One of North America's longest-running and largest jazz festivals, the TD Ottawa International Jazz Festival, named a new programming manager today, and it's notable that the organization selected a musician who plays with a wide range of collaborators. For saxophonist Petr Cancura, the new job represents something of a homecoming; although he was born in the Czech Republic, he spent many years in Ottawa before moving to Brooklyn. As well as working with the creative guitar improviser Joe Morris, Cancura is also a member of pianist Danilo Perez's big band.
I think it's always a good thing when musicians have a hand in booking, and in Cancura's case it's especially promising due to the breadth of his own experience and contacts.
I should note that, although I've worked on contract as a media consultant for the organization during the past two festivals, I'm not currently working with them, so this is very much an unbiased reading of the Cancura's hiring. As someone who lives in Ottawa and has interacted with the festival as attendee, journalist and employee, I'm looking forward to everything he can bring to the job.