 2016 Peter Hum Jazz Blog

“I like to hear things that I haven’t heard before,” says Ottawa percussionist Jesse Stewart – and that’s an experience he and the audience are likely to share this Friday as he performs a drums and voice duet with renowned jazz singer Jeri Brown. The two shows at GigSpace will be the first time Stewart and Brown have performed publicly together. Feb.2016 Alayne McGregor,

Karen Oxorn reflects 60 years of loving music in her concerts this weekend “The musical journey encompassed by those LPs and more will be reflected in her two concerts this weekend, which will also celebrate her 60th birthday. On Friday, January 29, she’ll perform with pianist Steve Boudreau at GigSpace in Ottawa”.  Jan 2016 Alayne McGregor,

Bill McBirnie fell in love with the flute and jazz, and never recovered.  When Bill McBirnie started playing the flute, he was “completely captivated. That was it. It was a major life-changer for me. When I started practicing it was almost like they couldn’t stop me.” Jan 2016 Alayne McGregor,

Five questions for Toronto flutist Bill McBirnie. Torontonian McBirnie, 62, makes his debut as a leader in Ottawa this weekend at GigSpace, joined by Ottawa’s Mark Ferguson on piano and John Geggie on bass. Their show has already sold out the intimate, 46-seat venue. Since McBirnie’s likely a new name to Ottawa jazz audiences, here’s a good-sized introduction to him. Jan 2016  Peter Hum Jazz Blog

Jason Rosenblatt takes the harmonica to new places, inspired by early jazz and blues. “The Montreal pianist and vocalist will release the CD in Ottawa on Saturday at GigSpace. And up front and centre will be his harmonica – which was the primary reason he made this CD. Rosenblatt said he’s one of the few musicians who can play a blues (diatonic) harmonica chromatically – that is, in the standard chromatic scale used on Western instruments like the piano”.  Dec 2015  Alayne McGregor,

Klezmer harp player rediscovers blues “At one of the clubs, he saw harmonica whiz Jim Zeller. “I would sit in the club and listen, and I would have a harmonica in my pocket, and when he was done with his set, I would run outside and practice the various licks that I heard,” Rosenblatt said. He went on to study with Howard Levy, a master of the diatonic harmonica. “Everything he played on the instrument was radically different, and it went beyond my expectations of what the instrument can do, and I said to myself, ‘I have to play like that,’” Rosenblatt recalled.”  CJN, December 2015

Mary Moore paints with emotional and sound brushes
“I’m so visual when I sing that I guess I do want to paint a picture,” says jazz vocalist and life-long visual artist Mary Moore. “You’re painting with emotional and sound brushes. You’re absolutely doing that.”  Moore’s painted pictures – in acrylic and sound – are featured at GigSpace this month. She is exhibiting seventeen jazz paintings in GigSpace’s art gallery, and singing original jazz compositions in a concert with her quintet on Friday, November 27. Both the art show and the concert mark her progress in overcoming artistic challenges and developing as an artist”.  November 2015, Brett Delmage,

Artie Roth, on bandleading, eclectic influences and fearlessness. “Roth brings his quartet, which includes guitarist Geoff Young, saxophonist Mike Filice and drummer Anthony Michelli, to GigSpace (953 Gladstone Ave.) this Friday at 7:30 p.m. In fact, the band is spending the next week on the road, giving clinics and concerts in Kingston, Montreal and the Maritimes before returning home. Get to know Roth and his music better via the Q&A below.” October 2015, Peter Hum Jazz Blog

The Mike Tremblay Trio Live at GigSpace – as it happened (video) Saxophonist “Mike Tremblay releases his new CD, Live at GigSpace, this Sunday, October 18 at Trinity United Church. He recorded it with guitarist Tim Bedner, and bassist Ben Heard on June 19, before an enthusiastic audience at GigSpace.” October 2015, Brett Delmage,

Mark Ferguson’s Next Chapter unfolds beyond jazz “One of the reasons I wanted to do this CD with a trio was that I wanted the piano to be the prominent voice, because as soon as I record with a singer or a saxophone player or whatever, that voice becomes the prominent voice. So I don’t really get to express my tunes the way I want to.” September 2015, Alayne McGregor,

