10 Days & 150 Free Shows!

It’s only two months until the festival opens and to start the excitement building we’re thrilled to let you know about all our free shows!

From June 22-July 1, enjoy 10 days and nights of music, with a staggering 150 free shows taking place throughout the city… It doesn’t get much better than that!

Take a quick overview of our free series:

Downtown Jazz

Downtown Jazz is a family-friendly outdoor venue located on the grounds of the Vancouver Art Gallery and Robson Square. The three stages–Georgia Stage, Robson Stage and Sounds of Youth Stage–will host amazing performances all weekend.

These are some of the performances to check out:

Ghost-Note

Are you all about the funk? Then you will really enjoy this! Ghost-Note is the new brainchild of Snarky Puppy’s Robert “Sput” Searight and Nate Werth. Ghost-Note’s core lineup is a rotating cast of players. For the Downtown Jazz performance, the cast includes: Robert “Sput” Searight, Nate Werth, Xavier Taplin, Sylvester Onyejiaka, Michael Jelani Brooks and they will be joined on stage by amazing bassist Mono Neon. Ghost-Note describes themselves as conscious funk, where they communicate with each other rhythmically.

Alsarah and the Nubatones

Alsarah and the Nubatones is Nubian pop. Alsarah and Rami El Aasser sing Nubian “songs of return” reflecting on modern migration patterns and the cultural exchanges between Sudan and Egypt. Joining Alsarah and Rami is Armenian–American oud player Haig Manouki–and French born Togo raised bass player Mawuena Kodjovi. Bringing their life experiences and pentatonic sounds together, Alsarah and the Nubatones create, what they dub as, “east-african, retro pop.” Their sound is enchanting as you can see it for yourself here.

David Lam Park Jazz Weekend

David Lam Park and the adjoining Roundhouse Community Centre features three indoor stages (Exhibition Hall, Roundhouse Performance Centre and educational workshops at The Studio) and the big outdoor stage at David Lam Park. One of the main advantages of David Lam Park is if you want to take a break from dancing in the sunshine, you can bring your towels and umbrellas and relax on the grass at David Lam Park while enjoying the live music.

These are some of the David Lam Park performances to put on your to-do list:

Queer As Funk

Queer as Funk are a talented group of LGBTQ folks who infuse Motown, funk, soul, and incredible takes on contemporary hits in their performances. Dressed to the nines, the group of talented musicians hit the stage with high-energy powerful ballads, hot horns, and a tight rhythm section. Their passion on stage is infectious and you are bound to be dancing on your feet!

Red Baraat

Brooklyn-based group Red Baraat is a Bollywood party infused with an explosion of funk! Versatility is one of the band’s hallmarks. Red Baraat can mesmerize an audience with a funk groove, turn a switch, and drive the same crowd to the brink of delirium. If you love the sound of the dhol, don’t miss leader Sunny Jain’s free workshop, too!

Granville Island Jazz

Granville Island is hosting performances all week. There are shows happening all day long from (June 22-July 1, noon-2PM) at the free Public Market Stage located adjacent to the Public Market and False Creek. In the afternoon, and evening, Performance Works is hosting performances from a variety of phenomenal local and international artists.  On July 1, AKA Canada Day, there are free performances on four stages from noon to 11PM at Performance Works, the Railspur District Stage, Public Market Stage, as well as at the picturesque outdoor setting at Ron Basford Park Stage just behind Performance Works.

Be sure to check out:

Jasper Sloan Yip

If you had the pleasure of seeing Jasper play at Performance Works for Winter Jazz, you will know this is one not to miss. His heartfelt introspective lyrics weaved together with gentle vocals and an impressive six-piece band mesmerized me! See Vancouver sweetheart, and veteran of the Vancouver indie music scene at Granville Island.

Adam Robert Thomas

JUNO nominated performer, multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Adam Thomas brings deeply grooving music to the stage. With stunning vocals and a top-notch band (JUNO Award-winner Brad Turner on keys, guitarist Tristan Paxton, James Meger bass, and drummer Adam Cormier) their show will be one to remember!

And lastly but not least…

The Mill St. Jam at Frankie’s Jazz Club

The Mill. St Jam is unlike the common jazz festival performance! The Mill St. Jam at Frankie’s Jazz Club is a chance for festival musicians to join forces and perform perhaps, for the first time ever. There’s something truly special about watching different types of musicians spontaneously come together and communicate on stage! Make sure to check out a Mill St. Jam during the jazz festival.

Our full program guide is now available ONLINE and printed programs will be available next week!