Summer in Vancouver is jam-packed with live music and music festivals. Things kick off in late June with the big TD Vancouver Jazz Festival. July brings a more laidback vibe with the Vancouver Folk Music Festival right on the beach.
And August? Well, that’s reserved for a really one-of-a-kind music event: MusicFest Vancouver. What’s MusicFest all about? Well, it’s a bit hard to define and that’s what makes it so unique. You get a little bit of classical, a little bit of world, a little bit of jazz – with talent coming right from Vancouver and around the world.
In the end, it’s 40 concerts at venues around the city in 10 days – and a great way to cap off the summer music season. With so much music on tap and so many different styles, it can be hard pick out the must-see performances. But here are a few highlights you won’t want to miss:
- Here to Stay: The Gershwin Experience – Friday, Aug. 10, at the Orpheum: This multimedia tribute to all things Gershwin features pianist Kevin Cole, singer Sylvia McNair and vocalist/tap sensation Ryan VanDenBoom, all backed by the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.
- Harpa Bossa Jazz – Monday, Aug. 13, at Christ Church Cathedral: If you’re a bossa nova fan, then you know the music of Antonio Carlos Jobim (of Girl from Ipanema fame). But have you ever heard it performed on jazz harp? Check out Cristina Braga as she reinvents some bossa classics in a cathedral setting.
- La Bottine Souriante – Tuesday, Aug. 14, at the Vogue Theatre: If you like to get up in the aisles and shake your thing, don’t miss this party band’s blend of French North American roots music with a dash of jazz and salsa.
- Gryphon Trio: Beethoven’s Best – Wednesday, Aug. 15, at Christ Church Cathedral: Classical connoisseurs are sure to appreciate this all-Beethoven program featuring two of the composer’s most loved works by one of the world’s preeminent piano trios. They’ll be performing the Largo of Op. 70, known as the “Ghost” for its ghoulish overtones, as well as the “Archduke” trio, Beethoven’s masterpiece in the genre.
- Pink Martini: Shaken & Stirred – Friday, Aug. 17, at the Orpheum: Portland-based “mini-orchestra” Pink Martini blends jazzy pop with Latin rhythms. Smooth, sophisticated and sexy, with flavours culled from throughout the musical world, this is one of the most anticipated acts of MusicFest.
For ticketing information and the full line-up, visit the MusicFest website.
Any other can’t miss acts for MusicFest? Let us know below!