Saskatoon – Thursday, June 29th at the Sasktel Jazz Fest was a day of positive energy, co-operative connection, and music to make people smile.
Back by popular demand, the TD Mainstage, Bessborough Gardens started the day at noon with a free yoga class and acoustic jam open to everyone, of all yoga experiences, age, shape, or size. The free yoga jam was led by Saskatoon own’s Ryan Leier, founder of Yoga One and co-founder of Vinyasa Yoga for Youth (VYFY) with international artist Michael Franti providing a live musical performance.
Vinyasa Yoga for Youth, a registered non-profit that was founded in 2008 by Ryan Leier and Kristine Divall, wants to bring power and peace of yoga to youth. With Yogis-in-Residences to the Calder Centre, C.N.I.B, and giving workshops to schools throughout Saskatoon, Vinyasa Yoga for Youth teaches mindfulness and centeredness to almost 4000 children bringing accessible yoga for students and youth of all ages. An autographed Michael Franti longboard is to be raffled off as a fundraiser to help teach healthy living and compassion to the youths.
Sonal Kavia, a volunteer and yogi instructor with Vinyasa Yoga for Youth said, “Connection and community shine through the Sasktel Jazz Fest experience every single year! The Jazz Fest reaches deep into the community and makes things happen! Generous with who they support, and everyone feels so much love.”
Bombargo, accompanied by a horn line, opened the evening’s music with their signature grandiose song-writing, jamming riffs, and absolute positivity. Using the band’s lyrics and onstage banter, Bombargo set the night’s tone of acceptance and encouragement, reminding the audience that self-confidence is key to “pick up that drum, to pick up that guitar, no matter what other people say”, to follow your dreams whatever your age or life stage.
Commenting on the evening, lead singer and songwriter Nathan Thoen said, “The vibes were flowing like water at Sask Jazz. So many amazing people spreading so much positivity and musical awesomeness. We were so honoured to get the town moving and grooving. Can’t wait for next year!”
Bombargo created the perfect vibe for a beautiful Saskatoon evening, setting the stage for Vancouver’s Delhi 2 Dublin.
Delhi 2 Dublin, one of the distinct cross genre bands at the Sasktel Jazz Fest, mesmerized and rocked the larger main stage crowd as much as their popular performance at Wednesday’s Potashcorp Club Free Stage. As a credit to any band whose members do not cater their performance’s intensities depending on the stage, Delhi 2 Dublin had audience’s hands in the air “Punjabi style” on both the free and main stages.
Dancy and catchy, rhythmic and fun, Delhi 2 Dublin melds India and Ireland with a Bollywood hip hop style combined with fiddle, creating an original, infectious sound.
When the front of stage is crowded with serious music connoisseurs, casual fans, and their kindergarten to grade 5 children dancing, bopping and Bollywood dancing along, one recognizes the immediate appeal and joy music can create.
Delhi 2 Dublin is a rare act with mass appeal without pandering or sacrificing musicality. Infectious, groovy, catchy and fun, Delhi 2 Dublin needs to been seen by everyone, at least once. The beats are smart, the grooves deep, with an energy that one cannot ignore.
The band even looks happy while intensely playing. Therapists should prescribe their album as an anti-depressant. Too far? No, not really. Considering other psychiatric treatment plans, having to listen to a Delhi 2 Dublin album on a regular basis is a fantastic option.
If you are still reading this, stop and look up Dublin 2 Delhi clips, or check out their record. I’m going to stop taking notes and enjoy the show. Will continue in a bit…
After their crowd-pleasing performance, fiddle player Serena Eades said, ”This was my first SaskTel Jazz Fest! What an awesome time! Bombargo killed it, Michael Franti bringing the good vibes. We love Saskatoon.” And, as a nice aside after telling a story of a Delhi 2 Dublin fan accidently knocking the phone from this reviewer’s hand as I attempted to get a picture, “Sorry we caused the crowd to break your phone.”
After excited buzz, eager anticipation and much dancing, Michael Franti & Spearhead took the stage and kicked off a searing set of poppy, groovy, sing-along hip hop rock, with sincerity and exceptional musicality, catchy pop grooves with serious delivery and positive intent.
Franti retells personal experiences of “doing it for the love” as part of his show, sharing his personal experience and stories as part of connecting with the audience and creating an example of how one, no matter what it is they love, can pursue their dreams, to continue to create a life well-loved and well-lived, finding their place of true happiness and fulfillment.
The positive vibes from Thursday night Sasktel Jazz Fest could change the world if channeled, projected, and lived every day.
The many guest appearances by many different people throughout Franti’s set, such as Nathan Thoen from Bombargo, and non-professional singers, on stage for either shared lead vocals or background added a dynamic, communal aspect to the set, where varied voices got to add their personality and voice to the show.
Franti is an honest, true person trying to use his music as a catalyst for true personal, not social, change, trying to make a difference in one person’s life, as much as the lives of the all audiences who see him. So much love for so many people.
There are not many shows or music festivals that can incorporate entire families with parents and children enjoying the music simultaneously with such a positivity. As encapsulated by Thursday night, the Sasktel Jazz Fest truly has music for all people of all ages brought together through music, family and community.
The Riz is a prolific multi-genre songwriter, lyricist, writer and bassist for “Demolition Rock” sensation Ultimate Power Duo. A staple of the Saskatoon music scene, he has toured extensively across Canada, the U.S. and the U.K. The Riz is also the composer and saxophone player for R. Muttering, an avant-garde soundscape improvisational electro-acoustic performance art and recording group. Besides his Bachelor of Music in Music Education (B. Mus. (Mus. Ed.) / B. Ed. (Mus.)) from the University of Saskatchewan, he has amazing comic and vinyl collections.