Okay Manitoba, it's time to start thinking about summer. And we've got something for you to look forward to... the TD Winnipeg International Jazz Festival has revealed its 2016 lineup and there's plenty of live music on your horizon.
Now celebrating its 27th year, Winnipeg’s largest downtown music festival will feature nearly 100 performers taking over various city stages, June 16-26. Drawing thousands of concert goers, the live music spans just about every genre, from jazz standards to R&B, roots and blues to indie rock and electronic pop, latin jazz, and just about everything in between.
This year's fest boasts over 40 Manitoba acts in the clubs and theatres and on the outdoor stage. Jazz Fest kicks things off in the heart of the Exchange District with a free opening weekend at Old Market Square, June 16-19. The Cube will feature a diverse line-up, including funk and soul on Thursday, Latin Jazz on Friday, the always popular indie night on Saturday, and a diverse Sunday night lineup to close things out.
The opening weekend local roster includes soul rock dynamos The Noble Thiefs, dynamic Mexican trad prog rock outfit The Mariachi Ghost, Latin jazz acts Trio Bembe and Marco Castillo & Brazilian Beats, '70s inspired yacht rock trio The Middle Coast, roots pop act The New Lightweights, hip hop act Super Duty Tough Work, indie pop/rock singer/songwriter Micah Visser, loop pedal maven Rayannah, electro pop act Vikings, R&B soul pop singer Kelly Bado, reggae funk fusion band Jupiter Storm, and more. Just next door, Cinematheque will host jazz and blues films all weekend.
This year's international headliners include acclaimed revolutionary saxophonist Kamasi Washington, award winning blues rockers Tedeschi Trucks Band, the legendary Downchild Blues Band, Grammy-nominated R&B act Andra Day, and Swedish pop trio Peter Bjorn and John. See the complete list of this year's performers at jazzwinnipeg.com
Other locals hitting the venues include jazz folk trio Casati, keyboard-playing crooner Doug Edmond, JUNO-nominated duo Erin Propp & Larry Roy, Monika Wall presenting Blue Sky, vocalist Nadia Douglas, roots trio Red Moon Road, roots blues mainstay Romi Mayes, roots pop outfit Sweet Alibi, and jazz folk duo Two Hip. Begonia -- aka Chic Gamine's Alexa Dirks and co. -- will take the stage to open for Peter Bjorn and John. The Bros. Landreth's Joey Landreth will open for Tedeschi Trucks Band. New Orleans style funk and soul act Dirty Catfish Brass Band is set to get the party started for Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue.
You can also grab a little jazz with your lunch with free weekday noon hour concerts at Old Market Square, June 20-14, featuring the likes of Amber Epp: Canadiana, Winnipeg Jazz Collective, and more, and enjoy the likes of trumpeter Chuck Copenace at The Cube Lounge nightly, June 23-26.
For those looking to connect with festival artists to boost their music skills, Jazz Fest also offers free workshops. Taking place at the Cinematheque in the Artspace building, the TD Jazz Labs will feature free sessions and talks by the likes of Downchild's Chuck Jackson and Gary Kendall, Royal Wood, Amanda Tosoff, Little Miss Higgins, and Tia Fuller.
Night owls can keep the music going late at The VG Lounge at the Fairmont for The Dig! Late Night Jam hosted by Quincy Davis, June 21-26.
Tickets are available at jazzwinnipeg.com, by phone at 204.989.4656 and at the Jazz Winnipeg office (007-100 Arthur Street). Tickets for the Burton Cummings Theatre shows are also available at Ticketmaster. Passes and individual tickets go on sale April 21 at 10AM.