Latin, jazz players head to music festivalLatin, jazz players head to music festival



tobin grimshaw/torstar news service


The Beaches International Jazz Festival begins this weekend and runs until July 29.


The sounds of jazz, blues and latin beats will fill the air as families come down to celebrate the 19th Annual Beaches International Jazz Festival as it gears up this weekend on Queen Street East.

The festival will be kicking off with PartiGras, Toronto’s version of MardiGras, down at the city’s historic Dilstillery District featuring dancers, street performers, activities for children and more.

“It’s a lot of fun, it’s something I enjoy doing … you meet a lot of people … it’s something really unique, it’s like a big party, there’s music and dancing everywhere,” says jazz pianist Hilario Duran, who will be closing out this year’s festival on the main stage on July 29.

PartiGras! is the prelude to the Beaches International Jazz Festival that runs from July 20-29, and will include highlights such as piano queen Deanna Bogart, Hamilton roots rocker Tom Wilson, the pairing of 2007 Smooth Jazz Awards Pianist of the Year nominee Eddie Bullen with songstress Marisa Lindsay from Barbados, and Maple Blues Awards-winning singer/songwriters Rick Fines and Suzie Vinnick.

Lido Chilelli, founder and executive producer, says there’s no other place to be where patrons can experience everything from great music, great dancing and great food.

“We just got the best line-up ever and it also incorporates Latin flavour … we’ve really opened it up, and we’re basically making a statement to kick off our 20th anniversary which is next year,” says Chilelli. “It’s unlike any other festival … everyone just mixes in together all to celebrates life and the music of jazz.”

In addition to the musical performers at this year’s festival, poet Shane Koyczan will be performing at PartiGras on Saturday with the reading of his poem Canada: We Are, more a dedication to the country in honour of Canada Day.

All Beaches International Jazz Festival events are free, excluding tickets for An Ovation Of Jazz that cost $75.

For more on the festival call 416-410-8809 or visit