Vancouver International Jazz Festival
Photo courtesy of Vancouver Coastal Jazz
More than 1,800 musicians from around the world will start converging on Vancouver tomorrow as the 22nd TD Canada Trust International Jazz Festival kicks off.
Organizer John Orysik just chuckles when asked about this year’s highlights.
It’s hard to choose between so many great performers, he explained, but tomorrow night’s concert by Sonny Rollins at the Orpheum Theatre is a good place to start.
“He’s the greatest living sax player,” said Orysik. “To have an icon, a jazz giant open the festival for us, is a great thing.”
While staying true to jazz’s roots, the organizers are also embracing the outer edges of a constantly evolving genre — and everything in between.
The Innovation Series at the Vancouver East Cultural Centre will showcase cutting-edge artists from Canada and around the world.
“That’s for the fan who really has big ears and wants to stretch them,” according to Orysik.
The Commodore Ballroom Urban Groove Series features artists like Amon Tobin who are fusing jazz and other styles with electronica.
Then there are the mainstream acts like Norah Jones, who plays the Orpheum June 28.
“The festival is so wide-ranging musically,” said Orysik. “This is really a place where people come to find out about the state of the art.”
In size and scope, the festival is also unique in the region, he said, noting that more than 400 shows (including 130 free concerts) are expected to draw 500,000 people.
“It provides a prominent platform for Vancouver-based artists,” he added.
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