The TD Toronto Jazz Festival has been playing to the community of jazz lovers for over 26 years now. Headed up by a registered charity – Toronto Downtown Jazz – the 10-day music festival features over 1,500 musicians and hosts an excess of 500,000 patrons annually.
The festival has continued to grow in breadth and talent, becoming a destination for jazz lovers the world over. It’s a yearly opportunity to showcase a crop of exceptional Canadian talent, and an impressive lineup of free shows. Here’s a (very) small sample of acts to watch at this year’s TD Toronto Jazz Festival…
June 20th, 8pm; Jane Mallett Theatre, St. Lawrence Centre For The Arts
His voice is as sweet as is it powerful. The Grammy-nominated artist for Best Jazz Album brings his southern gospel sound to the T.Dot.
Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band / Robert Randolph & The Family Band
June 22nd, 8pm; Nathan Phillips Square
The former is a blues guitar prodigy who shared the stage with New Orleans legend Bryan Lee at 13 years-old. The latter is undoubtedly one of the best live acts you’ll ever see. Embodying energetic talent and pure joy, Robert Randolph is one of the best slide guitarists of all time.
Galactic (with Big Sam’s Funky Nation Opening)
June 23rd, 8pm; Nathan Phillips Square
Galactic earned their chops playing at one of the most legendary events in the world: Mardi Gras. Now the five-piece electro funk ensemble are hitting the mainstage in Toronto to blast you back to last week with their signature sound.
June 25th, 8pm; Shangri-La Hotel
Errol Fisher floats around Toronto, crooning to crowds at small bars and major parties. If you haven’t been privy to his vocal prowess yet, get your ass out for this performance.
Dirty Dozen Brass Band / Lettuce
June 25th, 8pm; Nathan Phillips Square
“That was a damn good time!” is how you’ll undoubtedly describe the confluence of these two artists on stage. DDBB has been swinging since 1977, and Lettuce is celebrating their 20th anniversary as the legends of old school funk.
John Scofield Uberjam Band
June 26th, 8pm; Nathan Phillips Square
If you don’t know who John Scofield is and you are a lover of either jazz or guitar, promptly Google the man. Constantly evolving throughout his career, he describes his Uberjam Band as such: “If I were to tag a ‘concept’ for the band, it would be exploring different forms of groove music. We get into funk, afro beat, reggae, house music, RnB [sic]… and a lot of what’s in between.”
Eric St-Laurent Trio
June 26th, 8pm; The Painted Lady
A group of mega-virtuosos, this will be one of those intimate shows you’ll likely remember for a long time.
The Heavyweights Brass Band
June 26th, 10pm; The Painted Lady
If you follow the Toronto music scene, there’s a good chance you’ve seen these cats around town. A heavy-hitting, heavy-swinging, heavily New Orleans-inspired sound that’s sure to give you a heavy tapping of your foot on the dance floor.
Will you be getting your jazz on at the TD Toronto Jazz Festival? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us @ViewtheVibe.