Our Picks for Jazz Fest 2013

 Continuing in the genre’s century-old habit of treading on convention, the 2013 TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival has lined up over 1,800 musical rebels. Miles Davis Quintet pianist turned mad scientist Herbie Hancock (June 30, Queen Elizabeth Theatre) is the icon of this year’s outing. Over a half-century, Hancock has been an unrelenting pain in the purist ass, experimenting with countless instruments (along with Grand Mixer DXT, he’s credited with the spread of turntable scratching), genres from acid to disco, and a list of collaborators as diverse as Jeff Beck, Pink, Christina Aguilera, and Paul Simon. Also appearing onstage this year are Esperanza Spalding (June 23, Vogue Theatre), the first jazz singer to win the Grammy for best new artist (outclassing Justin Bieber, no less), and Korea’s shining star, the hypnotically talented Youn Sun Nah in a bare-bones vocal performance alongside Swedish guitarist Ulf Wakenius (June 25, Performance Works). Other upstarts? New York piano hot shot Vijay Iyer – hear his ingenious recast of Michael Jackson’s “Human Nature” (June 21, Performance Works), and the eight-piece Red Baraat, whose super-energized mix of bhangra, indie rock, and hiphop will make you realize, so this is what all the fuss is about!

The 2013 TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival runs June 21 – July 1