Beaches International Jazz Festival begins month of music with Sounds of Leslieville and Riverside

The Beaches International Jazz Festival begins the weekend of July 5 to 7 with the Sounds of Leslieville and Riverside.

The 31st annual Beaches International Jazz Festival will be bringing music to the community for the entire month of July.

Executive Director of the festival, Lido Chilelli, was on hand with a number of sponsors, festival officials and benefactors at a recent press conference to launch the event.

“We are one of the Top 10 jazz festivals in the world and the best in Canada,” Chilelli told the crowd gathered at the Balmy Beach Club for the launch. “We are so happy to be here 31 years after we started.”

Over the past three decades, the festival has been a stepping stone for many young jazz musicians who got their start performing at the popular Street Festival along Queen Street East and have gone on to play around the world.

“We’re about nurturing young talent, and to this day we recognize the importance of doing that,” said Bill King, the festival’s Artistic Director.

To that purpose, the 2019 Workshop Series goes July 22 to 24. Over those evenings, Listen and Learn sessions for all ages will be hosted by prominent artists at the Mennonite New Life Centre on Queen Street East in the Beach.

King added that along with providing fantastic musical opportunities for both music fans and musicians, the festival has always prided itself on being a family event.

This year’s line up of musicians, as always, provides a wide variety of music styles, said King, noting there is an emphasis on funk and soul for this year’s festival.

“There’s a lot of funk and soul this year. That’s what the kids are playing. Young musicians have really embraced the history of funk and soul,” he said.

That being said, there is something for everyone at this year’s festival which begins the weekend of July 5-7 and continues through until July 28.

Sounds of Leslieville
and Riverside – July 5 to 7

The festival opens with the return of Sounds of Leslieville and Riverside which debuted last year to an enthusiastic response. It goes July 5 to 7 at Jimmie Simpson Park for the Main Stage and along Queen Street East in Leslieville and Riverside for the Block Party.

The Main Stage in Jimmie Simpson Park, 872 Queen St. E., features The Chicago Project and Motown Mania on Friday, July 5 starting at 7 p.m.

On July 6, music on the Main Stage begins at 12:30 p.m. with A Fellow Ship and continues with Tennyson King, Soukustek, Dr. Draw, Paul James Band and My Son Hurricane at 9:30 p.m. to wrap things up.

On July 7, the music starts with The Lesters at noon, followed by The Implications, Azalyne and at 4:30 p.m. AIZA takes the stage.

The Block Party will feature performers at a number of street corner and park locations along Queen Street East between Broadview and Booth avenues.

On July 5, from 7 to 10:30 p.m., the following bands and locations are slated: MOKA will be at Lewis; Stacey Renee will be at Saulter; Soul Session will be at Bolton; Toronto All Star Big Band will be at Degrassi; Soukustek will be at McGee; The Imbayakunas will be at the southeast corner of Jimmie Simpson Park; ROZ DE LA CRUZ will be at Booth Street; and GRACE will be at 904 Queen St. E.

On July 6, there will be two sessions of performances; one in the afternoon and one in the evening.

The July 6 afternoon session, from 2 to 6 p.m., features Rob & Quinn at Lewis; The Chicago Project at Saulter; United Soul at Boulton; Toronto All Star Big Band at Degrassi; Megacity Swing Band at McGee; T.Dot BANGERZ Brass at the Jimmie Simpson park corner; and 20 Flight Rockers at Booth.

The July 6 evening session, from 6 to 10 p.m., features MOKA at Lewis; The Jerome Tucker Band at Saulter; Soul Session at Boulton; The Rockin Mojos at Degrassi; Soukustek at McGee; The Imbayakunas at the Jimmie Simpson park corner; Accolades at Booth; and GRACE at 904 Queen St. E.

The July 7 session, from 1 to 4 p.m., features Stacey Renee at Lewis; The Chicago Project at Saulter; United Soul at Boulton; Toronto All Star Big Band at Degrassi; Megacity Swing Band at McGee; T. Dot BANGERZ Brass at the Jimmie Simpson park corner; 20 Flight Rockers at Booth; and ROZ DE LA CRUZ at 904 Queen St. E.

Latin Carnival – July 12 to 14

Set for Woodbine Park, 1695 Queen St. E., from Friday, July 12, to Sunday, July 14, the Latin Carnival features a number of bands performing on the TD Main Stage.

On July 12, DJ Rhymes opens up the entertainment at 6 p.m.; followed by Bachata Swing at 7:30 p.m.; and Salsotika Qrquesta at 9:30 p.m.

On July 13, music begins at 1 p.m. with DJ Explosivo. Salsa Class takes the stage at 2 p.m.; followed by Clave y Son Orq at 3 p.m.; Rojitas Orquesta at 5 p.m.; Los Hijos de Tuta at 7 p.m.; and the International Show – Tribute to Celia Cruz with Claudia la Gitana at 9 p.m.

