Beaches International Jazz Festival
This year marks the 25th anniversary of Toronto’s highly anticipated Beaches International Jazz Festival, taking place July 19-28, 2013. In honour of this momentous occasion, an incredible musical line-up and exciting new activities have been planned.
The Festival unfolds each summer in the heart of the lakeside community, and is a top attraction for local residents and tourists alike. What began as a small, two-day event by president and producer Lido Chilelli in 1989 has now evolved into a massive ten-day celebration of music, with over one million people in attendance. Presently North America's largest free festival, Beaches Jazz attracts tourists from across the globe each year and has been named the top free jazz festival in the world by MSN.com.
Beaches Jazz will once again kick off the Festival with Woodbine Park Concerts, Friday July 19 to Sunday July 21 at Woodbine Park (Coxwell Avenue and Lakeshore Boulevard East). The concerts showcase the musical talents of both established and emerging artists performing on the TD Main Stage and the AfroStage.
On Monday July 22, Tuesday July 23 and Wednesday July 24 the TD Canada Trust Jazz Workshop and Lecture Series will take place at the Mennonite New Life Centre (1774 Queen Street East) and the Alyonna Dance Studio (2215 Queen Street East); artists and classes to be announced.
As an exclusive addition to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Festival, the inaugural Taste of Jazz will be held at Woodbine Park on Tuesday July 23 and Wednesday July 24 nightly from 5 pm to 9 pm. This fete will feature live music and a gourmet line up of Canadian food trucks, offering a full range of culinary delights. Taste of Jazz is sure to excite foodies and music lovers alike.
Crowd favourite StreetFest returns this year with 50 bands performing from Thursday July 25 to Saturday July 27 from 7 pm to 11 pm on street corners of Queen Street East between Woodbine and Beech Avenue. The melodies of calypso, new age, jazz, fusion, Latin, blues and Cajun will delight throngs of fans throughout StreetFest. As well, artists will showcase their talents at the Balmy Beach Club, an exclusive member’s only venue at the foot of Beech Avenue. Once again, street closures on Queen Street East between Woodbine and Beech Avenue will be in effect for the duration of StreetFest.
On Saturday July 27 and Sunday July 28 from 11 am to 6 pm, Master of Ceremonies and Musical Director Bill King will welcome a diverse line-up of local and international artists to the OLG Main Stage at Kew Gardens (Queen Street East and Lee Avenue). At Kew Gardens, concertgoers will also get a chance to observe many young and talented artists who will be performing on the Youth Stage (11 am – 2 pm).
On Friday July 26, Saturday July 27 and Sunday July 28, an array of performances will take place on two stages on the Beach Boardwalk.
Latin Square Concerts: Latin performances, workshops, dance demonstrations and conga lines
(Beside the Leuty Lifeguard Station, at the foot of Lee Avenue).
Big Band Stage: Musical ensembles celebrating Big Bands from the 1930s to 1950s
(On the Beach Boardwalk, west of the Leuty Lifeguard Station).
As in previous years, arts and craft exhibitors will display and sell their wares at Kew Gardens on Saturday July 27 to Sunday July 28.
Continuing its strong support of the Beach community, the festival will hold its annual Beaches Jazz Tune-Up Run & Walk at the foot of Kew Gardens, on Sunday July 28 from 8 am. Proceeds raised from this event will assist Rotary International, the Toronto East General Hospital Foundation, and the Canadian Running Series Foundation. Once they have completed their run, participants can relax and enjoy the fabulous music of main stage performances at Kew Gardens.