The centrepiece of summer in Saskatoon kicks off Friday with the start of the SaskTel Saskatchewan Jazz Festival.
Artistic director Kevin Tobin told The Brent Loucks show this year’s lineup includes a few bigger names, along with some artists who might not be as familiar, but are well worth checking out.
One such act is Kamasi Washington, who will play one of only three Canadian dates this summer when he hits the main stage Monday at the Bessborough Gardens.
“For jazz fans, soul fans, funk fans — he’s played on Kendrick Lamar’s albums. (He’s) just a really great artist,” Tobin said.
While the main stage is always a big draw with its scenic location in the heart of downtown Saskatoon, Tobin said people will also find some gems at the other venues, including the Bassment Jazz Club, Amigos and the Capitol.
He said one such act will be hitting the stage at The Capitol for opening night.
“Ghost Note, who’s going to be at The Capitol tonight, they have a bass player, MonoNeon, who was the bass player in Prince’s band,” he said.
With all the preparation leading up the festival complete, Tobin said he was fired up to get the shows started.
“We’ve got 10 days and 137 shows in 23 venues and we’re ready to kick it off.”
Full lineup, ticket and venue information can be found on the festival website.