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Bill Charlap to Play Ottawa Festival Fundraiser

I often dream of sitting at a piano and playing the labyrinthine phrases that seem to stream effortlessly from Brad Mehldau’s fingers. But practice feels like work to me. Maybe I could get my hands on one of Brad’s old piano benches and get just a little bit closer to achieving my dream. That’s not actually such a far-fetched idea. The Ottawa International Jazz Festival will hold its annual fundraiser on Dec. 6, 2002, and indeed, on the auction block is a seat the festival custom-made for Mehldau for his July 24 performance at Confederation Park.

Also up for auction are CDs autographed by Herbie Hancock and Omara Portundo, tickets to an upcoming Ellis Marsalis & Sons concert, a Muskoka Lakes weekend package, Gold Ottawa Senators tickets, gourmet gift baskets, day passes to local ski resorts, restaurant gift certificates, vintage wines, golf accessories, hotel packages, spa packages, a Gondola ride package and plenty of other stuff worthy of blowing some cash on.

Doors open at 6 p.m. for the event with a silent auction beginning at 7 and live auctions running throughout the evening. I hope the auctioneer keeps his mouth shut once the Bill Charlap Trio starts playing at 8, however. Charlap (pictured) and his boys, pianist Kenny Washington and bassist Peter Washington (no relation, except for that they’re in the same band), will play two sets, launching the Ottawa Festival’s 2002/2003 season.

Tickets are $35 and are available at Festival office 61A York St. (1/2 block west of Dalhousie), Ottawa, Canada, or at the door.

Originally Published