BY LACHMAN BALANI
It was a “jazz-y” affair this past weekend, as live music filled Garden Square as part of a local festival. The legendary Count Basie Orchestra, a group that exemplifies the splendor and excellence of jazz (and has 18 Grammy Awards to back up that statement) opened Brampton’s third grand annual World of Jazz festival at The Rose Theatre this past Friday – and they truly demonstrated why they’re known as “the most explosive force in jazz”!
The orchestra was one of many bands performing throughout the weekend, with the city getting “B-Jazzed”, as the organization of the same name called on local and international jazz to rock the downtown core at several venues.
Garden Square, Vivian Lane, local restaurants including J. Red & Co and Wendel Clark’s Bar and Grill all hosted amazing musicians performing a variety of styles, from pure jazz to latin jazz to jazz and blues to Indojazz. There was some funk added on too, as the audience danced to all time favorite
“Superstitious”. Besides the phenomenal music, which included performances by many Junonominated personalities, there was a play area for children (and for those who wanted to bring out the child in them) with costumed characters, cosplayers, face painters and much more. Of course, there were food stalls as well, over and above the restaurants surrounding the area.
As dusk set in, Avataar, led by Juno-nominated jazz saxophonist Sundar Vishwanathan, had everyone in a trance as they blended Indian classical music, hardbop jazz and rock creating a mesmerizing confluence of rhythmic hypnotism. But the night didn’t end there, as it continued with a late night jam session at Wendel Clark’s that started at 11 p.m. and ran into the early hours.
All in all, it was a great celebration of jazz, thanks to artistic director Carmen Spada, executive director Joe Asensio, and of course, above all to the audience who make the show.