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Alberta's Jazz Hotbed

I bet most people don't realize what a hotbed of jazz we have going here in Alberta these days. The jazz community has been building for a few years now. There's a lot of "back-and-forth" of musicians working between Calgary and Edmonton, and Medicine Hat has a great jazz festival.

But it really drove that home to me, when I looked at the list of nominees for "Jazz Recording of the Year" at the Western Canadian Music Awards -- 4 out the 5 are from Alberta!

This week on the Key of A, we'll hear from all four of those excellent albums. Kent Sangster's Obsessions Octet from Edmonton; Karl Schwonik 's "Visions from the Farm" -- he's originally from Wetaskiwin and he still runs a jazz camp there in the summers; the John Hyde Quartet led by Calgary bass player extraordinaire; and Edmonton drummer Sandro Dominelli, with "The Alvo Sessions," recorded in New York City.

Plus, a live set from the 2010 Transcanada Alberta Music Series at the Engineered Air Theatre, featuring the sweet and bluesy voice of 20-year old Calgarian Samantha Savage Smith.

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