By NAFISAT ALAO
The 2023 Beaches International Jazz Festival has events scheduled from Thursday, July 6 through to Sunday, July 30.
This year, the 35th annual Beaches International Jazz Festival kicks off with The Sounds of Leslieville and Riverside from July 6 to 9.
After that Woodbine Park will be the centre of most of the festival action with Salsa on the Beach (July 14, 15 and 16); The TD Main Stage Weekends (July 20, 21, 22, and 23); and the OLG Weekend on July 28, 29 and 30.
The always popular Streetfest along Queen Street East in the Beach goes nightly from Thursday, July 27 to 29.
Also slated is the Workshop Series which this year will be based out of Kensington Market on July 4, 11, 18 and 25. The Workshop Series will also feature ticketed performances of Duelling Pianos (Father & Son) on July 25 at Beach United Church.
As in past years, admission to the festival events is free. Here’s the rundown on events set for July’s Beaches International Jazz Festival:
Sounds of Leslieville & Riverside- Thursday, July 6; Friday, July 7; Saturday, July 8; and Sunday, July 9 at Jimmie Simpson Park
This year’s festival opens with Sounds of Leslieville and Riverside with performances set for the afternoon and evening of July 6 and 7 and performances throughout the day on July 8 and 9 at Jimmie Simpson Park (870 Queen St. E.)
The fun begins on Thursday, July 6, with Steinwall at 7 p.m.; followed by Five Alarm Funk at 9 p.m.
Sounds of Leslieville and Riverside continues on Friday, July 7, with The Brigham Phillips “Little” Big Band at 3:30 p.m.; Stacey Renee at 7:15 p.m.; and Neon Nostalgic at 9 p.m.
The Saturday, July 8, lineup begins at 11 a.m. with free Swing Dance lessons by the Swing Toronto Band. After that, there will be performances by Martin Loomer’s Orange Devils at 11:30 a.m.; The Jazz Mechanics at 2 p.m.; Alex Porat at 4:30 p.m.; Accolades at 6 p.m.; The Quincy Bullen family at 7:30 p.m.; and Lazo and the Exodus at 9 p.m.
The Sunday, July 9, lineup also begins at 11 a.m. with Christian Overton & the Composers Collection; the Swing Shift Big Band at 1:15 p.m.; Moka at 3:30 p.m.; Grace at 5 p.m.; and Jerome Tucker Band at 6:30 p.m.
TD Salsa on the Beach- Friday, July 14; Saturday, July 15; and Sunday, July, 16 at Woodbine Park
For the weekend of July 14 to 16, Woodbine Park transforms into a dance floor featuring the energetic Latin melodies of Salsa, Merengue and Cumbia.
On Friday, July, 14, DJ Victor Explosivo plays at 7 p.m.; followed by a Salsa Class with Dailyn at 7:30 p.m. After that, DJ Victor Explosivio takes the stage again at 8:30 p.m., and finally Rice and Mango close the night at 9 p.m.
Salsa on the Beach continues on Saturday, July, 15, and there will be a number of performers playing. DJ Victor Explosivo is back to kick off the day at 2 p.m.; after that EL Sol De Cuba plays salsa music at 2:30 p.m. Continuing through the rest of the evening, Salsa Class with Dailyn & DJ; Borolo plays at 5 p.m.; La Sonera Queen plays at 7 p.m.; and Mauro Mosquera an international artist from Columbia plays at 9 p.m.
On Sunday, July 16, DJ Victor Explosivo is back for another performance at 2 p.m.; followed by The Sons of Tuta playing at 2:30 p.m. After that, Freddy Anthony plays at 4:30 p.m.; and Salseros with Attitude ends the night off with Salsa at 6:30 p.m.
Woodbine Park is located at 1695 Queen St. E.
TD Weekend on the Main Stage at Woodbine Park- Thursday, July 20; Friday, July, 21; Saturday 22; and Sunday, 23
From July 20 to the 23, the jazz festival continues on the Main Stage at Woodbine Park with the TD Weekend.
The event begins on Thursday, July 20 with a 90s renaissance party hosted by Master T from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. featuring Starting from Scratch; and Mista Jiggz.
