Starting June 25 and running until July 4 is the SaskTel Saskatchewan Jazz Festival. It’s centred in Saskatoon, although for several years they did run a satellite concert series in places like Regina, Moose Jaw and Prince Albert. They  featured some decent talent, often including headliners from the main festival,  but were a bit of a challenge logistically for the SJF to organize and present.

Sadly, the satellite series seems to have been discontinued. For local jazz fans, of course, the option exists of heading north to Saskatoon for the festival. Similar to the Regina Folk Festival here, the SJF has long taken a fairly liberal (or non-purist, if you prefer) view of what constitutes jazz so as to appeal to a wide audience.  This year headliners include Macy Gray, The Roots, Los Lobos, Chick Corea, Blind Boys of Alabama and Bedouin Soundclash.

Following the demise of the satellite series, the Regina Jazz Society stepped up to organize a mini-jazz festival for the city. This year’s edition runs June 18-20.

For anyone who’s downtown today, from noon- 1p.m. and 4:30-7:15 p.m. there’ll free shows presented at the stage on the north end of the F.W. Hill Mall.

Ticketed events begin tonight with a concert by Saskatoon-based Mobadass and Regina-based Skavenjah (pictured) at Regina Inn, 7:30 p.m. $35. Saturday JazzFest Regina is presenting After the Audition, the Ryan Cohan Quartet and The Cedar Walton Trio at Regina Inn beginning at 7 p.m. Tix are $40.

The festival closes out Sunday with a special Father’s Day brunch and concert at the Regina Inn between 10 a.m.-2 p.m. featuring the Project with guest vocalists Sheila Deck and Brandy Moore. Tix for the show and brunch are adult $35, senior/student $30, kids 6-12 $20. Show only $25/$20/$15.

For more info visit And to whet your appetite, here’s video of Mobadass performing a cover of Bob Marley’s “Reggae on Broadway”  (YouTube)