An update on the 2024 edition of Ottawa Bluesfest

On Tuesday 18 June Ottawa Bluesfest organizers announced that breakout artist Jelly Roll will be performing on the festival’s main stage on Tuesday 9 July.

For the past two years Ottawa Bluesfest has had two dark days in the middle of the festival to give concert-goers and volunteers a break. With the addition of Jelly Roll, there will only be a one-day break.

As an artist and humanitarian, Jelly Roll resonates with fans on a global scale and has earned numerous industry milestones – from playing his sold-out hometown show at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena to sold-out dates at the Ryman Auditorium and the release of his critically acclaimed Hulu documentary produced by ABC News, ‘Save Me’.

“When the opportunity to bring in Jelly Roll surfaced, we jumped on it,” says Ottawa Bluesfest executive and artistic director Mark Monahan. “He has an amazing story, and he’s a great performer.”

As a rapper, Jelly Roll first sounded a bit like the Southern hip-hop stars he admired. But when he started singing, the twang in his voice made country music fans pay attention. In 2020, he released an acoustic version of a ballad called ‘Save Me’, which became his breakthrough.

In 2023, Jelly Roll had three No. 1 country hits and won a Country Music Association Award for best new artist. This year he was nominated for two Grammy Awards: Best New Artist and Best Country Duo/Group Performance for ‘Save Me’. Jelly Roll also emerged as the night’s top winner at the 2024 CMT Music Awards in Austin, Texas. He took home three trophies, including the show’s most prestigious Video of the Year, Male Video of the Year, and CMT Performance of the Year—all for his song ‘Need a Favor’.  

This will be Jelly Roll’s first trip to Canada (actually his first foray outside of the USA), and performing at the Ottawa Bluesfest will mark a special time, both for his fans and for his burgeoning career.

The Ottawa Bluesfest programming team has also confirmed that Shaboozey, an American musician, singer-songwriter, filmmaker, and record producer, will be performing on 9 July 9, opening for Jelly Roll.

Shaboozey’s music combines hip-hop, country, rock, and Americana. He broke out with his hit ‘Start a Riot’ from the 2018 soundtrack to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Recently in 2024 Shaboozey released his highly successful hit single ‘A Bar Song (Tipsy)’.

For anyone who has a full festival pass, 9 July is automatically included.

Tickets for Ottawa Bluesfest can be found here.

Ottawa Bluesfest will take place at LeBreton Flats Park in Ottawa and is fully licensed. For more info, go here.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38542 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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