Vancouver International Jazz Festival: Free Gastown Concert Weekend

 

Vancouver’s historic neighborhood Gastown will host a free concert weekend Saturday, June 24 and Sunday, June 25, 2011. The street will be closed to cars to allow for a pedestrian-friendly, New Orleans style street festival.

The Vancouver International Jazz Festival will kick off on Friday, June 24 and run through Sunday July 3, 2011 in the heart of Vancouver with 1,800 musicians, 400 concerts in 40 venues and over 150 free shows.
The Gastown Vancouver Sun Stage at the Steam Clock (360 Water Street – view map) will have two bands playing each day at 3:00pm and 5:30pm. At the other end of Gastown, there will be three bands playing each day at the larger Gastown Maple Tree Square Stage located at 200 Carrall Street (view map).

Gastown Steam Clock

Gastown Steam Clock

Stroll along Water Street between the two stages and you will see street performers doing their acts for you and the Gastown Steam Clock with puffing steam as it chimes. Why not pop into one of the many pubs and restaurants for a bite to eat and some liquid refreshments?

Map of Gastown


View Larger Map

Feeling International?

Unfortunately the Gastown weekend of free shows isn’t feeling terribly international to me this year with most of the artists being from Vancouver or British Columbia – a sign of the times no doubt. Thankfully there is a diverse group of jazz musicians in the Vancouver area nurtured by the Coastal Jazz organization (more on this in the sidebar).

Although the artists may be based in Vancouver, their styles range from Eastern European folk music to percussion driven music à la Fela Kuti to traditional and contemporary Zimbabwean music – just another sign of Vancouver’s truly international heart.

There are literally hundreds of other jazz concerts to see during the 10-day event. Artists include Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis Sunday, June 26, 2011 8:00pm; Madeleine Peyroux with Special Guest Sophie Hunger Saturday, June 25, 2011 8:00pm; Paco de Lucia & Band Sunday, July 3, 2011 8:00pm; Lucinda Williams Tuesday, June 28, 2011 9:00pm. Find ticket information on the Coastal Jazz website.

Below are a few of the free shows happening at the Vancouver International Jazz Festival. As always, please support these artists however you can.

Don’t forget… Friday, July 1st is Canada Day, eh. Why not come out and celebrate with some free jazz?!

Free Concerts

View all free concerts on the Coastal Jazz website

Friday, June 24, 2011 12:00pm – FREE

Granville Island – Market Stage

Rick Reynolds Trio

Inspired by Bill Evans, Keith Jarrett, Charlie Haden and Jim Hall

Saturday, June 25, 2011; 5:30pm – FREE

Gastown – Vancouver Sun Stage at the Steam Clock

François Bourassa Quartet

Style – Bill Evans to McCoy Tyner to Thelonious Monk

François Bourassa
Official Website

Saturday, June 25, 2011; 6:15pm – FREE

Gastown – Maple Tree Square Stage

OKA

Aussie chill – didgeridoo with electronic beats, vocals, woodwinds, world percussion

OKA Official Website

Sunday, June 26, 2011; 1:45pm – FREE

Gastown – Maple Tree Square Stage

The Unsupervised

Inspired by Atomic, Nels Cline, Kurt Rosenwinkel, and Dave Douglas – Vancouver Jazz – Trumpet, Tenor Saxophone, Guitar, Bass & Drums

Sunday, June 26, 2011; 3:00pm – FREE

Gastown – Vancouver Sun Stage at the Steam Clock

Jacek Kochan & Co. featuring Seamus Blake

Drummer Jacek Kochan, originally from Poland and now based in Toronto, will lead his band with jazz, funk and club beats. Saxophonist Seamus Blake based in New York is considered an outstanding player in contemporary jazz.

Jacek Kochan Official Website

Sunday, June 26, 2011; 4:15pm – FREE

Gastown – Maple Tree Square Stage

Company B Jazz Band

Six-piece swing band – 3 chick singers, 1 chick on bass and 2 dudes on guitar and clarinet – Vancouver’s swinging band has harmonies like the Andrews Sisters.