Ferguson’s First: Veteran Ottawa musican releases new CD But this weekend, Ferguson, 58, is releasing his first album solely under his name, and he says it’s his most personal effort to date. “This album is the way I hear music, it’s the sound that I hear in my head.” September 2015, Peter Hum Jazz Blog

A year later, Bernie Senensky and Roddy Ellias repeat their warm duet, with GigSpace’s new piano This Sunday afternoon, you can hear the new grand piano at GigSpace played by the musician who made sure it was in fine shape before being purchased. Toronto pianist and three-time Juno nominee Bernie Senensky is back in Ottawa, for a duo show at GigSpace with guitarist Roddy Ellias. And he’ll be playing the new piano. September 2015, Alayne

Gerri Trimble brings a fresh approach to her GigSpace concert SaturdayTrimble said she was looking forward to playing with three strong Ottawa jazz musicians at her GigSpace concert: pianist Steve Boudreau, double bassist John Geggie, and drummer Scott Warren. This will be her first show with Boudreau and with a more piano-oriented repertoire, she said. September 2015, Alayne McGregor,

Mike Tremblay,Tim Bedner,Ben Heard to record without a net at Friday concert Saxophonist Mike Tremblay, guitarist Tim Bedner, and bassist Ben Heard will be playing without the safety net of multiple takes on Friday evening, when they record their show live for a CD in front of an audience at GigSpace. June 2015, Brett Delmage,

Renée Yoxon finds songs about the enchantment of childhood for her new CDTogether with two Montreal musicians – pianist Chad Linsley and bassist Adrian Vedady – Yoxon will present music from and inspired by film adaptations of children’s stories, arranged by her and Linsley for jazz trio. The GigSpace concert will be a “sneak peek” at songs she’ll be releasing on a live CD later this summer, she said. June 11,2015 Alayne McGregor,

Renée Yoxon makes a trip home from Montreal this Saturday, bringing two of that city’s exceptional accompanists with her to play at GigSpace  Joining Yoxon are pianist Chad Linsley and bassist Adrian Vedady for a show dedicated to music from and inspired by film adaptations of children’s stories. Below, Yoxon provides a wee update on her life as a McGill University music student, plus the back story for her upcoming concert. June/15 Peter Hum JazzBlog

Garry Elliott and Bumpin’ Binary GigSpace Performance Studio.There was groove – lots of it. There were sharp contrasts between bright guitar licks and light cymbal taps, and the full organ chords. And there was melody and feeling expressed in the slower numbers. May 23,2015 Alayne McGregor,

Ottawa guitarist Garry Elliott, bitten by the Grant Green bug” this Saturday, the Ottawa guitarist returns to the Gladstone Avenue performance space with a decidedly different trio, having enlisted organist Don Cummings and drummer Mike Essoudry — the funky tandem that bills itself as Bumpin’ Binary.” May 20, 2015  Peter Hum JazzBlog

Roddy Ellias plays fresh compositions with long-time friends this Saturday“I’m aiming for a different concept. What I’m trying to do is think of it like a string quartet or even a small orchestra where rather than … one common jazz approach is melody and harmony and somebody grabs the melody and maybe somebody harmonizes the melody with chords.” April 28, 2015 Alayne McGregor,

Laila Biali takes the plunge into indie art popThe Brooklyn-based, Vancouver native’s latest disc, House Of Many Rooms, is her most pop-influenced and original outing yet. It’s a lush, expansive disc of original songs rather than covers that Biali, 34, told me is more of an indie art pop record than jazz. April 24/2015 Peter Hum JazzBlog

William Parker, David Mott, and Jesse Stewart have many stories to tell
This Friday, when the three step onto the stage at GigSpace, they’ll be creating new musical narratives on the spot.  April 14/2015 Alayne McGregor,

Ottawa’s Jesse Stewart, on intuition and never-before-heard sounds The three musicians, who come together as the Sonoluminescence Trio, play again this Friday at GigSpace to mark the release of their album Telling Stories, which was recorded last year at Ottawa’s Bova Sound. Below, Stewart shares the story of the band and its wide-open music. April 14/2015 Peter Hum JazzBlog

