Welcome a new house band to the Saturday Afternoon Jazz Jam at Pressed


The Saturday Afternoon Jazz Jam at Pressed is starting into it’s 9th month of existence, and after 8 months of running it with Craig Pedersen and David Pontello as the house band, it’s time to pass the torch! Starting this Saturday, Karen Rauh and company will be hosting the jam. Karen has been a part of the house band a few times in the past but now she’s taking it over for the next little while. Hooray! Let’s all wish Karen, Adrian, Mark and Allyson a warm welcome.

If you are an Ottawa-based jazz musician (or are visiting from out of town) please check out the jam this Saturday from 2pm to 5pm. Pressed is at 750 Gladstone Avenue and the cover is a sliding scale of $5 to $15. It’s open to players at every level so don’t be shy if it’s your first time!

If you’re still in doubt, just look at how much fun we’ve had at past jams:

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My Week In Pictures: orange-yellow-green spheres

Another week, another ceramic cow.

This was a wild week filled with promo, performances, and orange-yellow-green spheres. On Monday we had Live Jazz Monday which was totally fun as always. On Tuesday, Craig and I took our usual day off. We had coffee with friends, bought some awesome cinnamon walnuts and lemon salted almonds from Shiraz Groceries on the corner of Somerset and Lisgar, and then went to see a $2 movie at Rainbow Cinemas. We saw Frankenweenie (I’m a big fan of everything Tim Burton) and it was so cute and awesome.

On Wednesday I taught six students! That was pretty much my whole day. If you want any information about my lessons just visit www.voicelessonsottawa.com.

On Thursday mark and I visited the Rogers TV studio and recorded a couple of our songs for their morning program. This is my fourth or fifth visit with Rogers and it’s always a pleasure to work with Derek Fage and all the staff there. After that, Mark and I went out for breakfast and fueled up for our second recorded performance of the day with the Ottawa Citizen. They filmed us playing and took some photos and Peter Hum interviewed us. Check out the Ottawa Citizen on Wednesday or Thursday for that article. After all that it was still only 1pm! I still had time to teach four students and meet with Amy Karlin, my amazing publicist. She’s been so great at promoting the CD release. She even brought me a bath bomb from lush to help me relax!

On Friday I spent several hours watching Adventure Time with Finn and Jake while I distributed the Here We Go Again download codes to the people who preordered the album via Indiegogo. I took a couple of breaks throughout to day though – one to have a much needed espresso at blumenstudio and one to watch the Capital Vox tribute to Duke Ellington.

On Saturday the books of sheet music arrived! Then Craig, David Pontello, Alex Moxon and I went to Pressed for the Saturday Afternoon Jazz Jam at Pressed. We decided to cancel the December 15th jam so this was our last jam as the house band. In January Karen Rauh and her latin band will take over starting on January 26th.

On Sunday I went shopping with my mom. She was so helpful in finding the perfect outfit for the CD release. I can’t wait for the reveal, it is seriously a smoking hot dress. Yeah!

So that’s it for this week! For more photos updated throughout the week, follow me on instagram.

My next performance is tonight, Monday, December 3rd at the Mercury Lounge for Live Jazz Monday – 9pm to 11pm, no cover. See you there!

My Week In Pictures: Ottawa hearts art

How was your week, dear readers? Mine was jam packed with movies, coffees, shows, postering, galleries and lovely people.

On Tuesday Craig and I went down to the PAL Ottawa launch. PAL is an organization which provides support and affordable housing to artists later in life. We proudly bought our memberships and had a lovely time meeting artists of all ages from all over Ottawa. That night we went to see a movie. We tried to see Skyfall but it was sold out everywhere! We ended up seeing this awesome Canadian film called Antiviral. I won’t spoil it but it’s definitely not for the squeamish.

On Thursday I picked up 150 posters and 500 postcard flyers advertising my CD release on December 7th. So far I’ve put them up in all the businesses on Wellington Street West and on Elgin Street. If you have time and energy to help me put posters up, let me know in the comments below! That night I went to the Carleton Tavern for the monthly Jazzworks Jazz Jam.

On Friday night I checked out the Above Ground Studio open house. It was great to see the work spaces of artists like Dave CooperAnne Wanda Tessier, and David Fels. I ducked out of the opening a bit earlier and high-tailed it down to Galerie 240 for the Julie Michels/Don Braden CD release. The place was completely sold out and was jam packed with an attentive audience.

On Saturday I hosted the Saturday Afternoon Jazz Jam at Pressed. It’s always nice to see the nervous and excited young players who come out to jam. This week, Karen Rauh joined us in the house band on piano. After the jam Karen had another gig at AlphaSoul with her latin band so we followed up there to cheer her on.

On Sunday, Ellwood Epps came to IMOO as part of his Canadian tour. He also brought his trio from Montreal. His next stop is Toronto.

So that’s it for this week! For more photos updated throughout the week, follow me on instagram.

My next performance is tonight, November 19th at the Mercury Lounge for Live Jazz Monday – 9pm to 11pm, no cover. See you there!

My Week In Pictures: endless celebration (and gourmet doughnuts)

This has been a luxurious, hedonistic, celebratory week. In fact, if I had to describe my week in a word, I would call it “festive.”

