Janelle Monáe to Take the Stage at TD JazzFest
June 14, 2012
Since its origins at the start of the 20th century, jazz has evolved through a number of increasingly complex styles. Fittingly, the TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival also continues to evolve, reflecting the restlessness of its namesake genre in the eclecticism of its programming and in its venues as well-expanded this year, its 27th, to include Olympics-level celebrations in the streets around the VAG. (Think stages, video screens, licensed bistros, and an artisan market.)
Among the artists, that restlessness reaches a peak with Bill Frisell. Since 1983, the Seattle-based guitarist has released more than 30 albums that incorporate not only traditional notions of jazz but country, folk, blues, and pop. Frisell, 61, revisited one of his first musical passions, the Beatles, on last year's John Lennon tribute album All We Are Saying…, the focus of his performance at the fest (June 22, Vogue Theatre).
Atlanta singer-songwriter Janelle Monáe has released only one album to date, 2010's The ArchAndroid, but it contains more ambition and stylistic left turns than many artists' entire careers. Beyond its ubiquitous hit "Tightrope," the 70-minute epic flits from funk to Broadway balladry to hip-hop and, yes, jazz. In concert, the five-foot-three dynamo is a capital-P performer (June 29, the Centre).