TD Winnipeg International Jazz Festival, Winnipeg, Manitoba

Photos & review courtesy of Jenny Ramone Photos | June 18 2019

Elijah Wood x Jamie Fine

2019 marked the 30th anniversary for the TD Winnipeg International Jazz Festival.  The streamlined festival ran 6 days this year rather than the 10 days of past years. The festival kicked  off with a show at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights on June 18th and continued through to June 23rd with free shows at the Cube in Wnnipeg’s Exchange District as well as ticketed shows in venues around the city. 

Hip hop artist Common, New Orleans funk band Galactic, Jazz vocalist Bobby McFerrin and pop duo Elijah Wood X Jamie Fine were among touring headliners of this year’s Jazz Fest. The lineup was also stacked with incredible local acts like  Dirty Catfish Brass Band, Sebastian Gaskin, Liam Duncan, Apollo Suns, Living Hour, Boniface and a collaboration between 3peat and Royal Canoe dubbed RC3PO. 

Here are the highlights of what we caught:

Liam Duncan

The Cube in Old Market Square

Singer song-writer Liam Duncan, formerly of the Middle Coast, played the opening night at the Cube in Old Market Square for the 2019 Jazz Festival.  The show fell just a couple days before Liam’s debut solo album “If I Don’t Feel Better” dropped. Liam’s honest, heartfelt music drifted through downtown Winnipeg as a light rain sprinkled on the Wednesday night crowd. 

Common with Sebastian Gaskin

Centennial Concert Hall

Acclaimed hip hop artist Common made his first appearance in Winnipeg at the Centennial Concert Hall June 20.  Common, backed by a six-piece band, played an explosive 80 minute in front of an enthusiastic, welcoming crowd.  Opening the show was local R&B singer song-writer Sebasitan Gaskin. Gaskin’s sound flowed between genres throughout  his set, at times guitar driven rock and at others straight up rap, but his thoughtful lyrics bridge any gap. Sebastian Gaskin is a name to remember as he is on his way to great places!

Snotty Nose Rez Kids

The Cube at Old Market Square

Indigenous hip hop duo Snotty Nose Rez Kids rocked the Cube in Old Market Square June 20th.  The duo, comprised of high school friends Yung Trybez and Young D, write thought provoking lyrics aiming to dismantle the stereotypes surrounding the Indigenous communities of Canada.  Their efforts have been rewarded by being long listed for the Polaris Music Prize two years running, being shortlisted for the Polaris prize in 2018, and being nominated for a Juno, a Western Canadian Music award and an Indigenous Music Award.  Despite the accolades, the group remains focused on providing a voice for and uplifting their people. 

Galactic with Dirty Catfish Brass Band

Burton Cummings Theatre

New Oleans funk group Galactic brought their infectious funky party vibes to the Burton Cummings Theatre June 21.  Joined by guest vocalist Erica Falls, Galactic had the crowd on its feet grooving along through the entirety of their over an hour set.  Kicking of a night of brass driven New Oleans sounds was Winnipeg’s own Dirty Catfish Brass Band who never fail to bring their A game to the stage.  They game is so strong members of the DCBB joined Galactic on stage for one of the two songs in the encore. 

Apollo Suns

The Cube at Old Market Square

Local psychedelic jazz rock outfit Apollo Suns played a late afternoon set on the outdoor Cube stage in Old Market Square June 22.  The 10 piece instrumental group led by guitarist Ed Durochers creates innovative jazz influenced music that remains accessible and dancy to everyone in the audience.

Elijah Wood x Jamie Fine with Olivia Lunny

The Garrick 

Breakout Canadian pop duo Elijah Wood x Jamie Fine brought their rowdy playful brand of pop music to the Garrick June 22.  Since winning an episode of the Launch, a Canadian music reality TV competition, in early 2018 the duo’s chart topping single “Ain’t Easy” has been certified Platinum in Canada.  Support for the evening was provided by Winnipeg’s Olivia Lunny whose catchy pop melodies were the perfect compliment for EWxJF’s genre jumping party tunes.