Wednesday, June 23, 2010

At Least The Pestilence Missed Us

So, Day -1 of the 2010 TD Ottawa International Jazz Festival (the festival officially starts tomorrow) began with reports of bad weather... so bad in Chicago that drummer Max Weinberg and his big band were grounded long enough to miss their narrow transportation window.

Then, an earthquake hit. Only a 5.5—a mere shiver by Haitian or Californian standards, but pretty severe in this part of North America—but enough to throw travel into additional disarray (did I mention that the Chinese president was arriving in the city, shutting down the airport and various roads?). That threw Gil Scott-Heron off his schedule. First he was flying to Montreal and being driven to Ottawa, then direct to Ottawa but delayed, and then...really delayed.

Scott-Heron's backing trio gamely took the stage in his absence—by this time it was raining pretty steadily—but with just keyboards, sax and congas their repertoire was mighty limited.

Scott-Heron finally joined his band around 10 p.m. (his show was originally slotted for 7:30).

Now ready for the real thing.

1 comment:

Dawn Singh said...

Whoa. What a way to kick it off!

Hope things improve from here on out. Have a great festival, James.