Our first taste of the music scene in Ottawa was pretty special, a fine day spent in the park at Britannia Bay, in the sun, listening to some folk at the Ottawa Folk Festival. We arrived just in time for the morning Ukulele Jam, swiftly followed by some beautiful (and mostly improvised) Music to Garden By and the unexpectedly great uke-cello duos, led by James Hill and Victoria Vox. You haven't lived until you've heard the uke-cello cover of Psycho Killer by Talking Heads. No, really.
My favourite moments of the day were probably from the saxaphone and flute of Linsey Wellman, very much in the avant/free jazz style of John Coltrane. He played two incredible solo pieces as part of the Life in Japan workshop, it really was music to disappear into.
Special mention also goes to the Balloon Orchestra, a group with instruments made from (yes) balloons. They avoided going a bit Stomp by innovations such as the balloon bass, complete with pick-up, and generally stayed firmly in the good part of "experimental".
We left before the headline acts (but after the majestic sunset over the bay), all a bit too mainstream folk rock/country for us dabblers in the experimental and traditional end of the genre. But play me squeeze box, rag time, uke-cello, hoe-down, jug band, electric cello, gourd, guitar, zither, shamisen, shakuhachi flute and the rest anytime!