A close look at the Toronto Jazz Festival 2018

The Toronto Jazz Festival 2018 just concluded a few days back with much fanfare and all the jazz you can handle. The jazz festival is one of the largest music festivals in Canada drawing a crowd of over 500,000 fans every year. You can indulge in different types of jazz music such as bop, fusion, straight-ahead, and avant-garde. The festival also features musicians of other genres like hip-hop, funk, R&B, blues, latin and more over 10 days at different venues spread over the downtown core of Toronto. There are over 40 venues some of which host free concerts while some are paid.

A look at the event

The Toronto Jazz Festival was started in 1987 and over the years attained the title of one of North America’s most prestigious and premier music events. The event is organized each year by the Canadian non-profit organization Toronto Downtown Jazz. The event was originally named the DuMaurier Jazz Festival but had to let go of the words ‘DuMaurier’ after the ban on tobacco advertisements by the federal government. Since then the event has been sponsored by TD Bank and know as TD Toronto Jazz Festival.

In fact, Jazz Festival in Canda is popular than ever. Just this last weekend through Canada Day, Vancouver saw one of the best International Jazz Festival too, near Yaletown.

Who attended the event?

The event is heavily attended by different jazz celebrities along with 1,500 musicians who perform at various venues. Over the years the festival has provided stages to over 33,000 artists out of whom 85% are Canadians. It has established itself as a destination event for its outstanding production standards and artistic excellence. A total of 11 million people have visited the festival in the last 30 years which also organized 3,200 free public music events.

In 2018 many venues in Yorkville gave a chance to the fans to catch live music concerts for free. The Church of The Redeemer on Bloor Street West hosted concerts by Joseph Shabason “Aytche,” Guillaume Perret and Grex and Tryal.

At the Heliconian Hall in Hazelton Avenue, popular artists such as Gorilla Mask, Les Malcommodes & Sonia Johnson, Francois Bourassa Quartet and Otterville played for free attracting many fans. The Proof Vodka Bar at Intercontinental Toronto Yorkville Hotel in Bloor Street West saw musicians like Mill Street jamming with Lauren Falls Trio and Brandi Disterheft Trio absolutely for free.

Where did it all happen?

The ticketed events were held at venues such as Don Mills Public Library, Elgin Theatre, The Rex Jazz & Blues Bar and Phoenix Concert Theatre. The Toronto Jazz Festival is made possible also with the help of around 470 volunteers who work day and night. The volunteers are not paid for their work but get to listen to some of the most amazing musicians in history. Della Beal, who has been volunteering in the festival for last 27 years, feels great to be back every year. She said that they have made lifelong friends at the festival and can’t think of not attending the festival!