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Local music: Summer festival edition!



Bluesfest may be over, but the city's summer music festival season is far from done. Fans of live music in Ottawa have already had the chance to enjoy a remarkable variety of concert series this year, but there are still more to come. And local musicians are vital to these festivals: they’re not only performers, but often key organizers and facilitators.

Here, we'd like to take a minute to spotlight Ottawa's summer 2018 festival slate, the local musicians who are playing a big role in those festivals, and just where you can find them in OPL's collection of homegrown talent.


The aforementioned Bluesfest drew reliably sizeable crowds to LeBreton Flats for performances by international acts like Foo Fighters, Courtney Barnett, and Rae Sremmurd. But it also provided a showcase for local talent like hip-hop trio Tapas (featuring producer Jeepz), hard-rockers Animal Confession, duos the Lynnes, Silla + Rise, and Elijah Woods x Jamie Fine, and other perennial favourites like Amos the Transparent, MonkeyJunk, Lucas Haneman Express, and the Peptides (who are also playing this year’s Capital Fair). 


This year’s JazzFest lineup was reliably eclectic, with artists like Lake Street Dive, Tanya Tagaq, Dee Dee Bridgewater and Herbie Hancock paying Ottawa a visit. Countless local performers could also be found in venues throughout the city. From recent transplant Antoine L. Collins to local stalwarts like Kellylee Evans and Mike Essoudry and the Bank Street Bonbons, a wide variety of Ottawa jazz artists were a part of the festival, including Peter Liu, Megan Jerome, Petr Cancura, and SoulJazz Orchestra.


Ottawa is also host to a pair of festivals featuring a diversity of classical and contemporary music. This year’s Music and Beyond festival hosted performances from local artists like Caroline Léonardelli (alongside Ottawa-born mezzo-soprano Julie Nesrallah), Wallis Giunta, Frédéric Lacroix, Roddy Ellias, and Kerson Leong. ChamberFest also annually showcases burgeoning Ottawa talent through its Rising Stars program. Elsewhere on ChamberFest’s schedule this year are local groups like Algonquin Ensemble (featuring members of K.E.W.T.) and Canadian Guitar Quartet, as well as appearances in both concert and conversation by world-renowned Ottawa-born pianist Angela Hewitt.


In June, Festival franco-ontarien welcomed musicians from throughout the province and beyond. In addition to visiting artists like Damien Robitaille, Valaire, and Marie-Mai, local musicians like Gabrielle Goulet, Mehdi Cayenne, and Rebecca Noelle (whom you may have also seen at JazzFest with The Commotions) were a major part of the bill. Don’t forget to check out other members of the local francophone music community in our collection, like Moonfruits and Kristine St-Pierre


This summer has also witnessed much-loved annual festivals like WestFest (featuring locals Julie Corrigan and King Kimbit – who will also be at the upcoming SoulCity MusicFest) and  Ottawa Explosion (with – among countless others – Expanda Fuzz, The Creeps, Steve Adamyk Band, and the last-ever Ottawa performance by local favourites Crusades).


Still to look forward to, though, is this year’s edition of House of PainT, the annual showcase of hip-hop music, art, culture and more. You may already have seen the House of PainT-hosted community mural at our July Tunes & Tales event. This year’s lineup is soon to be announced, but past years have seen performances by local artists like Buck-N-Nice, Jesse Dangerously, and Slack Bridges, among so many others.


CityFolk has named its September lineup, bringing in artists from the Tedeschi Trucks Band to the Decemberists. But the accompanying Marvest – taking place in the surrounding Lansdowne area – explicitly highlights local musicians and venues. This year's Marvest lineup is still to come, but in 2017, it featured artists like Sarah Scriver, Gentlemen of the Woods, Area Resident, and Rory Taillon.


If you’re still up for more live music, don’t forget OPL’s own local music programming. In June, Main Branch hosted Twin Flames in celebration of National Indigenous History Month. And in July and August, our own “festival” will be running, the Music in the Stacks concert series, taking place at Main every Thursday at noon until August 16.


Check out the list below for some of the local festival performers noted above, and be sure to keep browsing our ever-expanding collection of Ottawa musicians!



OPL Local Music: 2018 Summer Festival Edition/BPO Musique locale : Édition des festivals d’été 2018by Daniel_Library