The show is set to go on: Toronto’s acclaimed Kensington Market Jazz Festival has announced the first lineup of artists set for feature in their first-ever virtual edition this November 7th and 8th — including Jackie Richardson, Joe Sealy, Dave Young, Robi Botos, Mike Downes, Larnell, Billy Newton-Davis, and more!
The weekend will also include two yet-to-be announced special guest performances from Champian Fulton and Brandi Disterheft.
While the Festival’s format streamed to KensingtonJazz.com may look a little different this year, the spirit remains the same, steadfast in its commitment to delight audiences far and wide with some of the country’s best in jazz.
“Over the past five years, the Kensington Market Jazz Festival has been proud to showcase hundreds of established musicians on the Toronto and Canadian jazz scene in one of the city’s most vibrant neighbourhoods in the heart of Toronto’s heritage district,” says Festival founder, singer-songwriter, artist and philanthropist Molly Johnson. “However, in these pandemic times, we are all forced to experience a different capacity of life. This year, we’ve had to make some tough choices and, though producing within a limited schedule was very difficult for the KMJF team, we are pleased to present a two-day festival with online shows that can be enjoyed by Canadians coast to coast!”
The Kensington Market Jazz Festival 2020 Lineup:
Saturday, November 7th — (Hosted by Garvia Bailey)
5:00 pm: Colleen Allen Group + Kalabash
5:30 pm: Heather Luckhart + Attila Fias
6:00 pm: Stu Mac + Stu Harrison
6:30 pm: Kevin Barrett + Rebecca Campbell
7:00 pm: Jay Douglas
7:30 pm: Genevieve Marentette + KC Roberts
8:00 pm: Angela Turone + Chris Platt
8:30 pm: Joanna Majoko + Andrew Marzotto
9:00 pm: Laura Hubert + Nathan Hiltz
9:30 pm: Barnes + Woldemichael ETHIOJAZZ Quartet
10:00 pm: Barbra Lica + James Bryan
10:30 pm: John Alcorn + Reg Schwager
11:00 pm: Shakura S’aida
Sunday, November 8th — (Hosted by John Devenish)
5:00 pm: Chris Butcher Band
5:30 pm: The Bullen Family
6:00 pm: Alex Pangman Trio
6:30 pm: Micah Barnes Trio
7:30 pm: Laila Biali Trio
8:30 pm: Jackie Richardson, Joe Sealy, Dave Young
9:00 pm: Robi Botos, Mike Downes, Larnell Lewis
11:00 pm: Billy Newton-Davis Trio
Born and raised in Kensington Market, Johnson had dreamed of launching a Festival of this nature for years; on September 16th, 2016, her dream came true. “Five years later, the original philosophy still holds true,” says Johnson. “The Kensington Market Jazz Festival is proud to be an artist-driven, volunteer-fuelled festival that has been met with overwhelming support.”
In addition to the annual Festival, the KMJF team have brought many other projects to the Kensington Market neighbourhood, including winter and spring series in the market, two live recordings, and KMJF Kids Music, launched in 2018 in partnership with the festival’s patron saint, Tom Mihalik of Tom’s Place, Yamaha Canada Music Ltd., Discovery Through The Arts, Youth Arcade Studio, and St. Stephen’s Community Centre. KMJF has continued support from Slaight Music, Ontario Arts Council, City of Toronto, Long & McQuade, Yamaha, and the Kensington Market BIA.
The Kensington Market Jazz Festival will run Saturday, November 7th and Sunday, November 8th at 5:00pm EST.