|After a crushing disappointment last week, the citys jazz community now has a reason to quit sulking.
A new jazz festival will replace the recently cancelled TD Canada Trust Jazz Festival Calgary. The recovery was announced after a group spearheaded by Pat Maiani of C-Jazz, the Calgary Jazz Association, began making calls in response to the news of the festivals cancellation, which left many scheduled artists out of a gig, as far as Calgary was concerned.
Their efforts were successful, and what began as an exercise in damage control eventually grew into a complete lineup of 20 bands and artists for a revived festival, Re-Birth of the Cool.
"C-Jazz was formed seven years ago to help foster the local jazz scene. Both our year-round events and our own festival in September have been growing stronger every year," says Maiani.
"Using our existing network, we felt that we might be able to help out these touring artists who were stranded in Calgary."
On May 15, the Jazz Festival Calgary Society announced the cancellation of its 2006 festival, citing funding uncertainties, decreased government funding, and unexpected demands from creditors. Last year, Edmontons festival was cancelled for similar reasons under the same organizer, Marc Vasey.
The Beat Niq Jazz and Social Club, which has not been involved with the festival for the past five years, is now on board as the main venue.
"We werent chasing after them as creditors, but we were part of the long list of," said Rob Young, owner of Beat Niq.
"We would have done business with them again if everything was settled accordingly. We got burned five years ago and it cost us a fair amount of money."
Young says he believes poor management brought about the demise of Jazz Festival Calgary.
"Lack of funding is questionable. How that money was managed is up for discussion.
"The underlying demise of this had nothing to do with support of populace or support of the musicians. There are enough people out there keen enough to support a festival."
Beat Niq will host at least seven nights of music, featuring double bills pairing visiting musicians with local artists: pianist Kenny Wernerso and vocalist Claudia Villela share the stage with the Simon Fisk Trio; Michael Bates Outside Sources from New York doubles up with Calgarys Manic Thematic; and Vancouvers Rabnett 5 will work with the Hutchison/Andrew Trio. Events will also be held at the Gateway at SAIT.
"The people involved were so enthusiastic for us to put this on that we have ended up with a full-scale festival," says Maiani.
"Twenty-six years ago, the original Calgary Jazz Festival started with a bunch of musicians coming together to play. We are running with that philosophy again."
The festival lineup also includes Sharon Jones and The Dap Kings, and Maraca, led by the influential Cuban Flautist Orlando Valle, who is hailed as one of the top mambo acts of today.
The Re-Birth of the Cool festival will run as originally scheduled, from June 15 to 25.
Tickets for the headliners will be available at TicketMaster. For more information or tickets to other events, visit the website, www.calgaryjazz.com, or phone 802-4822.