Company B Jazz Band on mySpace

Sunday, June 26, 2011; 6:15pm – FREE

Gastown – Maple Tree Square Stage

Five Alarm Funk

Things will really be cookin’ with this 11 piece band – Drums, congas, bongos, shekere, timbales, bass, guitar (x2), trumpet (x2), one on tenor/alto/baritone sax, trombone.

Five Alarm Funk Official Website

Monday, June 27, 2011; 1:00pm – FREE

Tom Lee Music Hall (Workshops)

Jonas Kullhammar

Jonas Kullhammar is a sax virtuoso on the Swedish jazz scene. His playing is in the vein of Sonny Rollins. Voted Jazz Musician of the Year several times.

Jonas Kullhammar Official Website

Jonas Kullhammar on mySpace

Tuesday, June 28, 2011, 5:30pm – FREE

CBC/Radio-Canada Studio One Jazz

Altered Laws

This Vancouver Band combines Latin, pop, Brazilian, mainstream and avant-garde jazz.

Altered Laws Official Website

Thursday, June 30, 2011; 2:00pm – FREE

Performance Works

Amanda Tosoff Quartet featuring Brad Turner

Young Canadian pianist and vocalist Amanda Tosoff with Canadian trumpeter Brad Turner. Performing standards and originals.

Amanda Tosoff Official Website

Friday, July 1, 2011; 12:30pm – FREE

Granville Island – Railspur Alley Park Stage

B Funk

Soulful music of the ’60s and ’70s funk with a modern sound

B Funk on mySpace

Friday, July 1, 2011 2:30pm – FREE

Granville Island – Ron Basford Park Stage

Swing Patrol

Lead by Drummer Scott Robertson, this swing band will bring out the classics like Benny Goodman and Count Basie.

Sunday, July 3, 2011; 12:00pm – FREE

Granville Island – Market Stage

Zhambai Trio

Vancouver three-piece band formed in 2010. Traditional and contemporary Zimbabwean music; mbira (thumb piano), Zimbabwean marimbas and hosho (maracas).

Zhambai Trio on mySpace

Free Workshops

Saturday, July 2, 2011; 4:30pm – FREE

Roundhouse-Workshops at The Studio

181 Roundhouse Mews

Andrew Cyrille Workshop

“A Consummate Modern Drummer” – NY Times. Come to the workshop to participate or just take it all in.

Venues Mentioned in this Article

Gastown – Vancouver Sun Stage at the Steam Clock

Music Dates & Times: June 25 – June 26, 2011 @ 1:45pm, 3:00pm, 5:30pm

360 Water Street

Vancouver, BC

Gastown – Maple Tree Square Stage

200 Carrall Street

Vancouver, BC

Music Dates & Times: June 25 – June 26, 2011 @ 1:45pm, 4:15pm, 6:15pm

Granville Island – Market Stage

1669 Johnston Street

Vancouver, BC

Music Dates & Times: June 24 – June 29, July 1 – July 3, 2011 @ 12:00pm

Tom Lee Music Hall (Workshops)

929 Granville St.

Vancouver, BC

Music Dates & Times: June 27 – June 30 & July 2, 2011 @ 1:00pm

Granville Island – Railspur Alley Park Stage

1300 Cartwright Street

Vancouver, BC

Music Dates & Times: Canada Day – July 1, 2011 @ 12:30pm, 3:00pm & 5:30pm

Granville Island – Ron Basford Park Stage

1216 Cartwright Street

Vancouver, BC

Music Dates & Times: Canada Day – July 1, 2011 @ 12:00pm, 2:30pm & 5:00pm

Performance Works

1218 Cartwright Street

Vancouver, BC

Music Dates & Times: June 24 – July 3 @ 2pm; Note: special schedule on Canada Day July 1, 2011 @ 12:00pm, 2:30pm, 3:45pm, 5:30pm, 7:30pm, 9:30pm

Map of All Venues on Coastal Jazz Website

 

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Lisa Kuhn

Writer
Lisa has traveled through South America for three months exploring Peru, Bolivia, Chile and Argentina. She also traveled extensively in the Western United States including Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona, Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, Montana and South Dakota. Lisa has traveled to Europe three times including her first trip in Europe backpacking for three months of solo-travel.

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