Five questions for Mark Ferguson Ferguson’s been working on a set of new compositions that will appear on a forthcoming piano trio CD. Ferguson will be taking these tunes out for a spin this Saturday at GigSpace, accompanied by bassist John Geggie and drummer Scott Latham. March 7,2015. Peter Hum JazzBlog

Five questions for saxophonist David Rubel Early next month, the young Toronto saxophonist David Rubel will make his next recording the old-school way. His working band will play (and record) three nights of gigs (March 5 to 7, 2015) at the Jazz Bistro, with the U.K. vibraphonist Nat Steele as its guest. Peter Hum JazzBlog

Five questions for Mark Nelson He steps out this weekend as the leader of his own quartet, Mark Nelson’s Sympathetic Frequencies, with a concert Saturday night at GigSpace in Ottawa followed by a gig Sunday at Upstairs Jazz Bar and Grill in Montreal. Peter Hum JazzBlog

Sold-out audience applauds Rob Frayne’s return to the sax (with video) On October 10, 2014 Rob Frayne returned to the stage before a sold-out audience at GigSpace with his original compositions, musical friends, good humour – and his tenor saxophone.Read full article

A nod to Johnny Hartman and a defining concert for Floyd Hutchinson. On Friday, he’s stepping out front to give his own big nod to this jazz vocalist whom he has always admired, in what will be “a huge show” for him at GigSpace. He’ll be performing with the Steve Boudreau Quartet: “four of Ottawa’s premiere musicians,” Nov/14 Read full article OttawaJazzScene,ca

Seven questions for Floyd Hutchinson.Hutchinson gigs infrequently, but a special one for him is coming up the Friday at GigSpace, when he pays tribute to Johnny Hartman. According to GigSpace’s website, the show is sold out. Nov/14 Read full article Peter Hum JazzBlog

Lara Solnicki chose jazz, but added a classical twist.“When Lara Solnicki abandoned opera and chose jazz, she went all out – and succeeded.” October 2014

Rob Frayne is back, with a tenor sax.  “For Rob Frayne, his instrument is, and always will be, the tenor sax.  But this Friday will be the first time he’s played the sax in a concert in almost a decade, after a long period of recovery and readjustment. He’ll be at GigSpace, performing with long-time friends, and his tenor sax will add to the strong Dizzy Gillespie-influenced groove in the music he’s written for the show.”
Oct. 2014

Five questions for a resurgent Rob Frayne “After 10 years off and relearning the tenor, a groovy/jammy take on some new tunes,” is Frayne’s synopsis of his upcoming concert at GigSpace.” Oct 2014 Read full article Peter Hum JazzBlog

Jane Bunnett spotlights the spirit & energy of female Cuban musicians in Maqueque. ” The jazz face which Cuba has shown to the outside world has been primarily male. But Jane Bunnett is working to change that with her new group, Maqueque.”  July 2014

Six questions for Jane Bunnett about Maqueque – “Fresh from a two-run of Canadian jazz festivals west of Ottawa, Bunnett is bringing to the intimate, 46-seat Gladstone Avenue performance space a new all-female and all-Cuban group called Maqueque.” July 2014  read full article Peter Hum JazzBlog

Five questions for Bill Coon -“Guitarist Bill Coon has been a sophisticated and swinging fixture on Vancouver’s jazz scene for nearly two decades.  But it shouldn’t be forgotten that he cut his jazz teeth in Montreal, a city with a deep guitar jazz tradition.” June 2014  read full article Peter Hum JazzBlog

Six questions for Justin Haynes (plus a blast from the past) Who’s the most accomplished improviser who left Ottawa for somewhere else to thrive? A very reasonable candidate might well be Toronto guitarist/multi-instrumentalist Justin Haynes. May 21, 2014 read full article Peter Hum’s Jazzblog

