That's deep: Ottawa jazz band to play backyard pool

A new jazz band is going to new depths to shoot a music video this weekend: the bottom of a backyard swimming pool.

New jazz band hosting Saturday concert in Vanier man's empty swimming pool

Steve Berndt (left) of Safe Low Limit, and Vanier resident Christopher Pollard (right) will host a concert in Pollard's pool on Saturday, May 20, 2017. (Alistair Steele/CBC)

A new jazz band in town is going to new depths to shoot a music video this weekend: the bottom of a backyard swimming pool.

It won't be your typical pool party, though. Bathing suits are not mandatory and the pool — which belongs to Vanier resident Chistopher Pollard — will be empty. 

Pollard offered up his backyard pool at 130 Ste-Cecile St. after the Safe Low Limit band put out a call on social media for a venue that fits with the band's musical theme: deep, low sounds.

"The timing just happened to be perfect because we're in the middle of renovations and a fix to [the pool] and I'm already a fan of Steve Berndt's band, so I said why not?" Pollard said in an interview Friday. 

Band played Ottawa Jazz Festival

Safe Low Limit is a four-person low instrument band featuring a cello, a trombone, a tuba, and drums. The band started out as a duo — cellist Ken Kanwisher and Steve Berndt, who plays the trombone. The pair played last year's Jazz Festival. 

Since then, they've added jazz drummer Michel Delage and Dr. Keith Hartshorn-Walton on the tuba. 

"We've come up with a really great sound, it's really different. We were really surprised at how well the tuba and the cello go together," Berndt said. 

How the band will sound on Saturday is still a "mystery" to Berndt, but he said he isn't too worried about it. One of the band members will have a sousaphone, a tuba with a front-facing tube instead of an upward facing one, which will help with the acoustics. 

"Because we're going to be at the bottom of the pool and people will be standing around, they're going to get a lot of tuba. And that's great. We're just looking forward to how that balances out. We'll do a sound check and we'll do it," Berndt said. 

Neighbour opens up adjacent fence for show

Pollard said at least one neighbour is on board with the idea — he took down two sections of his fence to allow more fans to spill out into his yard to catch the show. 

This is a first for Berndt, and for Pollard, too. 

"It's a rare opportunity so you might as well make the best of it," Pollard said. 

The concert begins at 5 p.m. Saturday. Admission is free, but the event is pay-what-you-can so there will be a collection hat passed around after the show.