Thousands Flocked to Bloor-Yorkville for the TD Toronto Jazz Festival

updated July 12, 2018

The TD Toronto Jazz Festival was in full swing here in Bloor-Yorkville! The first weekend kicked off with a celebration of gospel, soul and R&B with free performances throughout Bloor-Yorkville including gospel queen CeCe Winans, saxophonist Jake Clemons, and the soulful R&B songstress Macy Gray. The Bloor-Yorkville area was packed with music-lovers of all ages. Check out some of our favourite moments from the first weekend below;

Students from Seneca’s Multiplatform Journalism Intensive program posted a daily recap of highlights, including GRAMMY Award winner Cecile McLorin Salvant’s performance. Check it out!

Day 6 Recap

We're more than halfway through and the students from Seneca's Multiplatform Journalism Intensive recap yesterday's highlights, including GRAMMY Award winner Cecile McLorin Salvant's performance.

Posted by Toronto Jazz Festival on Thursday, June 28, 2018

JUNO takeover

On Saturday, June 30, the Festival collaborated with CBC Music to pay tribute to the JUNO Awards.  Eight shows, four on each of the Cumberland and Hazelton stages, featured past JUNO nominees and winners – some of Canada’s best musicians.  Performances by the Shirantha Beddage Quartet, Autorickshaw, the Brandi Disterheft Quartet, Okavango Orchestra, the Allison Au Quartet, the Mike Downes Quartet, New Tradition Music and Hilario Duran’s “Contumbao”.

Cumberland Stage Performances

Shirantha Beddage Quartet – Saturday, June 30, 12:30
From Toronto, Shirantha is a music composer, educator and baritone saxophonist. He was be joined by a number of Toronto musicians, playing compositions that reflects Shirantha’s childhood fascination with the physical sciences.

Autorickshaw – Saturday, June 30, 3:15

Comprised of Suba Sankaran, Dylan Bell and Ed Hanley, they’ve been described as modern jazz, meeting funk and folk with pop-music from India. A truly international sound, they’ve toured extensively across Canada, the U.S., the U.K., Europe, India and Nepal.

Brandi Disterheft Quartet – Saturday, June 30, 6:00
Brandi Disterheft is a Canadian bassist, vocalist and composer. She brings a story-telling quality to her music, combining passionate bass playing with vocals filled with sentiment.

Okavango African Orchestra – Saturday, June 30, 8:30
Okavango features traditional sounds and instruments from numerous African cultures. The band members focus on bringing their unique music to the forefront, harmonizing through using different tuning systems, rhythms and tones.

Hazelton Stage Performances

Allison Au – Saturday, June 30, 12:00
Fresh from Toronto’s jazz landscape, Allison Au is a captivating local saxophonist whose tone and unique musicianship sets her apart from her colleagues. She was joined by the rest of her Quartet at the Festival, performing elements of modern jazz.

Mike Downes (Quartet) – Saturday, June 30, 2:30
Mike Downes is a bassist and composer, exciting audiences globally since the early ‘80s. His latest project Root Structure has been called “one of the most intriguing and innovative small group jazz recordings of the year.”

Ruben Esguerra: New Tradition Music – Saturday, June 30, 5:15

Ruben ‘Beny’ Esguerra is a Colombian born multi-instrumentalist, spoken-word lyricist and arts educator. He leads the New Tradition big band, originally created to supplement international artists with some of the most desired jazz musicians in Toronto.

Hilario Duran – Saturday, June 30, 8:00
Hilario Duran is a Cuban-Canadian pianist, composer and educator, widely regarded as one of the world’s most innovative creators of Afro-Cuban music & Latin jazz. His vigorous playing, diverse musical influences and his commitment to the sounds of his culture set him apart from his contemporaries.

The music continued throughout the Festival with over 165 free shows spread across Bloor-Yorkville at locations including the OLG Stage on Cumberland St., OLG Stage on Yorkville Ave., OLG Stage on Hazelton Ave., Isabel Bader Theatre, The Village of Yorkville Park, Heliconian Hall, Church of The Redeemer, Hotel InterContinental, ONE Restaurant, Sassafraz and Yorkville Village – The Lane.