Get Down This Summer at the Vancouver International Jazz Festival

The Suffers, Photo: Craig Sinclair/Coastal Jazz

Get down and celebrate summer in the city at the 38th annual Vancouver International Jazz Festival (VIJF) from June 23 to July 2. Featuring 140 shows and more than 50 free performances hosted at a variety of venues around the city, this year’s ten-day festival offers a diverse array of programming with a balance of free and ticketed live events to choose from.

Downtown Jazz, Photo: Craig Sinclair/Coastal Jazz

Downtown Jazz

A major festival highlight, the free Downtown Jazz concert series kicks off outside the Vancouver Art Gallery at šxʷƛ ̓ ənəq Xwtl’e7énḵ Square from June 24-25. Other marquee performances take place at Queen Elizabeth Theatre and the Vancouver Playhouse in addition to smaller club shows throughout the week as VIJF culminates on Canada Day weekend.

Check out performances by Grammy-winning vocalist Arooj Aftab, Vijay Iyer, and Shahzad Ismaily performing as their new project Love in Exile on June 26 and American Jazz quartet The Bad Plus at the Vancouver Playhouse on June 27.

Dawn Pemberton Band, Photo: Craig Sinclair/Coastal Jazz

Free Jazz Around Town

Free Jazz Around Town programming at the Vancouver International Jazz Festival features 20 shows downtown and 25 shows on Granville Island including the festival’s opening night performance by The Fits and Hayley Wallis and The Bright Futures at Ocean Artworks.

Some new faces will also join the VIJF’s established roster of emcees for the Coastal Jazz Emcee Competition as three winners will be selected to emcee free shows as well.

Photo: Craig Sinclair/Coastal Jazz

Granville Island Jazz

The Granville Island Jazz lineup anchors a significant portion of the festival’s schedule across three different venues on Granville Island.

New this year, The Revue Stage joins the fun hosting the Innovation Series featuring five nights of improvisational musicians and electrifying explorations of experimental jazz with free performances by Bruce Freedman’s Collage, Jessica Ackerley, Knee Jerk, Ron Samworth’s Etiquette of Dying, Matthew Ariaratnam & Adrian Avendaño, Giorgio Magnanensi & Andromeda Monk, Marina Hasselberg, and Matt Choboter.

Louis Cole, Photo: Craig Sinclair/Coastal Jazz

Performance Works will host seven artists including free performances by Joe Rainey & String Quartet, David Blake’s Fun House, Caity Gyorgy, Chris Gestrin Trio, and the High School Jazz Intensive.

Ocean Artworks features seven nights of ticketed performances by vibrant emerging artists and jazz luminaries from across Canada with free performances by See You Now, Will Clements Compass, Le Kors, William Chernoff Trio, Tom Wherrett Group, Rush Hour, Laura Crema & Bill Coon StringSongs, and Aline’s étoile magique. The venue also transforms into a lively outdoor venue with a licensed bar, pop-up food experiences, late night jams, and DJ sets.

Drummer (Dave Rempis), Photo: Gen Monro/Coastal Jazz

Since 1985, the festival’s organizers, the Coastal Jazz & Blues Society, have worked to strengthen music appreciation and create an exchange of sounds between local, national, and international music communities. Its annual Vancouver International Jazz Festival attracts over half a million people in attendance every year.

To purchase tickets or browse the festival guide, visit Coastal Jazz’s website.

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