Coastal Jazz & Blues Society announced the Imperial Series, performances taking place at The Imperial (319 Main Street) during the 2019 TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival, which runs this summer from Friday, June 21 to Monday, July 1.
Presale tickets for TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival’s Imperial Series will be available for Festival donors March 26-28 at 10:00am PT and tickets for the general public go on sale Friday, March 29 at 10:00am PT at www.coastaljazz.ca.
The Comet Is Coming | June 21 • The Imperial @ 9pm • $28
"Powered by Arkestral cosmic forces, The Comet Is Coming. Brace for impact"—The Guardian. Debuting music from their Impulse! Records release, The Comet is Coming is the soundtrack to an imagined apocalypse. In the aftermath of widespread sonic destruction, what sounds remain? Who will lead the survivors to new sound worlds? Who will chart the new frontier? In a London warehouse circa 2013, three musical cosmonauts built a vessel powerful enough to transport any party into outer space. It’s after the end of the world, the stage is a spacecraft, and the mic is an accelerator — brace yourself for The Comet is Coming, featuring King Shabaka saxophone, Danalogue keyboards, Betamax Ohm drums.
Jonathan Wilson (with guest Ben Rogers) | June 22 • The Imperial @ 9pm • $35
Jonathan Wilson has had a busy couple of years, producing Father John Misty's Grammy-nominated Pure Comedy, touring the globe as a guitarist and vocalist for Pink Floyd legend Roger Waters, and releasing his sublime new album, Rare Birds. “Dizzying in ambition, dazzling in execution” (All Music), it diverges from his 70s-Laurel Canyon-inflected work and takes cues from the high density 80s British production of early Peter Gabriel and mid-career Kate Bush. Regardless of what era his influences come from, Wilson’s richly detailed and sprawling music hits like an emotional tidal wave. "He's an utterly original and irreverent thinker who's evolving with blinding speed" (NPR).
The Suffers | June 24 • The Imperial @ 9pm • $28
“The sort of neo-retro group you never knew music was so badly missing" (Spin Magazine), eight-piece wonder-band The Suffers are a fired-up, contemporary version of the great R&B/funk bands of the ‘70s and ‘80s like Earth, Wind & Fire, Rufus, and Kool & The Gang. Coming in hot out of Houston, Texas, The Suffers pack elements of reggae, jazz, salsa, rock, and hip hop into their trademark Gulf Coast soul. Brimming with contagious grooves, combustible energy, and Kam Franklin’s powerhouse voice, this is "soul, straight from horn to heart" (NPR).
Makaya McCraven (with guests Eli Davidovici’s Shapes) | June 26 • The Imperial @ 9pm • $28
“Jazz is dance music again.”—Rolling Stone Makaya McCraven is a beat scientist. The bleeding edge drummer, composer, producer, and sonic collagist is one of Chicago’s savviest cultural players and a multi-talented force whose inventive process and intuitive, cinematic style defies categorization. Blurring the boundaries of jazz and electronic music, his “hypnotic, wholly new and radically communal” (Pitchfork) Universal Beings—featuring collaborations with Shabaka Hutchings, Tomeka Reid, Jeff Parker, and other greats—made “'Best Jazz Albums of 2018” lists in the New York Times, Billboard, NPR, The Guardian, Pitchfork, and more.
Thus Owls, Jo Passed, and Unnatural Ways featuring Ava Mendoza | June 27 • The Imperial @ 9pm • $25
Blending artful chamber pop with “swirling, forceful and textured modern rock” (Wall Street Journal), Montreal’s ever-morphing, Polaris Prize-nominated Thus Owls’ “mystical and enchanting” (Huffington Post) sound finds Simon Angell’s charismatic guitar meeting the urgency of Erika Angell’s voice, stretching their already unusual indie-pop/avant-jazz compositions into new and surprising shapes. With Samuel Joly drums.
What would happen if Lennon and McCartney somehow got really into Sonic Youth, Neu!, and XTC? Vancouver’s Jo Passed have a pretty good idea. With a knack for dreamy melodies, chord progressions that sound like they’re from a land far, far away, and philosophical lyrics with counterculture bite, Jo Passed is “rich in bombast and noise on the one hand and clever musicality on the other” (Under The Radar).
Ava Mendoza is “a wizard on a semi-circle of effects pedals, but equally adept with FX-less technique" (NPR). The Brooklyn-based experimental guitarist/vocalist/composer has collaborated with Carla Bozulich, Nels Cline, Mike Watt, Matana Roberts, the Violent Femmes, and more. She brings next-level shredding and waves of jagged visceral expression to the heavily deconstructed jazz, metal, blues, and post-punk of her trio Unnatural Ways, with Tim Dahl (Lydia Lunch Retrovirus, Child Abuse) bass and Ches Smith (Marc Ribot, John Zorn, Secret Chiefs 3) drums.
Anteloper, Ilhan Ersahin’s Istanbul Sessions, and Gordon Grdina’s Haram | June 29 • The Imperial @ 9pm • $25
“What if tribal music was from space?”—TinyMixTapes Anteloper is trumpeter Jaimie Branch (“Fly or Die”) and drummer Jason Nazary (Little Women), two musicians who have been collaborating with each other for years, both playing their chosen instrument plus synthesizer. With deep rhythmic passages, telepathic improvisations, and effortless melodic negotiations, Anteloper bounds freely over the grassy plains of jazz, electro, and free music.
New York-based Swedish/Turkish saxophonist, impresario and general scene-maker Ilhan Ersahin’s exploration of his Turkish roots began in the ‘90s and continues to this day with this Istanbul-based creative take on dance music. Eschewing electronics, this super funky band gets people up and dancing with “real playing.” With Alp Ersonmez bass, Turgut alp Dekoglu drums, Izzet Kizil percussion.
“The music’s backbone is traditional, but wild outbursts of free improvisation and subtle injections of noise make it quite unlike anything you’d hear in the shisha dens of Cairo or Baghdad,”—Georgia Straight. A phenomenal culture-mashing juggernaut led by JUNO Award winner Gordon Grdina on Iraqi oud, Haram pays homage to traditional Arabic music while mixing elements of noise, electronic soundscape, and western free improv into their explosively self-expressive sound. With creative heavy-hitters JP Carter trumpet, Jesse Zubot violin, Kenton Loewen drums, Tommy Babin bass, Emad Armoush vocals, François Houle clarinet, Chris Kelly saxophone, Tim Gerwing, and Liam MacDonald percussion.
Jacob Collier | June 30 • The Imperial @ 9pm • $42
“This is serious music that puts a massive grin on your face – and Collier should rightly have the world at his feet in years to come,”—JazzWise. Quincy Jones, Herbie Hancock, and k.d. lang are big fans of young phenom Jacob Collier, and once you hear his virtuosic, multi-layered sound, you’ll be hooked too. An omnivorous sponge for inspiration, the multiple GRAMMY-winning Londoner combines elements of jazz, funk, folk, classical, Brazilian music, gospel, and soul (to name a few). “Jazz’s new prodigy” (London Jazz News), Jacob’s tour de force live show sets his unbelievable vocal/piano/harmonizer/bass/guitar and percussion chops loose alongside MARO on vocals/keys/acoustic guitar/harmonizer/ percussion, drummer Christian Euman, and Robin Mullarkey on bass/electric guitar/keys.
Further details regarding the 34th annual TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival will be released by series. Full details, including free programming, will be available by May 1, 2019.