On Friday, July 21, the performers include All McCartney: Tribute to Paul McCartney and The Beatles live at 7 p.m.; followed by Soul of Motown: All the best of Motown at 9 p.m.
On Saturday, July, 22, the performers are Johannes Linstead at 2:30 p.m.; Spencer Mackenzie at 4 p.m.; Steele at 5:30 p.m.; Zach Zoya at 7:30 p.m.; and Jay Douglas at 9 p.m.
On Sunday, July, 23, scheduled performances are Little Magic Sam Band at 1:30 p.m.; James Anthony at 3 p.m.; Kenny Blues Boss Wayne at 4:30 p.m.; and Dawn Tyler Watson at 6:30 p.m.
TD Workshop Series
The TD Workshop Series will provide the opportunity to be a part of great drop-in workshops and jams drawing hundreds of funk-loving souls to Kensington Market, 268 Augusta Ave. from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on July 4, 11,18 and 25.
The first drop-in event on July 4 will be a drop-in choir; the following week after that on July 11, there will be a drop-in percussion workshop. On July 18, there will be a Jamming 101 session; and finally, on July 25, there will be a dancing workshop for musicians being held.
The Workshop Series this year will also feature performances of Duelling Pianos (Father & Son) on the nights of July 25 and 26, at Beach United Church, 140 Wineva Ave.
Duelling Pianos (Father & Son) features Juno-winning pianist Eddie Bullen along with his son Quincy performing together to play a number of beautiful arrangements for two pianos of classical, jazz and pop music punctuated with commentary about their father and son relationship and their unique family history. Show times are 7:30 p.m.
The concerts are paid-ticket performances with proceeds going to the Michael Garron Hospital Foundation.
Those wishing to attend Duelling Pianos (Father & Son) should know that the July 25 show is already sold out, and that tickets are going fast for the July 26 performance. For information on tickets, please go to https://www.mghf.ca/dueling-pianos-wednesday
Queen Street East StreetFest- Thursday, July, 27; Friday, July 28; and Saturday, July 29
The ever-popular StreetFest takes place along Queen Street East in the Beach between Woodbine and Beech avenues from 6 to 11 p.m. on the nights of July 27 through July 29.
More than 30 bands will perform at various Queen Street East locations over the course of StreetFest’s three nights.
For a complete list of locations and bands performing, please go to https://www.beachesjazz.com/streetfest
StreetFest will see Queen Street East From Woodbine Avenue to Beech Avenue be closed to vehicles to make room for the festival. The closure is in effect from 6 p.m. to 11:59 p.m. on all three nights of the StreetFest. Vehicles will also not be allowed to park on Queen Street East between 4 to 6 p.m. on July 27, 28 and 29 or they will be towed.
Please also note for StreetFest that the route of the Main Street 64 bus will be adjusted to avoid Queen Street East.
Waverley Road, Lee Avenue and Wineva Avenue will remain open during the StreetFest hours for thorough way traffic and for safety and access reasons.
OLG Weekend Series on the Main Stage at Woodbine Park- Friday, July 28; Saturday, July 29; and Sunday, July 30
As part of the OLG Weekend Series, the Beaches International Jazz Festival concludes its performances at Woodbine Park.
The eighth annual Groovin’ in the Park showcases a meeting of Soul, Funk, World & House music on July 28 and 29.
Some past performers making a return for this event include DJ Spinna’s WONDER-FULL, Tortured Soul, Roy Davis Jr., Greg Wilson, Starting From Scratch, Jojo Flores, Tush, Soul Motivators, Jason Palma, DJ Yogi, Ritmo Collective, and Mike Gibbs.
The festival’s final day of performances on Sunday, July, 30, goes from 1:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Heather Bambrick with the Swing Shift Big Band takes the stage at 1:30 p.m.: then Malia Love at 3:30 p.m.; Apollo Suns at 5 p.m.; and My Son the Hurricane finishes off the night and the festival at 6:30 p.m.
For more information on the Beaches International Jazz Festival, please visit https://www.beachesjazz.com/