Something Else! Festival to collect eclectic experimental and jazz acts in Ontario this June

Something Else! Festival to collect eclectic experimental and jazz acts in Ontario this June
Indigenous Mind (Hamid Drake, Joshua Abrams, and Jason Adasiewicz)

It’s true: summer has barely set in, but you know we’re only a week or two away from all out sweltering heat. Escape to cooler climates you must! The Something Else! festival out in Hamilton, Ontario (just a hop, skip, and a jump from Toronto) delivers on its moniker, with an eclectic array of acts skewing towards the experimental jazz side of the spectrum. Organized by the Zula Music and Arts Collective, the festival runs right through the heart of summer from June 20-23, so don’t forget to pack your sunscreen.

At the top of the roster is a rare visit from Czech violinist and vocalist Iva Bittová, who will join drummer Hamid Drake (who has accompanied the likes of Herbie Hancock, Don Cherry, Pharoah Sanders, and Archie Shepp) in a duet. Drake will also perform with his group, Indigenous Mind. He’s not the only storied drummer on the bill. William Hooker (who has accompanied Thurston Moore, Lee Ranaldo, DJ Spooky, and Zeena Parkins) will make an appearance, as will Nonesuch / Blue Note clarinetist Don Byron (you might have heard him playing with Bill Frisell).

The marriage of acoustic and electronic instruments will be on display at Something Else!, as with pianist Joanna Duda’s solo show and the Glen Hall-led EAR-CAM, while No Silenz promise to deliver Something Else along the lines of “a polymorphous aural universe spanning low-end instrumental heft to abstract theatrics.” But easily the best name on the bill is Sourpussy, who will unleash “perverse humour and poignancy into immersive, volatile performances.”

That’s just a smattering of the confirmed talent. Check out Zula for the full lineup and to grab an early bird pass while they’re still available. And come say hi at the Sourpussy show – I’ll be in the front row.

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