Vancouver’s biggest music event of the year is kicking off.
From June 20-July 1, the TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival offers music lovers more than 300 indoor and outdoor performances at venues across the city. More than half-a-million listeners are expected to turn out for 12 straight days of jazz, roots, Latin music, fusion, blues and more.
Headliners read like a who’s who of international jazz. Spotlight performances include:
- Bobby McFerrin: The acapella master behind Don’t Worry Be Happy explores folk, rock and blues (June 22 at the Orpheum, $65).
- Medeski Martin and Wood with John Scofield: The power groove trio joins a legendary guitarist for one night (June 20 at the Vogue Theatre, $45).
- Hiromi: The virtuoso Japanese jazz pianist has been called the “Jimi Hendrix of piano” (June 21 at the Vogue Theatre, $50).
- Maceo Parker: James Brown’s sax player takes centre stage for a funk spectacular (June 25 at the Vogue Theatre, $45).
- Jason Marsalis Vibes Quartet: The youngest brother in the “royal family of jazz” shows his talents with the vibraphone (June 23 at Granville Island’s Performance Works, $35).
- King Khan and the Shrines: The psychedelic soul band and cult favourite is known for its red hot live shows (June 24 at Fortune Sound Club, $20).
In addition to ticketed performances, the festival also features more than 150 free concerts. Downtown Jazz Weekend (June 21-June 22) offers music lovers two days of free music at the Vancouver Art Gallery plaza and Robson Square. There will be live acts on three different stages, plus two beer gardens, artisan markets and kids activities. Performers include Company B Jazz (old-time swing with a trio of female singers), The Boom Booms (’70s soul and funk), Hedvig Mollestad Trio (a Norwegian take on Led Zeppelin) and Nomadic Massive (fiery, festive hip-hop).
The following weekend, the free music continues at the David Lam Park Jazz Weekend (June 28-June 29). The main stage on the Yaletown waterfront draws big crowds, while the nearby Roundhouse Community Centre offers more intimate listening. Hot acts include David Ward (Jeff Buckley meets Stevie Wonder), Delhi 2 Dublin (Celtic-Bhangra fusion), Miami Device (afro-beat funk) and the Belle Game (orchestral pop straight out of Vancouver).
Finally, on Canada Day (Tuesday, July 1), there’s another day of free music on Granville Island. In total 14 bands – from hard-driving jazz to soul and Francophone pop groups – perform on four different indoor and outdoor stages. Acts include Deanna Knight and the Hot Club of Mars (gypsy jazz), Mike Allen Quartet (soulful swing) and Quatuor Andre Lachance (virtuouso bassist and guitarist).
The full lineups for free and ticketed events are available on the TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival website.
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