He began his touring career in Ottawa in the early 1990s, but that’s not what brings jazz legend Dave Douglas back to the TD Canada Trust Ottawa International Jazz Festival.

“I have such great memories,” said Douglas. “Every time I’ve played here, I’ve gotten such a warm response.”

Douglas, who performs at the Ottawa International Jazz Festival as a part of a quintet called Brass Ecstasy on opening day today, aims to be accessible, he said.

“Music should be somewhat challenging, but the listener shouldn’t have to be a specialist” to enjoy it, he said.

As for the festival — which runs from June 25 to July 5 and features over 800 musicians in more than 160 concerts over 11 days — it really will have something for everyone, he said.

Each night, there will be three concerts on the main stage at Confederation Park, while the Great Canadian Jazz series features the nation’s most prolific jazz musicians.

For those who just want a taste of jazz, new this year is the OLG Stage at Confederation Park, which will be the scene of free lunch-hour jazz featuring the likes of Art Nuvo Quartet, Peter Brown Quartet, Jean-Pierre Allain Trio, Grey Jazz Big Band, Mermaid Beach and Lucas Haneman Quartet over six days.

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