Vancouver Jazz Festival 2017 TD
June 22 – July 2, various times | Various venues
Tickets and info: coastaljazz.ca
New York and Jazz music are inseparable. Improvised notes have been flying out of legendary venues such as Birdland and the Blue Note for decades, and the musicians per square inch is probably higher than anywhere else on the planet. No wonder, that so many players head to the place dubbed “the Epicenter of Jazz” to ply their trade.
At the 2017 TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival, many performers from BRITISH COLUMBIA (B. C. ) will be showcasing bands begun in the Big Apple. This has always been true.
Some of these are long-term residents of the city, such as North Vancouver trumpeter Ingrid Jensen, who left the Wet Coast for the vibrant venues and proximity to the conurbation of the U.S. East Coast decades ago.
Others are recent transplants such as pianist Cat Toren, who have been drawn for the same reasons, but also for factors such as the relative affordability compared with our out-of-control cost of living and how it affects musician’s survival.
There are also a very few who have made the move in reverse, such as pianist John Stetch, or the avant-folk duo Dálava.
Whether performing this year or having done so in the past, all the Jazz musicians we contacted for this story say they’re better for having made the move. Many will continue coast-to-coast commuting.
“New York was not easy in the ’90s and a lot of crazy s–t was going on, but what I got from the school of hard knocks got me where I am today,” said Jensen.
“There is an energy that is a lot more intense and that faster pace and immediacy seems to put everyone in the same frame of mind to produce great music. People ask me if I’d ever move back to B.C., but the truth is I couldn’t afford it.”
Along with her sister, saxophonist Christine Jensen, and super, in-demand guitarist Ben Monder, the three musicians perform in a quintet rounded out by drummer Jon Wikan and bassist Fraser Hollins as Infinitude June 26, @ 9 p.m.
Performance Works, Granville Island | Tickets: $ 35 all-in.
The former three have been working together in numerous configurations over the years, with the intention of do something together. Every musician interviewed (in the video) says that this phrase is an ultimate cliché of the busy N.Y. scene.
“Oh yeah, there’s a lot of history between a lot of us and being on so many different projects,” said Ingrid Jensen.
“But this somehow just fell in my sister and my laps, in a very natural and organic way. Christine pushed for it as a very good idea and, after one gig, it was really obvious that it was.”
Infinitude : Ingrid & Christine Jensen with Ben Monder is available on Whirlwind Recordings.