Roddy Ellias and John Geggie to play stripped-down duo concert this Saturday. Sometimes stripped-down is the best.  Guitarist Roddy Ellias and double bassist John Geggie have known each other for decades and performed together many times in diverse groups. Each has organized concert series and invited the other to play in it. At an Ellias ensemble concert in 2013, the two played a duet which our reviewer described as the strongest number of the evening. June 2014

 2014 Jazz Favourites Poll: Jazz jams – The GigSpace monthly jams are run by guitarist Tim Bedner, who also leads the regular house band. Respondents repeatedly praised Bedner’s organization: “this is a carefully engineered jam session with a professional band. Tim Bedner does a fantastic match making act with musicians of all kinds of level, thus maintaining interest of both audience and players.” Jazz Favourites Poll: Concert Venues GigSpace Performance Studio came in second!! passionate hosts and knowledgeable fans
The much younger GigSpace Performance Studio (almost three years old) was a close contender, however – both for its space and its programming.
Listeners repeatedly praised its “intimacy” and its acoustics. “The only place that is small enough to be close to musicians and without noise interference from cash registers, coolers, arrogant waitresses, patrons yak yak.”

Jazz out-of-towners invade Ottawa this weekend  “On Friday, Feb. 28: Toronto soprano saxophonist/flutist Jane Bunnett teams up with the Ottawa rhythm section of guitarist Roddy Ellias, bassist John Geggie and drummer Jesse Stewart drums for two shows (7 and 9 p.m.) at GigSpace. Tickets are $20.  On Saturday, March 1: New York guitarist Joel Harrison, who plays GigSpace at 7:30 p.m. with a group that includes saxophonist Chris Cheek, pianist Jacob Sacks, bassist Drew Gress and drummer Jordan Perlson. A strikingly diverse and accomplished composer, Harrison is a two-time winner of the Jazz Composer’s Alliance Composition Competition, and has received support from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation and Chamber Music America. He has released 15 CDs since 1995 and his collaborators have included Dave Liebman, Nels Cline, Uri Caine, Norah Jones, Dave Binney and Brian Blade, among others.” Read full article: Peter Hum’s JazzBlog

Six Questions for Joel Harrison “New York guitarist and composer Joel Harrison makes a swing through Ontario starting Thursday, with shows in Toronto, Ottawa and Kingston. A startlingly diverse musician with respect to the styles that inform his composing and arranging, as well as the collaborators he plays with, Harrison this time out will be on tour with a powerful group that includes saxophonist Chris Cheek, pianist Jacob Sacks, bassist Drew Gress and drummer Jordan Perlson”. Read full article: Peter Hum’s JazzBlog

Jesse Stewart brings Jane Bunnett, one of his favourite musicians, to Ottawa “One of the quartet’s projects for this weekend is recording a CD. The Friday night concerts at GigSpace will be recorded, and then they will be right back there Saturday morning for a more formal recording session. Their original recording studio plans fell through and “Marilee and Mark Alcorn came to the rescue, and said that we could leave our gear set up and come back on Saturday and record in the space during the day. So I sure appreciate that and it reaffirmed to me how lucky we are to have GigSpace in this city.” read full article

The Maskell-Cousineau Quintet: serious, accessible, and fun music “Two young Ottawa jazz musicians, who made waves here when they were in high school, have brought their new band back for two shows this weekend.  Saxophonists Sam Cousineau and Chris Maskell are now studying at McGill University in Montreal. They’ve teamed up with three fellow students to push their music to a new level, and they’ll show that off at GigSpace on Saturday.” read full article:

Five questions for Chris Maskell Alto saxophonist Sam Cousineau and tenor player Chris Maskell, both McGill University students, co-lead the Maskell/Cousineau Quintet. Read full article: OttawaJazzBlog

Roddy Ellias, Petr Cancura, and Andrew Downing form equal sides of trekan
Ottawa audiences will get the very first chance to hear a new trio this weekend – featuring three musicians active in jazz and chamber music scenes.
Guitarist Roddy Ellias, multi-instrumentalist Petr Cancura, and cellist Andrew Downing have formed a trio called trekan. They’ll play chamber jazz, with perhaps a touch of bluegrass and Turkish music, at GigSpace on Saturday. Jan 13/14 Read full Article:

