Things are looking good for Vancouver jazz fans this summer, pandemic or not.
The TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival has scheduled a plethora of streamed concerts, talks, and workshops.
After cancelling last year's festival due to COVID-19, the Coastal Jazz & Blues Society has lined up more than 100 virtual events—including 52 that are free to view—for its 35th edition, which runs from June 25 to July 4. The festival will feature performances by B.C. artists as well as streams from New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Amsterdam, and Paris.
The core of the free program features two daily performances from Ocean Art Works on Granville Island at noon and 1:30 p.m., one daily performance from Performance Works on Granville Island at 2:30 p.m., and one daily performance from Ironworks in Railtown at 4:30 p.m.
Artists featured in the free program include Dawn Pemberton, Alvaro Rojas, Cat Toren’s HUMAN KIND, DJ Kookum and Sierra Baker, Jillian Lebeck, Lydia Hol, Mary Ancheta, Anita Eccleston, Amanda Sum, the Krystle Dos Santos Band, Eli Davidovici, the Peggy Lee Cole Schmidt Trio (featuring Dan Gaucher), and Jasmine Jazz (featuring the Jodi Proznick Trio).
The festival tradition of free workshops from Tom Lee Music Hall continues, with daily ones hosted at 3:30 p.m. on Zoom. The lineup of workshop leaders includes pianist Roisin Adams (June 27), guitarist-pianist Itamar Erez (June 28), electronic musician and pianist Quincy Mayes (June 29), guitarist Gavin Youngash (June 30), guitarist Ayla Tesler-Mabe (July 1), and pianist Sharon Minemoto (July 2).
As far as international programming goes, the festival has partnered with friends in Europe for two multi-artist concert streams. On June 26 at 5:30 p.m., Trio Vatcher, Stadhouders, Petrucelli, Michael Moore’s Dice Cup, and OMAWI will perform live from Amsterdam's BIMHuis. And on July 3 at 5:30 p.m., Roberto Negro, Duo Les Métanuits, and Papier Ciseau will perform live from Paris. All streamed performances will be available to view on Coastal Jazz & Blues Society’s YouTube channel from broadcast date to 11:59 p.m. on July 6.
The Festival’s annual Colloquium, hosted at the Western Front and produced in cooperation with UBC and the International Institute for Critical Studies in Improvisation, takes place online June 26 with talks by Kevin McNeilly, Fay Victor, and Darius Jones. A program of solo and duo works will also be streamed live from the Western Front during the closing weekend, July 3 and 4.
As far as ticketed concerts go, highlights include Snotty Nose Rez Kids—the hip-hop duo of Yung Trybez and Young D—streaming live from Performance Works on June 25 at 8 p.m.; the improvisational Jamie Lee Trio, with drummer-composer Lee, streaming live from Frankie's Jazz in the company of pianist James Dekker and bassist Marcus Abramzik on June 27 at 7:30 p.m.; and the Sun Ra Arkestra--known for melding Ellingtonian big-band swing with transcendent free jazz--streaming July 4 at 10:30 p.m.
Other ticketed shows to keep an eye on at this year's jazz fest are keyboardist-composer Sharon Minemoto performing with her quartet—which includes saxophonist Jon Bentley, bassist Darren Radtke, and drummer Bernie Arai—on June 25 at 7:30 p.m.; captivating vocalist Laura Crema performing choice arrangements of genre-spanning tunes with guitarist-composer Bill Coon, pianist Miles Black, and bassist Conrad Good on July 2 at 7:30 p.m.; and Vancouver blues matriarch Dallanah Gail Bowen celebrating the enduring legacy of Billie Holiday alongside pianist Michael Creber, bassist Miles Hill, and saxophonist Dave Say on July 4 at 7:30 p.m.
The North Shore Jazz series features performances streamed live from the BlueShore Financial Centre for the Performing Arts from Suzie Ungerleider, the singer-songwriter formerly known as Oh Susanna, on June 26 at 8 p.m.; Electric Miles—featuring improvised takes on the music of Miles Davis by trumpeter Bill Clark, saxophonist Bill Runge, keyboardist Brad Turner, bassist Andre Lachance, guitarist Ron Samworth, and drummer Dylan van der Schyff—on June 28 at 8 p.m.; and Locarno—a six-piece band led by Tom Landa that draws on folk traditions from Latin America and Africa as well as contemporary pop and soul—on June 29 at 8 p.m.
All online performances will take place in accordance with the Provincial Health Office’s guidelines, and plans are also afoot for limited in-person attendance, should health orders allow for small gatherings.
For a complete list of free streamed concerts as well as click-through access to all the free streaming content at this year’s TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival, visit www.coastaljazz.ca.