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18

TD Ottawa Jazz Festival 2014, Days 7-9

John Kelman By

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And, as ever, the festival would not be able to succeed without the hundreds of volunteers whose goal is clearly to make the event as pleasant as possible for fans, media and other guests of the festival. And as the festival looks to adjust its program to meet increasing financial and demographic demands, the relatively small core group of people that manage the festival year 'round may come under scrutiny at times but invariably deliver, whether it's top-notch programming, superb treatment of media or ears that are always open to the wants of its fan base. If proof need be found, just look at the nightly jam session—run this year by the core trio of bassist John Geggie, guitarist Roddy Ellias and drummer Nick Fraser. Only last year the late night jams were in jeopardy of being shut down, until the outcry of many regular festival goers made clear that they held significant value. That Executive Producer Catherine O'Grady actually listened to regular festival goers and found a way to quickly reinstate it is a credit to her...and to the entire staff of the TD Ottawa Jazz Festival.

With 2015 representing another significant milestone for the festival as it approaches its 35th year, exactly how it will celebrate this milestone is as yet uncertain but, based on this year's program, one thing is certain: there will be plenty of jazz for those who want it, and plenty of tangential or extracurricular programming to bring in more people to a festival that clearly understands the challenges that not only face its survival, but the survival of all jazz festivals across the continent.

Photo Credit: John R. Fowler

Days 1-2 | Days 4-6 | Days 7-9

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