Five questions for Kite Trio bassist Paul Van Dyk – Under the moniker Kite Trio, guitarist Eric Couture-Telmosse, bassist Paul VanDyk and drummer Eric Dew have been collaborating intensely for the last five years. The three 30-ish Montrealers rehearse non-stop and compose material jointly, without ever writing a note down, to establish a sound that draws on prog rock and jazz. The trio plays Ottawa’s GigSpace later this week. Jan 7/14 Read full article:Peter Hum’s JazzBlog

Jazzin’ the Holidays creates holiday cheer for GigSpace –  Despite two huge snowstorms that walloped Ottawa in the previous few days, Elise Letourneau, Karen Oxorn, and Nicole Ratté, (with guitarist Tim Bedner, bassist Mark Alcorn & drummer, Marilee Townsend) presented Jazzin’ the Holidays to a capacity audience. Performing songs ranging from traditional carols to Christmas favourites to songs which have become jazz standards, from serious to humorous, and in both English and French, they gave each their own twist.  Dec 29/13 Read full article and view video:

Percussive Mechanics (Pirouet) – Anna Webber CD review.  “The Brooklyn-based Webber, who plays Ottawa’s GigSpace tonight as well as shows in Toronto, Montreal and Guelph in the near future, told me an interview: “I like listening to music that is cohesive, through-composed, and develops in non-obvious ways — this is also the kind of music that I like writing.”  Dec 4, 2013 Read full article

Five questions for Anna Webber The Brookyn-based Canadian expat Anna Webber, just 29, is making ever-increasing waves with her forward-thinking composing, bandleading and saxophone and flute playing. Dec 3/13, Read full article

Jamie Baum and Jane Bunnett bring new, Indian-influenced music to life
“Jamie Baum: her latest CD includes new ways of writing and improvising inspired by music from the Indian subcontinent. Jamie Baum is exploring new territory in her current Canadian tour, which reaches Ottawa on Saturday at GigSpace.”  Nov 2613 read full article:

Six questions for Jamie Baum (and two for Jane Bunnett) “New York-based Jamie Baum and Toronto-based Jane Bunnett — two of North America’s leading jazz flutists — are joining forces for the first time with a tour that will hit four Ontario cities (Waterloo, Toronto, Ottawa and Kingston) in the next week or so.” Nov 21/13 read full article: Peter Hum’s JazzBlog

Diverse concerts sell out to Ottawa audiences “The Ottawa jazz scene showed its diversity and enthusiasm on the weekend, as two very different shows – one touring, one local – both filled GigSpace to the door”.  Nov 19/13 read full article:

Preserving unique performances: Marc Bright-Chochlekov, GigSpace recording engineer“If you have attended a GigSpace concert in the past year you have probably seen him. Marc Bright-Chochlekov can often be observed sitting quietly, very quietly, behind the window in the sound booth at the back, listening intently and making the best possible recording of each unique jazz performance. Since January 2013, he has volunteered as GigSpace’s recording engineer, creating archival recordings of the special performances, that won’t and can’t ever be repeated.”  Nov 19/13 Read full article:

Bryn Roberts returns to making his own, lyrical music “Pianist Bryn Roberts composes long, lyrical jazz melodies – memorable ones which are expressed through all the musicians in his quartet. You can hear them in his just-released third album,Fables – and when he appears with his all-star quartet at GigSpace on Thursday. That show will feature selections from Fables, as well as older compositions, some standards, and a few surprises”. Nov 19/13 read article at

Six questions for Bryn Roberts  This week, Roberts, 36, begins a long overdue and self-financed swing through Canada, touring in support of Fables with Blake, bassist Matt Penman and drummer Jochen Rueckert, beginning with shows Friday and Saturday at the Cellar Jazz Club in Eventually and eventually gigs at GigSpace in Ottawa on Nov. 21 ” Peter Hum JazzBlog Nov/13  read full article click here

Six questions for Melissa Stylianou
“This Thursday night, right after her gig at the 55 Bar in New York, the Brooklyn-based vocalist Melissa Stylianou, along with her husband (and pianist) Jamie Reynolds and their eight-month-old son, will hit the road for the three-city Canadian tour that begin the next night with a show at GigSpace in Ottawa.”  Nov 11/13 read full article: Peter Hum JazzBlog

