This past weekend we enjoyed the annual musical celebration that is the TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival. From June 24th – July 3rd, the best musicians in jazz and blues descended upon the Lower Mainland for one of the world’s top jazz festival. Over half a million attendees annually come out in appreciation of music.
1,800 artists played 300 indoor and outdoor concerts in venues all around the lower mainland, with notable performances by international headliners such as Ms. Lauryn Hill, Gregory Porter, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Joe Jackson, and local sensation Sarah MacLachlan. There were also 150 free performances for Vancouverites to enjoy on a spur of the moment basis.
There really was something for everyone, ranging from indie jazz newcomers to blues legends. You never knew what you’d find wandering into the Ironworks Afternoon Sessions, concerts in David Lam Park, or most spectacularly: the four stages on Granville Island last Friday for a jazzy Canada Day celebration.
Vancouver cellist Peggy Lee composed an entirely new suite of music for a ten-piece ensemble on commission by the festival organizers, Coastal Jazz. Titled “Echo Painting”, it premiered during the Innovation Series to great acclaim.
Saturday evening there was also a touching tribute concert on the historic grounds of the Vancouver Art Gallery for the iconic Vancouver bandleader who passed away on New Year’s Eve, Dal Richards.
31 Years of Jazz
The not-for-profit Coastal Jazz and Blues Society which hosts the annual jazz festival is a community-based endeavour. Over 700 volunteers were involved in making sure the week-long event ran smoothly—something we can appreciate at Friends of Chamber Music!
Their programming was spot on, and continues to be innovative from year to year with excellent production value. Mark your calendars for next year, this festival is not to be missed.