Conflicting priorities

Review: Jazz Winnipeg’s Listening Party with DJ Hunnicutt @ Half Pints Brewing

I enjoy being a solo concert-goer. Concerts, shows and events aren’t social situations for me, so it’s rare for me to feel uncomfortable alone. However tonight, I wished I’d brought someone with me.

Here’s what happened:

I walked into Half Pints Brewing, which is a small, well-lit bar in an area of town that feels deserted. A very friendly, bubbly woman greeted me at the door and took my ticket (Jodie?).

There was much socializing at Half Pints Brewing for Jazz Winnipeg’s “Listening Party” with DJ Hunnicutt. /ANNE MARTIN

Then I moseyed over to the bar and asked for an orange juice, which seemed to stump the bartender because my ticket included one free beer. She found me a non-alcoholic drink and I meandered over to a long couch and asked if I could sit down.

A nice woman said the rest of their party hadn’t shown up yet and offered me one of the stools next to the couch instead. The group introduced themselves to me as “Nopht”, “Greepek” and “Mmsalp”, or at least that’s what I heard because I’m horrible with names.

While I was in the washroom, a man from Half Pints Brewing spoke to the crowd about Half Pints and their connection to Jazz Winnipeg and explained the different types of beer they were offering that night. Then Michael Falk from Jazz Winnipeg introduced DJ Hunnicutt and he started the listening party.

He told us a bit about his love of Jazz and how he was looking forward to spinning some records for us because he couldn’t spin them in clubs anymore due to the unpopularity of the genre.

He discovered Jazz through Hip Hop samples and played A Tribe Called Quest’s “Excursions” followed by Art Blakey & The Jazz Messenger’s “A Chant For Bu”. Then he asked us what Jazz and Hip Hop have in common. He went into a bit of music history and then concluded that both genres were started by marginalized people making music with what they could find.

I love music history and I was totally interested in what he was saying, but it was at this point I realized my priorities were completely off. This is what I think the priorities were of those around me:

  1. Socialize with friends
  2. Drink beer
  3. Listen to Jazz during lull in conversations

These were my priorities:

  1. Listen and learn more about Jazz
  2. Introduce myself to Michael Falk from Jazz Winnipeg

See that? Conflicting priorities right there…

DJ Hunnicutt went on to play selections from Freddie Hubbard and The Jack DeJohnette Complex, describing why both artists and songs were important to him and the crowd talked.

He played Gregory Porter, who I’m very interested in seeing in concert at The Burt on June 22, and the crowd talked.

He played Les McCann & Eddie Harris, Andy Bey and a song from Jimmy Scott that “makes you want to sit down with a box of Kleenex and examine your life choices” and the crowd talked.

They talked so much, that at one point, a woman Shazam’d the Andy Bey song because her group didn’t catch the name of it due to all the talking. There was also a Pokemon Go announcement between songs which I didn’t understand because I don’t play the game and was too busy trying to listen to Jazz.

On the drive home I thought maybe I’m too hard core for my own good. Maybe I should have tried harder to be “normal” and brought someone with me. But realistically, I would have been irritated that I had to make polite conversation when all I really wanted to do was listen to Jazz; which I couldn’t really hear anyway.

So maybe this wasn’t the event for me. I got the impression though, that everyone else really enjoyed it.

If you’re interested, Jazz Winnipeg will be holding another listening party next month at a different venue. Check their website ( for more details!

“Listening” not required. 😉

Good night!

TicketMOMster is a Rock and Jazz-loving Mom; single-handedly keeping Ticketmaster alive in Winnipeg. Follow her musical journey here:

Anne Martin


TicketMOMster is a Rock and Jazz-loving Mom; single-handedly keeping Ticketmaster alive in Winnipeg. Follow her musical journey here:

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