Pop-up RAW:JazzFest venue combines architectural and sonic innovation

The future location of the much-anticipated RAW:JazzFest pop-up venue.

The future location of the much-anticipated RAW:JazzFest pop-up venue.

An innovative new concert series is making its debut at the 2019 TD Winnipeg International Jazz Festival, and this time, the venue is equally as groundbreaking as the all-star lineup of performers.

Created in collaboration with the architectural team behind RAW Gallery and RAW:almond, the pop-up RAW:JazzFest series will take place in a custom-designed space that marries architectural and sonic innovation.

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The venue – with an intimate capacity of only 80 people – will be erected in St. Boniface’s Parc Elzéar Goulet, overlooking the Red River. It will host musical luminaries like Saul Williams, Ethan Ardelli, and Rayannah over its brief five-day existence.

 
Intimate and interactive - RAW:JazzFest’s unique design will make for some unparalleled concert experiences. Don’t miss out!

Intimate and interactive - RAW:JazzFest’s unique design will make for some unparalleled concert experiences. Don’t miss out!

The venue – with an intimate capacity of only 80 people – will be erected in St. Boniface’s Parc Elzéar Goulet, overlooking the Red River. It will host musical luminaries like Saul Williams, Ethan Ardelli, and Living Hour over its five-day existence. It has been designed with re-useability in mind - the modular panels can be taken down and re-built in other locations in the future. (Where will it pop up in 2020!?)

The project’s goal is to create truly exceptional acoustic design in a temporary space – a goal RAW Gallery founder Joe Kalturnyk says concertgoers will experience first-hand.

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“Think of the building itself like a giant mixing board; you can tune the building to the particular performer,” said Kalturnyk.

“The idea is that it can be built in many different configurations – this particular design satisfies the number of guests we wanted to accommodate for JazzFest, while maintaining the sound quality.”

“The TD Winnipeg International Jazz Festival has always been a music festival set in urban spaces, and we are interested in how music plays a role in the animation of our environment,” said the festival’s artistic director Michael Falk.

“This partnership with Joe and RAW is a natural extension of our mission to bring great music and unique spaces together for the benefit of Winnipeggers.”

The RAW:JazzFest series runs from June 19 to 23, and features a stellar lineup of international, Canadian, and local artists, including:

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Saul Williams

Saul Williams has been breaking ground since his debut album, Amethyst Rock Star, was released in 2001 and executive produced by Rick Rubin.

After gaining global fame for his poetry and writings at the turn of the century, Williams has performed in over 30 countries and read in over 300 universities, with invitations from the White House, the Sydney Opera House, Lincoln Center, the Louvre, the Getty Center, Queen Elizabeth Hall, and countless, villages, townships, community centres, and prisons across the world.

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Ethan Ardelli

Drummer and composer Ethan Ardelli has been one of Canada’s most acclaimed jazz musicians for more than a decade. Always a cultural omnivore, Ardelli has sought out inspiration in a wide variety of places, from foreign and experimental films to classical composition from around the world, in particular the music of Cuba.

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Living Hour

Everything about Winnipeg’s Living Hour has been expanding since their humble basement beginnings in 2015. What started with dreamy love songs inspired by the cinematic sky of their hometown has transformed into even more sprawling and expansive expressions on their latest effort, Softer Faces, released in March of 2019.

For a full lineup of RAW:JazzFest artists, see the festival schedule. Tickets for these limited-capacity shows are available here.

Construction photos by Travis Ross






Sam Thompson