by Sepehr Rashidi
VANCOUVER – In an economic landscape that’s taken a noticeable toll on BC music this year, the TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival is one of the few festivals that have remained a rock-solid summer highlight.
Sitting down with endlessly passionate co-founder John Orysik, it is clear to see that he more than recognizes his responsibility to the city. “Over the past 32 years, we’ve been instrumental in making Vancouver a hub for adventurous creation,” explains Orysik, “and a festival like ours is key to changing people’s attitudes [about jazz] and creating community.”
Covering 300 unique shows, almost half of which will be free, the Jazz Festival truly has something to offer for everyone. Headliners include internationally acclaimed acts like Ziggy Marley, Jacob Collier, Branford Marsalis, and Snarky Puppy bandleader Michael League’s new project, Bokanté. In addition, local Canadian icons Royal Canoe and Brad Turner will be performing. Free concerts will be held at David Lam Park, by the Vancouver Art Gallery, at Granville Island, and around Robson Square. Paid evening shows will be at the Orpheum, Vogue, and the Ironworks.
“The music doesn’t end in the evening,” adds Orysik. “Starting at 11:00[p.m.], we have nightly jams at Frankie’s Jazz Club, where we encourage all musicians that are performing in the festival to come and jam.” So, for virtually no cost, you could possibly see Jacob Collier jam with Branford Marsalis and Michael League. “For the demographic that BeatRoute has, the Marquee Series really stands out,” Orysik continues. “You’ve got Thievery Corporation, Post Modern Jukebox, and a Seu Jorge tribute to David Bowie in Portuguese.”
In addition, the entire program will be available online, making scheduling easier than ever before.
“That’s what we wanted to do from the very beginning — be inclusive,” Orysik says. “Rather than drawing artificial barriers to the genre, we chose to house the worlds of jazz, mainstream, and avant-garde equally.”
The TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival runs from June 22 – July 2 at various locations.TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival