Norah Jones, Judith Hill, The Roots headline Jazzfest lineup

This year's TD Ottawa Jazz Festival lineup won't just be eclectic and diverse, organizers say — it will also showcase more female artists than in years' past.

Organizers say this year's festival has an increased focus on female artists

Judith Hill, who has been a backup vocalist for the likes of Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder, will headline the first night of the 2019 TD Ottawa Jazz Festival. (Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

This year's TD Ottawa Jazz Festival lineup won't just be eclectic and diverse, organizers say — it will also showcase more female artists than in years' past.

"We've always tried to include a lot of women leaders," said Petr Cancura, the festival's director of programming, as he revealed the 2019 lineup Friday on CBC Radio's All In A Day.

"But especially in light of how these long overdue discussions about the lack of representation of female composers have been in the mainstream, we really decided to take that on [this year] as a focus."

Judith Hill will perform on the main stage to kick off the festival, which runs from June 21 until July 1.

A backing vocalist for the likes of Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder and Josh Groban, Hill was so electrifying the last time she performed that festival organizers felt compelled to bring her back, Cancura said.

Questlove , drummer for The Roots, will perform a DJ set right after the band plays the main stage at Marion Dewar Plaza outside city hall. (CBC)

Another big name this year is hip-hop collective The Roots, perhaps best known to mainstream audiences as the house band on the Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon.

They'll be headlining Saturday's lineup, with drummer Questlove heading to the Confederation Park Stage afterwards for a late night DJ set.

Petr Cancura, programming director of the Ottawa Jazz Festival, revealing some of what he's chosen for this year's Fest. 18:09

Other main stage headliners include '70s prog-pop stalwarts Chicago, singer-songwriter Jane Siberry and crooner Norah Jones.

The Brad Mehldau Quintet, Terri Lyne Carrington and Social Scene, Lee Fields and The Expressions, and Omara Portuondo and the National Arts Centre Orchestra also get top billing during the festival.

Friday, June 21

  • Anna Webber's Simple Trio
  • Gilad Hekselman Trio
  • Baritone Madness
  • Judith Hill

Saturday, June 22

  • Gordon Grdina Quartet
  • Michael Winograd
  • The Patricia Barber Trio
  • Ranee Lee
  • Jane Siberry 

Sunday, June 23

  • Kris Davis and Ingrid Laubrock 
  • Romance of Improvisation
  • Ernie R. Roussel Trio
  • Chicago
Norah Jones is the jazz festival headliner on June 25. (Amy Sussman/The Associated Press)

Tuesday, June 25

  • Jakob Bro, Thomas Morgan, Joey Baron
  • Duo Léandre, Freedman
  • Christine Jensen Big Band
  • The Easley Quartet
  • Norah Jones

Wednesday, June 26

  • Melissa Aldana Quartet
  • Hayden Chisholm Trio
  • Audrey Ochoa Trio
  • Brad Mehldau Quintet

Thursday, June 27

  • Hayden Chisholm Chamber Project
  • Cyrille Aimée: A Sondheim Adventure
  • Only A Visitor
  • Terri Lyne Carrington and Social Scene 

Friday, June 28

  • Nubya Garcia
  • Oleg Butman and Natalia Smirnova Trio
  • Donny McCaslin
  • The Shuffle Demons
  • Omara Portuondo and the NAC Orchestra

Saturday, June 29

  • Cécile McLorin Salvant
  • Laila Biali​
  • The Roots
  • Questlove (DJ set)

Sunday, June 30

  • TD Jazz Youth Summit Orchestra
  • Dominique Fils-Aime
  • Lee Fields and The Expressions
  • Lemon Bucket Orchestra

Monday, July 1

  • TD Jazz Youth Summit
  • Dominique Fils-Aime 
  • Lemon Bucket Orchestra
  • Lee Fields and The Expressions


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