IMOOfest to return after financial break-even and artistic successes “Pedersen said they were very happy with GigSpace: “It worked out fantastically. They’re generous with their time, it was affordable for us, and this is a beautiful room which suits the music that we’re doing very, very well.” The room worked particularly well in letting the audience hear every note in the very quiet music from many of the performers: for example, Jesse Stewart rubbing his face against a cardboard box. It also had generally good sight lines for the all performances.” Nov/13 read full article: 

IMOOfest 2013 Night 2: stretching the rules
“Night 2 of IMOOfest 2013 showed the diversity of what can be described as improvised music or avant-garde jazz. It began with Jeff Morton playing what was billed as a solo electronics set .” . . .  Nov. 9, 2013, read full article:

IMOOfest 2013 Night 1: a huge dynamic range 
“The second edition of IMOOfest opened with three performances, which each reached their audience’s hearts and minds, but in quite separate ways.
The festival is being held this year in the intimate GigSpace, which gave it a warm, inviting, and informal feeling . . .” Nov. 8, 2013 read full articl:

Five Questions for Marilee Townsend-Alcorn about GigSpace’s Still Swingin’ series “I have to hand it to GigSpace, the intimate concert space on Gladstone Avenue, for coming up with a concert series with the laudable goal of preserving Ottawa’s jazz heritage.   . . . the intention of this concert and two others is to document Ottawa’s jazz history and stories with the help of elder musicians.” Oct 19/13 read full article at Peter Hum’s JazzBlog

CD reviews: Two bands with promise And both play gigs in Ottawa on Friday
“Montreal saxophonist Chet Doxas made it into the Juno Awards’ good books when his 2010 CD, Big Sky, was nominated in the contemporary jazz category. His 2013 CD, Dive, is better still and could be a contender for taking home a Juno in 2014. On Dive, Doxas, 33, is joined by Toronto-raised, Brooklynbased guitarist Matt Stevens, the Montreal-raised, Brooklyn-based bassist Zack Lober and drummer Eric Doob.” Oct 18/13, read full article at Ottawa Citizen

Pianist Adam Daudrich will celebrate the tradition of the jazz piano trio at his concert at GigSpace Saturday evening – “It’s a mix of modern jazz trio with a lot of pop influences and the American jazz tradition of swing, blues, and particularly bebop. So we mix the American tradition with the modern pop music quite well and it creates a nice balance for the audience.”  Sept 18/13, read full article at

A long friendship which started through music. Three young musicians bring new music and their new experiences back to Ottawa.  Three promising young jazz musicians are taking a big step this Saturday: their first formal concert of their own compositions.  It comes after their first year in university, and their first year apart – a huge change after having played together practically every week since they were 12 years old.  Trumpeter Emily Denison and pianist Deniz Lim-Sersan are 18. Saxophonist Claire Devlin turned 19 this week. They call themselves The Origins Project, and will present a concert at GigSpace on Saturday, July 20, together with bassist Alex Bilodeau and drummer Mike Essoudry.  They’ll be playing almost entirely original music, she said, generally contemporary jazz. “Emily is bringing in a tango. We’ve got a Beatles tune arranged by Brad Mehldau.” July 20/2013 read full article

See jazz guitarists play cool guitars at Ottawa Guitar Show  “GigSpace is hosting its second Ottawa Guitar Show this Sunday (Father’s Day) from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.. Guitar fans can check out the beautiful and functional offerings from 14 luthiers and others with guitar and related stringed instruments, services and accessories. The event is organized by guitarist Tim Bedner, who is well know to area jazz fans”. June 16/13 read full article

Split Cycle: One Band, Two Cities, Three Continents – “Modern jazz fans have a concert to look forward to this week with the return of Montreal saxophonist and composer Samuel Blais to Ottawa.”  read full article at

Five questions for Paul Rushka –  “Rushka discusses his compositions, his band, the jazz scenes in Montreal and Vancouver, and parenthood.” read full article Peter Hum JazzBlog

