Five Must-See Acts at the Ottawa Jazz Festival 2024

It runs June 21 to 30, featuring Norah Jones, Laufey and more

Photo: Lauren Kim

BY Exclaim! StaffPublished Apr 4, 2024

Founded in 1980, the Ottawa Jazz Festival has brought all-star acts to Canada's capitol for more than 40 years. The festival takes a broad definition of "jazz" while still staying true to the genre's core principle of adventurous musical exploration.

The 2024 edition, which runs from June 21 to 30, is no exception, bringing some traditional jazz acts to Ottawa alongside performers that span pop, rock, funk and more.

Tickets for the festival are available now, and Exclaim!'s choices for five must-see acts are below.

Kathleen Edwards
After eight years between albums, Canadian folk rock staple Kathleen Edwards finally returned in 2020 with the reflective LP Total Freedom. She has subsequently followed it up with the Dogs and Alcohol EP, asserting herself as a fixture in our music scene more than 20 years since her debut.

Elisapie's 2023 album Inuktitut recently earned her the JUNO Award for Contemporary Indigenous Artist or Group of the Year. The striking LP features covers of classic songs (Fleetwood Mac's "Dreams," Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were You") beautifully sung in her Inuit language.

Norah Jones
Anyone over 35 still has a beat-up copy of 2002's kajillion-selling Come Away with Me kicking around in their car's CD player. Since then, she's continued to charmingly bridge jazz and pop, most recently on this year's Visions.

Laufey is undeniably one of the biggest figures in contemporary jazz, with 2023 album Bewitched and recent single "Goddess" offering a modern spin on jazz and classical as filtered through the perspective of a Gen Z songwriter. Her star has continued to her rise since appearing at the 2023 Ottawa Jazz Festival.

Parliament-Funkadelic featuring George Clinton
Mother Earth is pregnant for the third time! At 82 years old, George Clinton remains a generation-defining funkster as he leads his classic band(s) Parliament-Funkadelic into the Ottawa Jazz Festival. More than 50 years later, Funkadelic's Maggot Brain continues to blow minds and expand consciousnesses.

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