The TD P.E.I. Jazz and Blues Festival is back with three days of the best jazz and blues music in Atlantic Canada.
Beginning today and running until June 30, the event will feature performances by David Myles, Rachel Beck, Ken Fornetran, Paul Tynan, Emmanuelle LeBlanc of Vishtèn and more.
The 2018 program keeps the focus on celebrating musical talent in P.E.I. and Atlantic Canada, beginning with an intimate jazz show at St. Paul’s Anglican Church this evening, with presentations to honour Fornetran, who is this year’s Doug Riley Artist. This designation is awarded each year to an Island musician who exemplifies the spirit of dedication to musical excellence as personified by Riley, the late keyboard master, composer, producer and arts exponent who chose P.E.I. as his home.
Fornetran, who moved to the Island in 2012, has been active in the local music scene, performing regularly across the Maritimes. He has also taught saxophone and woodwinds at St. F.X. University and Holland College School of Performing Arts and has performed at most of Canada’s major jazz festivals and clubs with many of Canada's finest musicians.
In addition to his career as a musician, Fornetran has earned a reputation as one of Canada’s finest woodwind repair technicians.
For this year’s Doug Riley Concert, which will also be held at St. Paul’s Anglican Church, Fornetran will present an intimate evening of music that crosses genre labels, with special guests Emmanuelle LeBlanc of Vishtèn and trumpeter Paul Tynan, who recently won the 2018 ECMA for best jazz recording.
Fornetran's program draws from a wide variety of his influences, including classics by John Coltrane and Ornette Coleman, alongside original compositions and music by James Taylor, Rickie Lee Jones, Woody Guthrie, Michael McGoldrick and more, all showcasing the art of the interplay of melody and harmony.
As usual there will also be a few songs written or performed by Riley, whose influential career also drew from many styles and genres.
Also performing for the opening concert of the festival will be Ian Toms, guitar, Chris Martell, bass, and Daniel Verdecchia, drums.
At a glance
What: The 2018 Doug Riley Concert, featuring this year’s Doug Riley Artist, Ken Fornetran, 2018 ECMA Jazz Award winner Paul Tynan and Emmanuelle LeBlanc of Vishtèn
When and where: Today at 7 p.m. at St. Paul’s Church
Tickets: Both in advance and at the door. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.