The Vancouver International Jazz Festival is back! The even kicked-off this weekend with free concerts held at the Georgia side of the Vancouver Art Gallery and around the back in Robson Square. The festival is set to run until July 1st.
Between now and then the festival will present some of the biggest names in the contemporary jazz field. This year’s big draws are Bobby McFerrin, saxophonist Maceo Parker, guitarist John Scofield and vocalist Cassandra Wilson. The performers will play at venues around the city.
This is the 29th time Vancouver has hosted the event. The first festival was in 1986, when organizers teamed up with the Expo 86 planners to bring a stellar line-up of talent to our city. On the first bill were performers such as trumpet legend Miles Davis, Wynton Marsalis and this year’s returning star, Bobby McFerrin (don’t believe the hype – McFerrin is alive and ‘happy’).
One of the best features of the festival are the number of free concerts available to Vancouverites. Next weekend the free fun moves to Yaletown, with free shows at David Lam Park. Don’t miss the crazy mash-up Delhi 2 Dublin, a group that mixes Celtic music with Bhangra; let the highland flash mob commence!
The festival wraps up with a day of free jazz on Granville Island on July 1st, Canada Day.