Jeff Johnston Trio enraptures the audience – ‘It was a night where the music flowed out over the audience, and they responded with rapt attention. The show consisted of originals from the new album,Returning, plus several interesting standards, played intensely and melodically in a way that made full use of the quietness and excellent acoustics of GigSpace.”  May 10/13 read full article at

Jeff Johnston returns to his trio’s musical roots and then moves forward with his new album  – Even in jazz circles, where longevity is rewarded, Montreal pianist Jeff Johnston has created and nurtured some exceptionally long-standing musical relationships. Together with Jim Vivian on bass and Michael Billard on drums, he released a new CD last month. On Friday, Johnston will premiere the CD in Ottawa at a concert at GigSpace. That show will demonstrate another longstanding relationship, since his Montreal trio – Fraser Hollins on bass and Richard Irwin on drums – will be replacing Vivian and Billard. And if that trio doesn’t have quite the same seniority, Johnston has still been playing with Hollins for a decade and Irwin for at least five years.  April 2013  Read full article:

Roddy Ellias Series: Expecting the unexpected at Saturday’s GigSpace concert of improvising composers – Three of Canada’s most creative composers and improvising musicians will perform together for the first time at GigSpace on Saturday.  “Discovery. That’s what’s great about music, especially improvising. That way we’re really going to have to listen to each other and it’s going to be fun. It’s going to be very fresh,” said Ottawa guitarist, improviser, composer, and recently-awarded Ottawa Jazz Hero, Roddy Ellias. He’ll be joined by fellow Ottawan Jesse Stewart on percussion and Toronto vocalist Christine Duncan.  April 2013 Read full article:

Hamid Drake and Jesse Stewart fill GigSpace with complex sounds. The two renowned percussionists – one from Chicago, one from Ottawa – have known each other for a decade, and as Stewart mentioned in his introduction, have had long discussions about music whenever they’ve met. But this was their first chance to actually perform together. March 2013 Read full article:

Hamid Drake and Jesse Stewart: percussion as you’ve never heard it before. On Friday, two masters will show Ottawa audiences just how much varied, beautiful, and ear-expanding music can be produced just using percussion instruments. 
March 2013 Read full article:

One of the joys of hearing two master guitarists play together is their unpredictability. They have the whole ocean of jazz and jazz standards to splash around in, and they needn’t just grab from the shallows, or keep to the pre-planned course. Guitarists Roddy Ellias (Ottawa) and Gene Bertoncini (NYC) played two back-to-back concerts mid-January in the intimate confines of GigSpace.  The 7 p.m. show was not only sold out but oversold; we heard the last few minutes, which were very quiet and intense.

Three composers cross the jazz boundary. You can hear the other side of three Ottawa musicians with strong ties to jazz, in a series of three concerts this winter at GigSpace.  That’s the classical and new music side, although jazz won’t be forgotten either. Organized by vocalist Elise Letourneau, the series is called “The Composer Performs”. Each concert will feature a musician playing strictly their own music, with (or in one case without) other collaborators.  January 2013  Read full article at

The joys of guitar and bass together in concert. On November 3, Bedner will be making his first live presentation of the released album, in a duet with veteran double bassist John Geggie at GigSpace. “So here I’m putting myself through another challenge. Instead of having a drummer and a larger group, it’s just John and I doing this stuff as a duo. … I’ll be bringing all three guitars with me, and I’ll be changing guitars on tunes to keep the spirit of the recording although we won’t have drums. It will be a little more intimate sound for sure, but I’m going to take that sound and see what happens.”
Read the full article at

A musical preview of Renée Yoxon’s and Mark Ferguson’s new CD –  On August 18, 2012, Renée Yoxon and Mark Ferguson previewed material from their new CD at an album fundraising concert at GigSpace. talked with them about their album, and the approach they are taking with their original songs, after the concert. Watch the video to learn more about the music and see exclusive footage of the performance.  Read the full article at

