Toronto Jazz Festival Gears Up

Published: June 22nd 2010
in Culture » Music

Toronto Jazz Festival Entrance

The city of Toronto will once again hear the sounds of trombones, clarinets and saxophones with the 23rd celebration of the TD Toronto Jazz Festival. The 10-day event will feature big names in the genre such as Harry Connick Jr., Chaka Khan and Macy Gray. But don't expect the non-headliners to take a back seat. Artistic director Josh Grossman says this year's festival covers the whole scope of jazz.


"We've got everything from acoustic duo to 20-piece big band; from swing to Gypsy techno-rock to hip hop," Grossman says. "We have a responsibility to present as wide a representation of jazz as we can, so that the festival can be meaningful and enjoyable to as many people as possible. We're excited about the wide diversity of the artists who will be on our stages, and also excited that much of this diversity will be available for free."


One of the most anticipated free events is a party at Yonge-Dundas Square on July 3rd where Chaka Khan and Macy Gray are expected to perform. This marks the first year the festival will hold a street party since its inception in 1987. Other artists are scheduled to appear in over 40 venues around the city. 


Jewish crooner Connick Jr. will be at the Canon Theatre on June 27. Grossman said booking headliners such as Connick Jr. certainly boosted this year's festival. He told Shalom Life, "It is exciting to have the opportunity to present some of the biggest names in jazz on our various stages, but it's just as exciting to feature local talent, or make a discovery or two." 


In its 23-year history the Toronto Jazz Festival has featured 23,000 artists, 85 percent of whom are Canadian. This year, a couple of those local talents can be seen in Brian Katz & Rob Piltch Guitar Duo and Yeti Ajasin. Both Katz's and Ajasin's music have been influenced by their Jewish backgrounds. 


The TD Toronto Jazz Festival will run from June 25 to July 4. For more information, visit

Related articles: (Music, Toronto, Jazz Festival, Harry Connick Jr)

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