7 free concerts to catch on TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival's opening weekend

Jun 5 2017, 3:47 pm

One of the primary methods Vancouverites use to judge the official arrival of summer every year, is the start of the annual TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival.

Celebrating its 32nd year, the Festival has programming for over 300 shows across the city from June 22 to July 2. This year, headline performances feature artists like Seu Jorge, Thievery Corporation, and Ziggy Marley.

Having undergone a long-awaited facelift, the North Georgia Plaza located by the Vancouver Art Gallery and Robson Square will finally open to the public during the first weekend of the Festival.

Featuring a larger viewing space with improved sight lines for a more comfortable listening experience, the new grounds will feature three stages, family activities, artisan markets, two licensed bars and a large viewing screen for all to enjoy.

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Celebrate the opening weekend of the TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival starting June 22 with our top 7 free performances taking place in different locations around the city.

Brad Turner’s Anger Management

Image: Coastal Jazz

One of Vancouver’s most prolific jazz artists, multi-instrumentalist Brad Turner has an uncanny ability to assert huge personality on whatever instrument he turns his boundless creative energy to play. With Anger Management, the JUNO Award-winning trumpeter/pianist takes the drum chair, assembling a scorching sextet of first-call cats for some serious explosive improvisation.

  • Where: Downtown – Georgia Street Stage
  • When: Saturday, June 24, 12:30 pm
  • Tickets: Free

Les Filles De Illighadad

Image: Marie Planeille

Hailing from rural Niger, guitarist Fatou Seidi Ghali and vocalist Alamnou Akrouni lead this worldly ensemble that explore two very different sides of Tuareg music: dreamy ishumar acoustic guitar melodicism, and the hypnotic, polyphonic rhythms of the tende drum that inspires it.

  • Where: Downtown – Georgia Street Stage
  • When: Saturday, June 24, 3:15 pm
  • Tickets: Free

Five Alarm Funk

Image: Five Alarm Funk

Local favourites, the Vancouver-based band Five Alarm Funk is all about monster horns, crushing percussion, and shredding psych-rock guitars. Having just released their sixth studio album Sweat earlier this spring, the band continues to do what they do best, to much critical acclaim.

  • Where: Downtown – Georgia Street Stage
  • When: Saturday, June 24, 7:30 pm
  • Tickets: Free

Nik West

Image: Coastal Jazz

Nik West is a one of a kind bassist that blends flamboyant charisma and ridiculous performing chops into one bedazzling package. Her former collaborator Prince once said, “She inspires me in the same way that Sheila E. did.” With a bass clef hairdo, a powerhouse voice, and explosive stage presence, Nik West is leading funk into a new era.

  • Where: Downtown – Georgia Street Stage
  • When: Sunday, June 25, 5:15 pm
  • Tickets: Free


Image: Coastal Jazz

With three JUNOs, one Grammy, and five West Coast Musician of the Year nominations among them, Soulstream is a local marvel. Made up of members who have performed with artists including K.D. Lang, INXS, and Wynton Marsalis, Soulstream comes together to perform catchy covers with utmost style and perfection.

  • Where: Lynn Valley Village – 1277 Lynn Valley Rd, North Vancouver
  • When: Sunday, June 25, 1 pm
  • Tickets: Free

Leo Bae Quintet

Image: Coastal Jazz

Currently calling Oregon home, Vancouver pianist and composer Leo Bae’s contemplative take on layered, melodic jazz stirs together influences from Bill Evans and Kenny Wheeler to Radiohead and The Beatles. Joining him on piano, his intuitive quintet features Lyle Hopkins on bass, Miles Wong on drums, Josh Hettwer on tenor saxophone and clarinet, and Ben Frost on trumpet and flugelhorn.

  • Where: Granville Island – Public Market Stage
  • When: Sunday, June 25, 11:58 am
  • Tickets: Free


Image: Coastal Jazz

Unconventional and engaging, Toronto’s JUNO-nominated Myriad3 brings new energy and compelling ideas to the classic piano trio format. Uncannily in tune with one another during their performances, the trio creates pure magic with Chris Donnelly on piano, Dan Fortin on bass, and Ernesto Cervini on drums.

  • Where: Performance Works – 1218 Cartwright St, Vancouver
  • When: Sunday, June 25, 2:30 pm
  • Tickets: Free
Vanessa TamVanessa Tam

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