TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival: 8 amazing women to watch

Jun 14 2017, 12:30 am

A dimly lit room, stiff cocktails, and a sultry female voice floating over shimmering instrumentals are what comes to mind when thinking of a classical jazz club scene.

But while jazz has continued to grow as an art form and develop past general stereotypes, so has the number of celebrated female jazz artists all over the world.

Known for showcasing an incredibly diverse lineup of artists year after year, we’ve highlighted 8 female lead acts to check out at this year’s TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival.

See also

Kandace Springs

Image: Coastal Jazz

Taking inspiration from the likes of Nina Simone, Billie Holiday, and Roberta Flack, the organic, intimate, and deeply soulful sound of Kandace Springs is timeless and undeniable. The Nashville-based singer/songwriter/pianist makes warm and sophisticated soul, pop, and jazz with a stunning voice that pop legend Prince said “could melt snow.”

  • Where: Pyatt Hall – 843 Seymour St, Vancouver
  • When: Sunday, June 25, 7:30 and 9:30 pm
  • Tickets: On Ticketfly, $40


Image: Coastal Jazz

Expressing her Southern Tutchone, Japanese, Tlingit, and Scottish roots through poetic lyrics, vocalist and bassist Diyet blends folk, roots, and traditional Aboriginal music together to create something that’s all her own. Embodying the spirit of the North, her songs are tough and raw, as well as strikingly beautiful and intensely alive.

  • Where: Downtown – Robson Street Stage
  • When: Sunday, June 25, 3 pm
  • Tickets: Free

Half Waif

Image: Coastal Jazz

Nandi Rose Plunkett writes, records, and performs under the name Half Waif. Her deeply personal and engaging music reflects her lifelong endeavour to reconcile her diverse range influences, which include Joni Mitchell, Tori Amos, Celtic music, Indian bhajans, and the classical works of Messiaen and Debussy. This diversity results in a beautifully layered collage of electronic soundscapes, Celtic melodies, and 19th-century art music.

  • Where: Imperial – 319 Main St, Vancouver
  • When: Monday, June 26, 9 pm
  • Tickets: On Ticketfly, $25

Ingrid and Christine Jensen with Ben Monder: Infinitude

Image: Rancy Cole

Led by Canadian jazz giants Ingrid Jensen on trumpet and effects and Christine Jensen on saxophone, Infinitude combines the innate musical talent locked within each artist with a sense of creative freedom. Few talents could reckon with the concept of boundless possibility at the centre of their music, but in a quintet setting featuring renowned guitarist Ben Monder, Fraser Hollins on bass, and Jon Wikan on drums, the Jensens find a captivating conversational rapport full of texture, daring and grace.

  • Where: Performance Works – 1218 Cartwright St, Vancouver
  • When: Monday, June 26, 8 pm
  • Tickets: On Ticketfly, $35

Banda Magda

Image: Coastal Jazz

Greek-born singer/accordionist Magda Giannikou is a musical chameleon who breezes through everything from French-Brazilian hybrids to collaborations with the Kronos Quartet and Snarky Puppy, Greek folk tunes, and Columbian cumbia. Magda’s special performance on June 27 will include Snarky Puppy’s Michael League on bass, Keita Ogawa on percussion, and Chris McQueen on guitar.

  • Where: The Vogue Theatre – 918 Granville St, Vancouver
  • When: Tuesday, June 27, 8 pm
  • Tickets: On Ticketfly, $45

Elisa Thorn’s Hue

Image: Shannyn Higgins Photography

Inspired by her father’s abstract paintings, Vancouver-based harpist/composer Elisa Thorn’s stunning Hue project creates a bold and evocative world of sound, alongside bassist James Meger and drummist Justin Devries. Informed by colour and texture, the artists work in tandem with the paintings to deliver an energetic performance anchored by Thorn’s harp.

  • Where: Roundhouse Exhibition Hall – 181 Roundhouse Mews, Vancouver
  • When: Saturday, July 1, 11:58 am
  • Tickets: Free

Tami Neilson

Image: Coastal Jazz

New Zealand-based Canadian vocalist Tami Neilson is a powerhouse talent in the tradition of Patsy Cline, Aretha Franklin, and Amy Winehouse. Critically-acclaimed and a fan favourite, Tami’s captivating voice, soulful sass, and stunning songs will get you right in the feels. Texas swing, gospel, Motown, and country-noir cool, Neilson’s got it all!

  • Where: David Lam Park Main Stage – 1300 Pacific Blvd, Vancouver
  • When: Saturday, July 1, 5:15 pm
  • Tickets: Free

Lady Wray

Image: Robert Serrano

Former Missy Elliot and Black Keys collaborator, powerhouse vocalist Nicole Wray and her band Lady blend the flair of ’60s soul with the driving beat of hip-hop, and the silky rhythms of modern R&B. Sweetness, strength, emotion—it’s all there!

  • Where: David Lam Park Main Stage – 1300 Pacific Blvd, Vancouver
  • When: Saturday, July 1, 8:45 pm
  • Tickets: Free
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