Scaled-back Vancouver International Jazz Festival announces shows by the Bad Plus and Love in Exile

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      The Vancouver International Jazz Festival has announced the Bad Plus and Love in Exile (featuring Arooj Aftab, Vijay Iyer, and Shahzad Ismaily) as major names heading to the West Coast for the 38th edition of the showcase. Concerts will run from June 23 to July 2 at various venues around town, with addition acts to be announced in the coming weeks.

      This year sees notable changes to the fest, previously known as the TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival. The sponsorship deal with the bank expired last year, which has led organizers to pivot to a small, more sustainable post-pandemic event.

      “Although things will look different, we are incredibly proud and excited about what we have to offer this year, the Vancouver Jazz Festival said in a release. “Like other festivals and event producers, we’ve been hit by no end of challenges since the start of the pandemic including rising site infrastructure and artist touring costs, as well as our title sponsor relationship coming to a close at the end of the 2022 Festival due to changing priorities. As a result, Coastal Jazz has had to make some difficult choices that are necessary as we look towards the long-term sustainability of the organization.”

      Included in this year's festival, which runs 10 days, will be 100 ticketed and free shows featuring both local and international artists, and eight days of live performances on Granville Island. There will be a VIJF Downtown Jazz kickoff outside the Vancouver Art Gallery, but the lack of high-wattage sponsor means no traditional closing-weekend shows in David Lam Park.

      These year sees the introduction of a new Vancouver International Jazz Festival venue, with shows hosted by the Revue Stage on Granville Island. 

      The Bad Plus and Love in Exile shows take place at the Vancouver Playhouse, with tickets on sale at on February 16 at 10 a.m.

      The year is already proving a challenging one for music festivals on the West Coast. The Vancouver Folk Music Festival has been cancelled for 2023 and is working to find a path forward as it deals with issues like vendors and artists demanding to be paid up front. The Squamish Constellation Festival meanwhile has announced that it needs to find a backer if the event is going to continue.

      As for the scaled-back VIJF, it has issued this statement: “There is no question that it’s an incredibly challenging time for the arts. Now, more than ever, we ask for the support of our community so that we can continue to present vibrant festivals for many years to come.”

      For more information, go here.