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Independent Festivals Worth Supporting

May 13, 2009

newfestposterThe jazz festival season is nearly upon us, and while many jazz fans are anticipating the likes of David Sanborn, Kenny Wheeler and Al Di Meola setting up their tents at Jazzfest International in Victoria, it would be good to remember the smaller, independent festivals that are at the heart of our local scene.

One such event is the fourth annual Salt Spring Jazz Festival happening  from June 18-21 on Salt Spring Island.

Founded by saxophonist/composer Monik Nordine and now run by a local jazz and blues society that isn’t part of the big festival monolith that stretches across the country and gobbles up most of the dough (more on that in an upcoming piece), the Salt Spring festival offers a weekend of jazz and blues with a distinct coastal flavour.

Last year the Ingrid Jensen Quartet with special guest Christine Jensen headlined. This year Two Much Guitar, with Vancouver guitarists Oliver Gannon and Bill Coon, bassist Darren Radtke, and drummer Dave Robbins will be the featured concert at the ArtSpring Theatre in Ganges.

To support this undertaking, the Salt Spring folks have organized a “Prelude to a Fest” fundraiser that will happen this Saturday, May 16 at 8pm at Artspring, featuring Swing Shift,  a local big band directed by Nordine; along with the Norris Clement Quartet and Planet Music.

If you live on the island or plan to be there this weekend, consider spending the $20 for a ticket.  You’ll enjoy your evening and you’ll also give a small independent festival a much needed shot in the arm to help ensure its continued success.

For more information go to http://www.saltspringjazzfest.org/index.html

– Rick Gibbs

© 2009 Rick Gibbs and Island Jazz.  Please see the copyright info in the sidebar for permitted uses.
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