I’ve decided lately that I want to spend a little more time, energy, and money on fashion, makeup, and accessories. I’m fortunate that I get the opportunity to get on stage and perform for people all the time. Lately I’ve felt that I’ve been neglecting this aspect of performance. I decided to take myself shopping on Tuesday where I bought myself some collared shirts with nice hardware like the middle picture, as well as some glittery loafers. I’m pretty excited about these things. I’m super new to the fashion/makeup/accessories world though so if you have any tips, please leave them in the comments below. I could really use the help.

On Wednesday it was Halloween! Craig and I took turns handing out candy while the other taught but I still managed to catch him in our living room bed covered in all the candy! We had quite a few trick-or-treaters this year. Our friends at the Bytown Beanery came around and their children were dressed as a coke machine and a strip of bacon! So awesome.

Aside from Halloween parties, I’ve spent the week preparing for the Gershwin tribute concert I’ll be playing at on November 10th at Knox Presbyterian on Elgin at Lisgar. Preparing the music for this project has been a really interesting process. I realized that I know way more Gershwin tunes than I thought I did, just as a function of listening, but I still had to spend time finding keys and writing charts. And since I’m a ludite (only when it comes to chart writing) it’s a process that I can take a while. On Thursday I decided to power through these charts at the Carleton Tavern. Lesson learned: Sometimes work involves beer.

On Friday I popped down to the party supply store and got party hats for the Live jazz Monday’s third birthday! I’m so excited, I got a multitude pf colours and some with balloons on them! I can’t wait for this party. On Sunday I picked up the doughnuts from SuzyQ that I’ll be giving out. It’s going to be a hoot and half and I just can’t wait.

On Saturday we had our Saturday Afternoon Jazz Jam at Pressed which was a really fun and relaxed way to spend the afternoon. We had a couple of splendid vocalists come and join us, as well as a mitt-full of horn players. Our next one is November 17th.

On Sunday I spent the day wedding dress shopping in Moose Creek with my BFF. She’s a lovely, nerdy, science-woman who’s marrying a lovely, nerdy man and I couldn’t be happier for them. It was such a treat to be there when she picked the dress she’s going to wear to walk down the aisle. After launching Play I Do in February, I’ve had the opportunity to attend many weddings as a musician. I’m really looking forward to attending this one as a bride’s maid.

After shopping I picked up the doughnuts, packed them up for tonight then headed down to IMOO where we celebrated Craig’s 29th birthday.

Between birthdays, weddings, halloween, new shoes, new clothes, concerts, beer, and gourmet doughnuts I’m surprised I’m not sick of celebrating. To tell you the truth I can’t wait for Live Jazz Monday’s birthday tonight and I’m totally ready to keep the festivities happening right on through until January.

I hope to see you out at the Mercury Lounge tonight. If you come down you’ll have a chance to win tickets to my CD release on December 7th! Check out the video below for all the details and see you tonight!

My Week In Pictures: concerts, coffee, and carnivorous plants

I better start posting more things on this blog or it’ll turn into nothing but summaries of my week!

I tried to take it a little easier this week than other weeks. As other self-employed people can attest, it’s easy to work yourself into ill-health. After a busy Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of teaching, performing, and appointments, I was ready to end the week early. I decided to take a mental health day on Thursday. I cancelled my students (sorry Nicole, Trish, Chris, and Adrian!) and spent the day sitting quietly, having a good cry, and drinking coffee. It was nice and very much needed. I took a walk and found that lovely little piece of typography on Gladstone. Then I got my hair cut, made dinner, and then went out to a movie with Craig. Sometimes it’s the little things.

I started out Friday equally slow, my new computer arrived so I spent a couple of hours setting it up with all my files. In the evening I played a gig at Casino Lac Leamy for McEwan Petroleum’s client appreciation dinner. Unfortunately I didn’t get any pictures while I was there, that was a really beautiful space.

On Saturday we had our bimonthly Saturday Afternoon Jazz Jam at Pressed. It was a spectacular success! The cold weather brought a bunch of new jammers in to meet us. It was lovely to see beginners jamming with more experienced players and everyone learning in the process. Our next one is this coming Saturday, November 4. That evening Craig and I scooted off to a science-themed Halloween party. It was so cool to see everyone in lab coats drinking out of beakers. They even made little carnivorous plants!

Today I found myself back in the studio! I met with the JP Allain Trio to begin the process of  recording My Pal Frishberg: the music of Dave Frishberg. It’s exciting to be back in the studio but I kind of can’t believe it. If you had told me last year that I’d be doing two full-length recording projects in 2012 I would have called you a liar, but here we are!

On Sunday evening I went to IMOO #62 – Hat & Beard at Umi Café. I’m the communications director for IMOO (Improvising Musicians of Ottawa/Outouais) so I go to most of the concerts and work the door. This concert was an incredibly funny and engaging Thelonious Monk tribute. If you live in Toronto you should definitely check those guys out.

So that’s it for this week! For more photos updated throughout the week, follow me on instagram (you don’t need an iphone.)

My next performance is Monday, October 29th at the Mercury Lounge for Live Jazz Monday – 9pm to 11pm, no cover. See you there!