The Beaches International Jazz Festival has been a sought-after summer tradition for the past 32 years. The festival has brought life, music, culture and drawn crowds into Toronto’s east end communities.
Traditionally held in The Beach area of Toronto, in 2017, the festival partnered with the Riverside and Leslieville BIAs to expand along Queen Street East. The ‘Sounds of Leslieville & Riverside’ kicked off the popular festival in 2017 and 2018 in Jimmie Simpson Park.
Based on early success, the ‘Sounds of’ was expanded in 2019 into a free multi-block party in Riverside and Leslieville with the hub at Jimmie Simpson Park. Local businesses got involved by hosting live music, sidewalk sales and food specials along the street.
In 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic , the Beaches Jazz Festival is powering through as Canada’s only virtual jazz festival, including ‘The Sounds of Leslieville & Riverside’ on July 23rd! Check out some local memories from years past and learn more about the festival below:
‘Sounds of Leslieville and Riverside’ in Jimmie Simpson Park- 2018
‘Sounds of Leslieville and Riverside’ Block Party at Riverside’s Saulter St beside the Queen Garden Centre- 2019
When the Beaches International Jazz Festival first began in 1989, local jazz artists would perform at Kew Gardens. The festival has grown to be one of Canada’s largest free jazz festivals attracting thousands of fans and promoting talented Canadian jazz artists.
This year, the virtual festival is collecting donations for the Michael Garron Hospital, in support of front-line workers. From July 17-26th. You can stream the live performances, workshops, and interviews from the comfort of your own home. Featuring over 300 artists such as JP Saxe, Aiza, Commmand Sisters, Sean Jonesand Tyler Shaw.
The overall festival will kick off with a night of festival favourites on July 17th, followed by segments ‘Groovin’ in the Living Room’ on the 18th and a Latin Carnival on the 19th. The festivities continue the following week with ‘Sounds of Leslieville and Riverside’ live on July 23rd, a virtual ‘Street Fest’ on the 24th and finishing off with a host of artists performing in the weekend series from July 25th-26th.
The festival will look a little different this year, but the spirit of the event will remain the same. The annual event will continue bringing communities together- virtually. You can stream the event for free on their website, Facebook Live or YouTube Channel.
Take a look at this year’s program and find out how you can participate in this year’s Beaches Jazz Festival! Beaches Jazz Festival Program 2020
Riverside BIA is proud to be part of this incredible musical event and looks forward to the shows!
The ‘Riverside BIA 40 Years, 40 Stories’ Series is part of how we’re celebrating the 40th anniversary of this incredible neighbourhood of community-builders.