The Regina Jazz Festival is underway this weekend showcasing a variety of styles in performances by both international headliners and local musicians.
The Al Muirhead Canadian Quintet is headlining Saturday at the DoubleTree hotel by Hilton and the Eric Alexander & Harold Mabern Quartet will headline the show Sunday.
“When we started this, we knew we could not replicate some of the other festivals so the mandate really was to try to involve as much local talent as we could,” explained Peter Champagne, executive producer with the Regina Jazz Festival.
Now a decade old, Champagne notes that while Regina may have the smallest jazz festival in Canada, he likes to say that it’s the best small festival.
The main performances are being held at 15 different clubs around the city, but people are also welcome to check out 150 musicians performing at 35 different free stages.
“You’re going to hear such a great variety from a Dixieland group to a cutting-edge jazz group that’s really trying to do something, to a group that’s just starting out that’s going to play jazz standards for you, to a crooner who’s going to give you Frank Sinatra type stuff – so you’re going to hear a great variety on all of those free stages,” Champagne said.
Saturday’s lineup showcases multicultural jazz artists including Mon David who is considered to be the Frank Sinatra of the Philippines.
Champagne said Sunday’s main headliners Eric Alexander and Harold Maburn are considered among the greats in the jazz scene.