On July 14, DJ Rhymes starts the music at 1 p.m. Next on stage is Evaristo Machado & Band at 1:30 p.m.; followed by Zumba Happy Feet Team with Tathiana, Pilar, Zuleidi & German at 4:30 p.m. Sunday’s performances wrap up with the International Show – Tribute to Celia Cruz with Claudia la Gitana at 6:30 p.m.

Main Stage – July 19 to 21

The first weekend of the Main Stage concerts at Woodbine Park goes Friday, July 19 to Sunday, July 21.

On the Main Stage, reggae and funk are on tap the night of July 19. Opening up the entertainment will be Tribute to Studio One: Reggae Got Soul at 7 p.m. The night wraps up with The Funk Frequency at 9 p.m.

On July 20, music begins at 1 p.m. with Discovery Through The Arts. Next on stage is Long Range Hustle at 2:30 p.m; followed by Crack of Dawn at 4 p.m.; Altin Gun at 5:30 p.m.; Stephen Lewis and The Big Band of Fun at 7:30 p.m.; and DA CRUZ at 9:30 p.m.

The July 20 lineup features Discovery Through The Arts at 12:30 p.m.; followed by Rob Tardik at 2:30 p.m.; Angelique Francis at 4:30 p.m.; and After Funk at 6:30 p.m.

There’s also an A Capella Stage on July 19 to 21 at Woodbine Park.

Performing on July 19 at the A Capella Stage are the Waterfront Singing Ambassadors at 5:30 p.m. and Planting Pearl at 6:30 p.m.

On July 20 on the A Capella Stage will be Dammien Alexander at 1 p.m.; Beatsync at 2 p.m.; The Ault Sisters at 3 p.m.; and Pressgang Mutiny at 4 p.m.

On July 21, the A Cappella Stage will see The Watch at 1 p.m.; Countermeasure at 2 p.m; Retrocity at 3 p.m.; and Ro Randall at 4 p.m.

Workshop Series — July 22 to 24

The free Workshop Series for all ages offers Listen and Learn sessions at the Mennonite New Life Centre, 1774 Queen St. E., from 7 to 9 p.m. Musicians will be interviewed by the jazz festival’s artistic director King.

On July 22, Canadian singer, composer and pianist Laila Baili will be the guest artist.

On July 23, the session will feature Toronto artist Julian Taylor.

The July 24, workshop welcomes Jesse King, aka Dubmatix.

Those wishing to take part in the Workshop Series are asked to please register in advance by emailing

Queen Street East Streetfest – July 25 to 27

Arguably the jazz festival’s most popular event, the Queen Street East Streetfest takes place Thursday, July 25 through to Saturday, July 27 in the Beach.

From Woodbine to Beech avenues, Queen Street East will be closed to traffic and more than 40 locations will be hosting bands and performers each evening from 6 to 11 p.m.

More than 45 bands will be taking part and performance times are staggered to maximize listening pleasure for the thousands of visitors who flock to the street each evening. A complete listing of the bands and the venues can be found at

Main Stage – July 26 to July 28

The final weekend of the festival sees performances at the Main Stage in Woodbine Park on Friday, July 26, Saturday, July 17 and Sunday, July 28.

Along with the Main Stage, there will also be a Big Band Stage in Woodbine Park that weekend.

On the Main Stage on July 26 from 5 p.m. through to midnight will be the Groovin’ in the Park Showcase. It will feature DJ Yogi (United Soul, Solid Garage); DJ Quesquecest (No Wahala DJs, Nu Funk and NYC); Farsbsie Funk (Make It Funky Collective); RiTMO COLLECTIVE and more.

The July 27 lineup on the Main Stage starts at 1 p.m. with Discovery Through the Arts.; Sam Polley and The Old Tomorrows at 2 p.m.; Kayla Diamond at 3:30 p.m.; Pepper at 5 p.m.; Lazo at 6:30 p.m.; and Legends of Motown at 8:30 p.m.

Wrapping up the Main Stage performances on July 28 are Meg Parnell at noon; The Rhythm Express featuring the Mighty Mystics at 1:30 p.m.; Ryan Langdon at 3:30 p.m.; Miss Emily at 5 p.m. and Larnell Lewis at 6:30 p.m.

The Big Band Stage will see The Advocats Big Band perform from 3 to 6 p.m. on July 26.

On July 27, the Big Band Stage features Swing Toronto (with free dance lessons and demo) from noon to 12:30 p.m. Next up will be The Ted Blackbourn Big Band Project at 12:30 p.m.; followed by Swing Shift Big Band at 3 p.m.; and The Wintergarten Orchestra at 5:45 p.m.

On July 28 on the Big Band Stage will be Swing Toronto from noon to 12:30 p.m.; The Jeremy Stahl Big Band at 12:30 p.m. and The Jazz Mechanics at 3:15 p.m.

For more info, complete schedules and most up to date list of peformers, please visit

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