The 23rd annual Toronto Beaches International Jazz Festival swung, jumped and jived into town. One of the most popular summer festivals in the city showcased a variety of jazz genres and bands, while also providing a glimpse of other artists.
Some may argue that jazz is dead and that it’s an early 20th century past time, but that wouldn’t be apparent this month at the 23rd annual Toronto Beaches International Jazz Festival.
Last week, one of the most popular festivals in the city during the month of July started up their jazz events. One of the first was a jazz photography exhibit and multiple jazz performers at the Woodbine Park main stage.
This weekend, swing music and Latin jazz took over the Beaches’ Kew Gardens Park where some couples swung like they were at a 1920s speak easy, while other family members danced as if they were in the Mediterranean.
The Big Band Stage featured the George Lake Big Band, the Swing Shift Big Band, the Big Smoke Big Band and other swinging groups. At the Kew Gardens Ontario Lottery Gaming Stage, Pavlo, a performer musician who mixes Greek music with Latin style, smoked up the area with his rapid fire flare of the guitar.
“We start each year with a blank slate, a wish list, and this season, with over two hundred and fifty applications submitted, we never have enough performance spots to address the many fine musicians looking to sound off,” writes the jazz organizers.
“As we review each application, we keep in mind that the BIJF is an outdoor event where bands must reach beyond the stage and connect with our diverse audience, their expectations and desires. This is why we mix it up. A lot of jazz, a bit of blues, funk, Caribbean, and other sounds that all meld and intertwine, leaving the listener with a sense that they’ve experienced a unique blend of sounds that defines this Festival.”
The festival concludes Sunday.
(Watch the video above for more photos.)