TORONTO, June 29, 2016 /CNW/ - Toronto's most anticipated musical event of the summer, the Beaches International Jazz Festival, will take over the city this year from Saturday July 2 to Sunday July 24, 2016. After the resounding success of last year, Beaches Jazz will be adding an additional weekend of performances and outstanding jazz talent to the lineup this year. Situated in the heart of Toronto's lakeside community, this is a time when the historic neighbourhood transforms into a bustling flock of families, friends and jazz devotees.
Since its launch in 1989, Lido Chilelli, founder and executive producer of the festival, has worked with the beach community to turn this local event into one of Toronto's longest standing and most anticipated musical celebrations. Bill King, the festival's longtime artistic director, has once again assembled a powerful and diverse lineup.
To kick off the three-week extravaganza, the Beaches Salsa Festival will be held Saturday July 2 – Sunday July 3 at Woodbine Park (Northern Dancer Blvd. & Lakeshore Blvd. East). An array of Latin styles, including salsa, merengue and cumbia will be showcased by local and international talent, such as La Gran Colombia Orchestra and Chantel Collado, bringing high energy performances designed to thrill audiences of all ages.
New festival addition, Sounds of Leslieville and Riverside, will be running from Friday July 8 to Sunday July 10 at Jimmie Simpson Park (870 Queen St. East). Canadian cultural icon, Paul James will be performing alongside crowd favourites KC Roberts & the Live Revolution, Torontonian ensemble Toronto All-Star Big Band and award winning, multi-instrumentalist Johannes Linstead.
Making its festival debut, the Kew Gardens Series will be a nostalgic return for veteran Beaches Jazz goers to the festival's humble beginnings in Kew Gardens Park (2075 Queen St. East). Running from July 15 to 17, the series aims to celebrate and showcase locally grown jazz talent. Audiences will be treated to performances by Carlos Lopes and Friends and Toronto All-Star Big Band whose stage presence and jaw-dropping sound will be sure to capture the attention of festival goers new and old.
A lively lineup of performances will continue the following weekend at Woodbine Park from Friday July 15 – Sunday July 17 at the TD Main Stage and the A Capella Stage. The A Capella Stage is proudly entering its second year with Beaches Jazz, celebrating some of Canada's finest and most innovative choral groups, featuring an assortment of vocalists from diverse backgrounds.
Taking over the TD Main Stage for the weekend will be Colombian reggae trailblazers De Bruces a Mi, Toronto talent 7Sould, JUNO award winning Ivanna Santilli, captivating Cuban musician Yani Borrell and the St. Michael's College School Music Ensemble.
The Farmers Market Jazz Series is back in full swing at Fairmount Park Farmers Market (1725 Gerrard St. East), East Lynn Park Farmers Market (1949 Danforth Ave.) and Leslieville Farmers Market (20 Woodward Ave.). The Toronto All-Star Big Band will play at the Fairmount Park Market on July 6 and July 13 and the East Lynn Market on July 7 and July 14. Discovery Through the Arts will play at the Leslieville Farmers Market on July 10 and July 17.
The highly anticipated TD Canada Trust Workshops are slated for Monday July 18 to Wednesday July 20 at the Mennonite New Life Centre (1774 Queen Street East). This year's workshop programming includes the popular Ukulele Jam with Steve McNie and Brazilian Percussion with Steve Mancuso.
Crowd favourite Taste of Jazz will take place on Tuesday July 19 and Wednesday July 20 at Woodbine Park. The event features live music and a delicious lineup of gourmet food trucks, offering a wide range of culinary comforts. Also featured is a beer and wine garden where foodies and music lovers alike can relax and enjoy the atmosphere.
Music enthusiasts from across the city will tune into over 40 bands at this year's StreetFest between Thursday July 21 and Saturday July 23. The lineup includes the finest in Afro-Cuban, funk, R&B, soul, ska and big band that Toronto has to offer, spanning a two kilometre stretch along Queen Street East from Woodbine Avenue to Beech Avenue.
The action continues during the festival's final weekend at Woodbine Park. Exhilarating performances will capture crowds from Friday July 24 to Sunday July 26 at the OLG Main Stage and Big Band Stage. Starting off the weekend, Zydeco artist Dwayne Dopsie & The Zydeco Hellraisers, JUNO award nominee Melanie Durrant, Billboard Music Award nominee Ghost Town Blues Band, festival favourite Rhythm Express and passionate vocalist Dione Taylor will perform at the OLG Main Stage. The Big Band Stage will feature an array of musical talent, including The Jazz Connection Big Band and the Bob Cary Orchestra, bringing high energy, crowd-pleasing performances which will conclude Beaches Jazz for the 2016 season.
Continuing its strong support of the Beaches community, the festival will hold its annual Beaches Jazz Run at the Beach Boardwalk on Sunday July 24. Proceeds raised from this event will benefit the Michael Garron Hospital Foundation and Centre 55. Once the run is completed, participants can relax and enjoy the fabulous music at Woodbine Park.
The Beaches International Jazz Festival is proud to continue its support of non-profit organizations in the Beach community. To date, the festival has raised more than $400,000 in support of local charities, including Rotary International and Canadian Running Series. This year, Beaches Jazz will be working in partnership with the Michael Garron Hospital Foundation (formerly Toronto East General Hospital Foundation). These funds will continue to establish the hospital as a leading destination for healthcare excellence throughout Toronto's east end and beyond. Beaches International Jazz Festival sponsors include the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation, TD, Mill St. Brewery, Two Oceans Wines, Savanna Premium Cider, Billy Bishop Airport, Province of Ontario, Ontario Trillium Fund, Ontario Media Development Corporation, Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund, Canadian Heritage and CTV Toronto. All Beaches International Jazz Festival events are free excluding the Beaches Jazz Run.
For further information and concert schedules, please visit www.beachesjazz.com.
SOURCE Beaches International Jazz Festival
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