The Izzy Asper Jazz Performances, Winnipeg’s premier jazz series, is thrilled to announce a free, four-concert jazz series to be delivered virtually between February and May 2021. With the forced suspension of the regular 2020-21 season, we are proud now to bring a line-up of local, Canadian, and international artists into the homes of our loyal subscribers and other jazz-loving members of our community, and bringing the Izzy Asper Jazz Performances magic into the homes of jazz lovers everywhere.
Our season opens February 20 with Trio Bembe, an award-winning Winnipeg trio specializing in the Latin jazz. With Amber Epp on piano and lead vocals, Victor Hugo Lopez Bustamante on guitar and Cuban tres, and percussionist Rodrigo Muñoz grounding the group with infectious rhythms, the group brings to the stage a deep commitment to traditional melodies and instrumentation balanced by witty and sensitive Latin settings of more mainstream tunes. Trio Bembe is the perfect way to warm up the chilly month of February.
On March 20, we are thrilled to showcase Laila Biali, one of Canada’s pre-eminent singer-pianists. With an international touring career, one Juno award and one nomination, and a handful of songwriting awards, Biali is a performer whose extraordinary facility on both piano and vocals is perfectly matched by her warm and charismatic presence. About her 2020 recording Out of Dust, All About Jazz says “There’s no boxing Laila Biali in… Capable of making you laugh and cry all at once, her delivery on Out of Dust is divine. 4.5 stars.” We’ll be treated to an unusually intimate concert from her own home in Toronto.
Our third concert, airing April 17, features Winnipeg voice-bass duo Karly Epp and Karl Kohut sharing a program of love songs. The transparency and elegance of a single voice and an accompanying bassline brings particular focus to the lyrics of songs which explore the many faces and facets of love. The fact that the duo is also married only deepens that expressiveness.
The season closes May 15 with a concert by the Los Angeles-based Angie Wells Quartet. Philadelphia-born Angie Wells is a rising star on the international jazz circuit, with a beautiful voice, exceptional musicality, and a commanding stage presence. According to AllAboutJazz.com, the songs on her debut album Love and Mischief are “burn-the-barn smoldering with a centripetal swing.” There’s no better way to swing into spring!
The generosity of The Asper Foundation, the series’ major sponsor, is allowing us to offer all concerts without charge. Concerts start at 8:00pm, and are available to registrants only; the link is here. If you can't make it to the virtual concert, you can still view it--or share it with others--for the next following weeks.
For more information, visit the Izzy Asper Jazz Performances page on the RJCC website.
Thank you for your continued support and for keeping the jazz flame alive as we muscle through the pandemic. We look forward to connecting in virtual ways!
Charlene Diehl, Izzy Asper Jazz Performances Producer