Brit's SaskTel Saskatchewan Jazz Festival survival guide

If you still haven't made plans for the SaskTel Saskatchewan Jazz Festival, don't worry. There are still plenty of tickets available. Let our entertainment reporter give you her picks for the next 5 days.

Let Britainy Robinson help you tune into the music in Saskatoon

Britainy Robinson checking in with Colin James at the jazz festival in 2013. (CBC)

With so much talk of sold out shows at the Sasktel Saskatchewan Jazz Festival, you could be excused for thinking you missed the boat.

Banish those thoughts from your mind! There are plenty of chances for you to hear live music.

Britainy Robinson has put together a little playlist for you with her picks for the first half of the show.

Colin James

Colin James is back for another rocking opening night of music Friday. (

This man is no stranger to this province or this festival. I'm constantly amazed by his versatility. Rock, blues, big band and even pop, there isn't anything he can't play.

James was mentored by the legendary Stevie Ray Vaughan so you know he's got his act together.

His show is definitely one for all ages and musical tastes. This is really accessible, danceable music and a perfect evening in the Bessborough Gardens. 

James' opens the festival Friday night.

» Listen to 'Oh Well' on CBC Music

Jane Bunnett & Maqueque

Jane Bunnett and a few of her Cuban friends will liven up The Bassment and play a gig in North Battleford this weekend. (Maqueque)

What happens when a master of the soprano sax celebrates the culture and music of Cuba. It's going to be a steamy night in the club.

Jane Bunnett and Maqueque is an all-female sextet and the group has just released a new CD. This is all about a spin on Afro-Cuban jazz.

A great thing about this festival is not all the shows are actually in Saskatoon. There are a couple of chances to see Jane Bunnett & Maqueque

They play Saskatoon at The Bassment Friday night and then on Saturday have a show at Chapel Gallery in North Battleford.

Leif Vollebekk

Leif Vollebekk hits the Village Guitar & Amp stage Monday and Tuesday night.

It's a soft, soothing folk show in an intimate setting. 

I can think of no better way to chill out at the beginning of the week than with a little music therapy. The beauty of a 10-day festival is the freedom to experiment with musical choices.

Leif Vollebekk blends guitar, harmonica and even a little organ into a musical interlude that will make you sway and instantly relax.

He has a pair of gigs both at Village Guitar & Amp so you can get up close to the musician as he performs.

That's Monday and Tuesday night.

» Listen to 'Off The Main Drag' on CBC Music

Arturo Sandoval

Arturo Sandoval will blow crowds away with his blend of jazz and Afro-cuban Friday night. (

It is the jazz festival after all, so why not seek out a little traditional jazz.

Arturo Sandoval is a protege of Dizzy Gillespie, a trumpet master in his own right.

Sandoval blends jazz with traditional Cuban rhythms. He's played with greats like Herbie Hancock and Tito Puente and even taken a turn into the world of pop music with Alicia Keys and Justin Timberlake.

Most recently, Sandoval helps set the music for movie blockbuster Spider-Man 2.

This show is all about Latin Jazz through and through.

There are two performances both at the Broadway Theatre Friday night.


Reuben and the Dark

Calgary's Reuben and the Dark is an opening act and a mainstage show this week. (

If you're looking to get your groove on this week, look no further than Amigos Cantina.

This act hailing from Calgary sounds a bit like early Coldplay. It's driving, pop infused soul music.

The group has just released it's debut album Funeral Sky and now they want to celebrate with us.

CBC Music named these guys one of the 10 to Watch in 2014, so you might as well check them out.

There are two opportunities to see this group Monday night they open for St. Vincent in the Bessborough Gardens and then later that night they play Amigos Cantina.

» Listen to 'Rolling Stone' on CBC Music

Aaron Adair & SK Soul

Aaron Adair will be letting his soul shine several times during the 10-day festival. (

Not all the talent celebrated at this festival comes from away.

A ton of the performers you will see on stage over the next 10 days are local musicians, playing multiple venues.

This is the hectic pace for Saskatoon's Aaron Adair and his band, SK Soul.

The group invites crowds to bob, snap and sway along to the classic R&B sound.

You have three chances to see Aaron Adair & SK Soul. The group plays Tuesday night on the free stage of PotashCorp Club Jazz.

Then on June 27th, they hit up Amigos Cantina and wrap the week at the Spadina Freehouse June 28th.

» Listen to 'Jackpot' on CBC Music