Get in the groove at Calgary’s JazzYYC Summer Festival

While JazzYYC works hard year round to make Calgary a jazzier place, the music society’s Summer Jazz Festival launches festival season with a profusion of styles and critically acclaimed performers. From June 14 to 22, live performances are featured at numerous venues including the National Music Centre, Ironwood Stage and Grill and outdoors on Stephen Avenue Walk.

Ironwood Stage & Grill (2006) Ltd

1229 9 Ave SE, Calgary, AB T2G 0S9

One of Western Canada’s hottest roots music venues, Ironwood Stage & Grill presents a number of high-calibre jazz performances as part of JazzYYC Summer Festival. The Hilario Duran Quintet explores the influence of Afro-Cuban jazz on American music on June 18. The cool and contemporary Heavyweights Brass Band lights the place up June 19. The A/B Trio gig features jazz saxophonist Mike Murley, winner of nine Juno Awards. And that’s just for starters.

Calgary Downtown Association

720-304 8th Avenue SW, Calgary, AB T2P 1C2

JazzYYC and Downtown Calgary take it to the street with Jazz Parade, a New Orleans-style brass blast. The mobile, musical merriment starts at noon on June 15 at the east end of the pedestrian mall. It’ll be impossible to miss. As well, on June 16, Invertigo Trio plays the 100 block of Stephen Avenue Walk from 12 pm to 1 pm.

River Park Church

3818 14A St SW, Calgary, AB T2T 3Y2

Crowd pleasers the Calgary Jazz Orchestra present Brubeck & Suite Jubilation at River Park Church on June 14. Featuring vocalist and trumpet player Johnny Summers, you’ll want to take five and then some with this high-energy big band.

Lolita's Lounge

1413 9 Ave SE, Calgary, AB T2G 0T4

The velvet confines of Lolita’s Lounge in Inglewood were meant for jazz from swingin’ to sultry. The Don Berner Quartet takes to the venue’s enchanting stage led by the group’s acclaimed namesake saxophonist on June 18. The next night, on June 19, join Calgary’s Andre Wickenheiser Sextet for their interpretation of the music of Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers.

Studio Bell Home of the National Music Centre

850 4 St SE, Calgary, AB T2G 0L8

The soon-to-be monumental National Jazz Centre continues to present live music in its intimate 11th Avenue Southwest main-floor venue. Toronto jazz-genre busters Pram Trio perform June 20. Michael Occhipinti & The Sicilian Jazz Project follow on June 21. An eight-time Juno Award nominated guitarist-composer, Occhipinti heads this worldly group, which combines the sounds of funk, chamber music, jazz and Sicilian folk. Further events include Afro-Cuban-themed jazz workshops on June 16 and 17.

Bears Den

254028 Bearspaw Rd, Calgary, AB T3L 2P7

Just prior to the JazzYYC Summer Jazz Festival, the Deanne Matley Trio performs at Bears Den Lounge on June 12 and 13. The jazz chanteuse’s evening performances at this cozy, contemporary steakhouse accompany a three-course dinner with wine pairings. Dancing is optional, but highly recommended.

Cafe Koi

100-1011 1 St SW, Calgary, AB T2R 1J2

During the Summer Jazz Festival run, Bryan Niblock & Co. happen to perform at Café Koi’s monthly Toast N Jam on June 20. The venue’s creative cocktails and Asian fusion food pair well with open-mic jazz by impromptu solo and group performers. This is an all-ages event and a guaranteed good time.

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