Gigspace Ottawa – A unique way for audiophiles to listen and practice – “It can be easy to forget that communities take work; that those restaurants, social centres, murals and parks don’t just appear on the scene like resolute clovers popping up in the corners of our sun-fried fields. No, dynamic communities need people with the drive and determination to grow ideas into fruition. Located on Gladstone Avenue, just past the Gladstone Theatre, Alcorn Music Studios (AMS)/Gigspace Ottawa is one such place.”  Written by Alessandro Marcon on Monday July 30th, 2012 for Apt613, read the full article here Apt613

Mike Rud tells stories with his guitar – Mike Rud Trio at GigSpace
For the Ottawa concert, Rud joined up with GigSpace Artistic Director and drummer Marilee Townsend (for the first time) and with bassist Mark Alcorn (for the first time in several years). They melded extremely well, with Alcorn and Rud exchanging solos and trading off the melody. Townsend provided a strong and intuitive base for the music, quickly adjusting to and complementing the different dynamics of each piece.  Read the full article here

Inside the Music: every musician has a story Ottawa jazz guitarist and educator Tim Bedner celebrates the 5th Anniversary of his “Inside the Music” series this Saturday. John Geggie, the first double bassist in the series, will join a long list of notable musician guests that Bedner has hosted over the years to the benefit of keen listeners, musicians, and himself.”  Check out this full feature article at

Music finds its place in GigSpace –  Music reaches our ears in so many ways, from the imposition in our shopping trips to a concert attended by hundreds or the personal delivery system into our ear buds. Music can be an irritant a diversion or a delight. Our society has more access to music from a variety of sources than ever before. But who’s listening? GigSpace offers the perfect opportunity to listen
Council for the Arts in Ottawa – 3 page article starting on page twelve,  with photos. Read the full article here:

The Walrus Guitar Quartet: all together – “The Walrus Guitar Quartet: David Occhipinti, Roddy Ellias, Ted Quinlan, and Kim Ratcliffe, has been rehearsing and recording since last fall.  But this week will be the first time audiences will be hearing them all together, and with the new compositions each has written for the quartet.  It will be only guitars. No bass, no drums, no piano. “Do you need anything else?” Ellias asks, laughing.”  Read the full article at

Jazz Blog – 13 things to Celebrate about Ottawa’s Jazz Scene
7. GigSpace on Gladstone Avenue is raising its game. Attached to Alcorn Music Studios, it’s holding jam sessions and giving local and out-of-town musicians another place to play. The high-powered guitar quartet of Roddy Ellias, Ted Quinlan, David Occhipinti and Kim Ratcliffe recently played there. The Toronto group Pram Trio, seen in the clip below playing a post-Mehldau version of It Might As Well Be Spring, will play there May 17/12.   Peter Hum’s Jazz Blog – Read the full article here:

Guitar wizards satisfy audience  – “Ottawa’s newest jazz venue, GigSpace Performance Studio, was host to this concert. Previously a sound design studio, and located within Alcorn Music Studios on Gladstone Avenue, GigSpace has been converted by the team at Alcorn into a wonderful location to perform. While the audience lacked in numbers due to the room’s small size, they made up for it with enthusiasm, punctuating the trio’s Herculean improvisations with jubilant shouts. The group covered a large range of musical territory, carving out fresh renditions of both jazz standards and more modern hits.” Read the full article here

PARTY ON: Three quirky (and decidedly cozy) venues to hang out, be seen, and get sweaty – Indie Night at GigSpace
The line between the stage and the seats is barely demarcated, encouraging banter between performer and patron that leans toward the intimate. The vibe is like the GCTC’s Black Box Studio Theatre meets The Elbow Room.  Ottawa Magazine – By Fateema Sayani.  Read the full article here:

Standards singers overflow new GigSpace at Culture Days – “Music fans interested in singing jazz and other standards overflowed Alcorn Music Studio’s new “GigSpace” on Saturday October 1, 2011, during the free “Come Sing Standards” Culture Days event presented by the Capital Vox jazz choir.More than 55 people came to sing both classic jazz standards and Beatles tunes for 80 minutes, accompanied by choir members, and part of the choir’s rhythm section: Marilee Townsend-Alcorn on drums and Mark Alcorn on double bass.”  Our first mention in the press!! Thank you!  Read the full article here 

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