Montreal Jazz Fest days 3-5. Elizabeth Shepherd, Amanda Mabro, Beast, etc.

Sunday, day three started off with watching Toronto based singer Elizabeth Shepherd. She is fairly straight forward jazz. Quite good though. I listened to her latest album, Heavy Falls the Night, and it is fairly impressive. Despite being Toronto based, she did go to school and earn a degree at Montreal university, McGill.

I only watched a few minutes of Elizabeth Shepherd, as I went to check out Jah Cutta. He is a fairly big name in Canadian reggae. I remembered him mostly from when he performed as Jah Cutta and the Determination band. And for a while he was on local punk label 2112, now part of the Stomp Records label group.

I checked out Elizabeth Shepherd again on her second performance, as I had missed the beginning on her first show. Again, good! Of course she plays the same setlist, as do pretty much all artists that have two shows in the same evening. I have a couple pictures linked on my twitter (one, and two)

From there I headed over to Montreal ska band The Planet Smashers, they never tend to disappoint!

Last night, I saw Amanda Mabro, again, I watched at least 20 minutes of her two sets. She is a local jazz/pop, etc singer. It was the first time I saw her live, and she kind of reminded me of Norah Jones. Her Myspace page says cabaret pop-noir which seems like a good description.

Finally I watched some of Lulu Hughes and the Montreal All City Big Band. I knew her by name mostly, I had seen a music video of hers from years ago, but could not recall without checking it out first. Anyway, she seemed to be doing covers as she was with the big band. I was starting to watch her first set, but that was when it started pouring rain, just about as she took the stage! I waited quite a while beforehand, as it was a slow rain, but when it started pouring I gave up the ghost. She is a bit more adult contemporary, I’d like to check out her solo stuff at some point.

Finally, night 5 was only Beast. They were the featured performer for the night, so the crowd was quite big, easily in the high five digits to upwards of 100 000. As I Tweeted, I was quite far away, but on the plus side no ear damage! I started out checking Lulu Hughes second set right at the front of the house (I think that’s the technical term used), where it was crazy loud, so that did not last long before backing up. Even if I had earplugs, I think it would have been a tad loud.

Regardless, Beast seemed pretty good, I thought they were probably the least likely to be found on the Jazz Fest, as they are kind of electronic indie. At best with jazz elements. Surely they can pull jazz influences in their work, but it does not show. I only knew the song “Mr. Hurricane” from their self titled 2008 debut. They made a video for the song along with “Out of Control”. See “Mr. Hurricane” on YouTube (“Out of Control”, their other video is linked on the side of that page).

Finally, MySpace links to check out any of the above artists. Of course they have official pages too that can easily be found by googling.

Elizabeth Shepherd
Jah Cutta
Amanda Mabro
The Planet Smashers

Well that is about it for the Jazz Fest for me, I’ll still check it out, but I do not have anyone I am really looking forward to anymore.


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