Rootstock 2018 is not just about showcasing the emerging musical talents of the local Lyon, Paris and Burgundy music scene – it’s also about throwing a bright spotlight on breakthrough international artists too. And, quite frankly, we just LOVE this band. The SoulJazz Orchestra, a six-piece outfit hailing from Ottawa, Canada, are the perfect remedy to soothe those Sunday night blues. Performing at the festival’s final night, supporting Keziah Jones, The Souljazz Orchestra will start the party in style ensuring festival revellers one last night of dancing among the vines of Clos Marey-Monge.  And if play ‘Shock and Awe’, no-one will be standing still.  We pressed play with Pierre Chrétien, pianist, frontman and songwriter since their inception in 2002, shortly before they were due to jump on a Paris-bound flight en route to Pommard, stopping off for a few shows here and there first….

Q. Pierre – thanks for talking with us. It’s the summer, the band must be on tour day and night, right?

“Yes, we started this summer off by playing a few shows in Canada. Now, we head over to Europe for a big tour over there, where we’ll be hitting up Ireland, France, Spain, Germany and the UK.”

Summer Starts Here: The Souljazz Orchestra are on tour extensively in Europe throughout July.

“Our shows aren’t the kind of thing where you just sit on your behind and clap politely…”

Q. What magical quality defines an incredible Souljazz Orchestra show? 

“Well, our shows aren’t the kind of thing where you just sit on your behind and clap politely. Our shows are a high-energy interactive kind of experience. And our most awesome shows are those where there’s this real contagious back and forth energy between us and the crowd, with everyone shaking their thing and chanting along…”

The Man: Pierre Chrétien – pianist, frontman and songwriter since the group’s inception in 2002.

Q. Has there been a recent show that stands out as being incredible?

“Well, not too long ago, we played a dope show at a place called Velvet Underground in downtown Toronto.  We had to cancel a prior show in Toronto just a few weeks before due to a power outage, so we were really stoked to make it up to our fans there.  DJ John Kong started out on the decks, then there’s a wicked disco/boogie band called Tush that warmed it up real good, then we came on and gave it all we got, the crowd was lit, it felt vindicating to finally get to play after the disappointment of the previous time.”

Six Shooters: Philippe Lafrenière, Pierre Chrétien, Steve Patterson, Ray Murray, Zakari Frantz.

“We might actually give a few sneak previews of some of the new tunes at Rootstock, for the first time ever anywhere.”

Horns on Parade: Years of relentless touring have formed the Souljazz Orchestra’s live concerts into the stuff of legends – more often than not culminating in ecstatic, sweat-soaked, cathartic affairs, mixing pulsating arrangements with eruptive improvisations.

Q. Tell us a secret…

“We’re secretly working on a new album right now. Well, I guess the secret’s out now! We might actually give a few sneak previews of some of the new tunes at Rootstock, for the first time ever anywhere.”

Live and Loud: An explosive clash of soul, jazz and tropical styles, unleashed by blaring majestic horns, dusty vintage keyboards, and an arsenal of earthquaking percussion.

“The new album’s going to freak people out…”

Q. Can’t wait. Will the album be a follow up to 2016’s Under Burning Skies or spin in a new direction entirely?

 “It’s go a lot of fresh new vibes, we’re real excited by the whole thing. It’s going to freak some people out I think….but that’s all I’m saying for now.”

Long Players: The band have recorded and released eight albums since 2005’s Uprooted.

Check out SoulJazz Orchestra’s musical catalogue.

Rootstock 2018 – the Essentials

Rootstock 2018 is just around the corner. It’ll be here quicker than you can say, well, Rootstock. So, remember to get your tickets today to avoid disappointment.

Here’s everything you need to know:

– Tickets can be bought at www.rootstockmusic.com
– Fifteen bands, across three days, on two stages. Check out the full line-up here
– Line-up includes the acclaimed headliners JungleBreakbotKeziah Jones
– Onsite accommodation is provided by luxury glamping company, Pop Up Hotel.
– A selection of Experiences including a Grand Tasting, the Burgundy Wine Bar, Chefs’ Alley, Cocktail Bar, Rootstock Cycling Tour and Rootstock’s very own Market will be open across the whole weekend. Check them all out here!
– A wealth of travel packages and options, including Château de Pommard’s Concierge Services are at your disposal too. Find all the details here.

Buy your Rootstock 2018 tickets here! Be quick…tickets are selling fast.


Rootstock 2018: The festival arrives in Pommard July 13-15.