2011 Winnipeg International Jazz Festival Boasts Impressive Line-up

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Boasting over 70 performers hitting the stage, there’s something for just about everyone during the 2011 International Jazz Winnipeg Festival’ 10-day run. Now in its 22nd year, the venerable downtown music fest – Winnipeg’s largest -- announced its 2011 line-up at Le Garage on April 15. The event, which runs June 16-25 in various city venues, draws thousands of concert goers every year to its wide range of shows spanning just about every genre, from jazz standards to funk, hip-hop to hardbop, roots and blues, and everything in between.

Marquee names performing at this year's Theatre Series include the legendary  Robert Plant and the Band of Joy, Juno Award-winning rapper Shad, The New Gary Burton Quartet featuring the acclaimed titular vibraphonist, and New Orleans' Dirty Dozen Brass Band, popular Oregon-based orchestra Pink Martini, and Quebec City's gypsy jazz act The Lost Fingers. The festival will also get a special preview show on June 14 with Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis.

The Theatre Series also welcomes home expat Glenn Patscha with his New York folk group Ollabelle. Rounder Records' klezmer project The Black Sea Station, which includes familiar Winnipeg names Myron Shultz and Daniel Koulack, will release its CD during the fest.

Juno-winning vocalist Kellylee Evans, indie icons Blonde Redhead, hip-hop luminary Pete Rock, roadhouse blue act Smokin' Joe Kubek & Bnois King, and many more will play Jazz Fest's innovative Club Series at a variety of venues, including the Pyramid Cabaret, Aqua Books, Le Garage, Times Change(d), the King's Head, and the new Winnipeg Free Press News Cafe.

This year's line-up also boasts nearly 50 diverse Manitoba acts taking over stages throughout the fest. Ranging from Latin jazz to rap to indie pop/rock to funk (and just about everything in between), you can catch incredible local talent in the clubs and theatres, in the late night shows, and on the outdoor Old Market Square stage during this year's festivities.

Some of the homegrown acts performing this year include: pianist Bert Johnson; hip-hop actsNestor Wynrush,  De La Rosa, The Lytics, and Magnum KI wordsmith Ismaila Alfa; vocalists Helen White, Monika Loewen Wall, Rosemarie Todaschuk and Jodie Borle;, hardbop saxophonist Janice Finlay; Francophone Cajun band Johnny Cajun; indie rockers Les Jupes, Royal Canoe, The Liptonians, and This Hisses; funk collective Moses Mayes; rock and soul band The Noble Thiefs; Latin jazz and world acts Papa Mambo and Trio Bembe, folk favourites Romi Mayes, Red Moon Road, Woody Holler and His Orchestra, and Sweet Alibi; and acclaimed guitarist Greg Lowe.

Check out Jazz Fest’s site for the complete line-up and schedule.

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