150 Free Concerts Announced for TD Vancouver Jazz Fest

Photo sourced from Coastal Jazz

Photo sourced from Coastal Jazz

Music lovers on a budget have reason to celebrate.

150 free concerts have been announced for the TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival, June 20-July 1.  Vancouver’s biggest music event of the year, the festival attracts more than 500,000 people for 12 days of jazz, blues, R&B, pop and more.

Headline events are ticketed and often sell out months in advance.  This year’s headliners include greats like Bobby McFerrin (of Don’t Worry, Be Happy fame), saxophone legend Maceo Parker, guitarist John Scofield and female vocalist Cassandra Wilson.

But the festival has also earned a reputation as the best showcase of free music in Vancouver.  This year’s 150 free concerts feature local and international talent and are organized into three main events.

Photo sourced from Coastal Jazz

Photo sourced from Coastal Jazz

The festival kicks off with Downtown Jazz Weekend (June 21-June 22) , two days of free music at the Vancouver Art Gallery plaza and Robson Square.  In addition to live acts on three different stages, there will be two beer gardens, artisan markets and kids activities and even big screens showing the music.  Headlining acts over the weekend 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 fun continues at the David Lam Park Jazz Weekend (June 28-June 29).  A main stage on the Yaletown waterfront attracts big crowds, while smaller venues in the nearby Roundhouse Community Centre offer more intimate listening.  Hot acts over the weekend 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).

Photo credit: Wikmedia Commons

Photo credit: Wikmedia Commons

Finally, the jazz fest concludes on Canada Day (Tuesday, July 1) with another day of free music on Granville Island.  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.

Any other must-see acts at the Jazz Fest? Let us know below. 

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