The Festival kicks off in 30 days!

Mark your calendars, get the babysitter lined up, buy your tickets ASAP and save the date because on Thursday, June 19 we're kicking off our 28th anniversary with lots of options for opening night!

Join us for a special evening when the legendary Chaka Khan kicks off the Festival, performing a collection of her greatest hits at the Sony Centre. Blues diva, Shemekia Copeland opens. Sponsored by the Toronto Star.

Drummer and composer Mark McLean performs at the Jazz Bistro with special guest, Kellylee Evans. The Juno-award winning vocalist is just one of the featured artists in McLean's three-night residency at the Bistro as he debuts his latest release, Feel Alright.

Memo Acevedo and Jane Bunnett team up for a special double bill at Lula Lounge. Credited with pioneering the Afro-Cuban, Brazilian and Latin jazz music styles in Canada, Acevedo returns to the Festival with the Building Bridges Band with Jacquelene Acevedo. Bunnett will premiere her latest project, Maqueque, an exciting new sextet featuring the finest young women musicians in Cuba. Sponsored by JAZZ.FM91.

And then there's 20 clubs, bars and restaurants all across the city on opening night that will be participating in the Festival, presenting some of the best in local, national and international jazz. From The Rex to The Painted Lady to the Shangri-La Hotel, there's jazz to be found everywhere!

Don't stop the music
The music continues throughout opening weekend with free programming daily at Nathan Phillips Square. Whether it's the classic sounds of Lighthouse or soul singer Rehan Dalal, there's something for every musical taste. This series is presented by OLG.

Free-wheeling and high-spirited, the music of Lighthouse mirrored the times and is one of Canada's most original pop groups ever. 

A soul revivalist in modern pop, Rehan Dalal will have you groovin' as he channels the soul sounds of the '60s and Motown. 

On the cutting edge of the Canadian gospel music scene, TMC incorporates contemporary and traditional gospel as well as Caribbean music influences. 

Their signature brand of B3 jazz blends hard bop and blues sensibilities with original compositions and blistering improvisation. 

David Clayton-Thomas

Grammy Award-winning Canadian musician, singer and songwriter David Clayton-Thomas may be best known as lead singer for Blood, Sweat & Tears, but now he's his own man with his own band.

You can still expect favourites like, 'Spinning Wheel' and 'Lucretia MacEvil' when he hits the stage Saturday, June 21, but expect so much more, including songs off his albums Spectrum, Soul Ballads and A Blues For A New World. 

His band consists of some of the finest jazz players in Canada, and Clayton-Thomas packs each show with raw emotion in every slow blues ballad and scats through jazz numbers like a king. Not only is his voice inspiring, but his story of coming from the streets of Toronto to having his own star on Canada's Walk Of Fame is a true testament to his talent. 

Groove & Graffiti
Last week more than 30 local-area high school students gathered at Malvern Collegiate to take place in the 11th annual Groove & Graffiti workshop.

A hands-on workshop, led by professional aerosol artists, Elicser and Mediah, this program gives students the chance to translate the inspiration of music into art and showcase graffiti as a positive form of artistic expression when used under the proper context. 

A big thanks to TD for generously supporting this program and making it all possible!

To see more student pieces click here.

We're looking for a few good volunteers!
It takes a small army of people to put on the Festival each year and none of it would be possible without our dedicated volunteers! 

Interested in becoming a volunteer? Want to be part of the Festival magic and see what happens behind the scenes? Then sign on up! 

We've got lots of positions available - from box office to transportation and more! Every volunteer is an integral member of the Festival.

For more information and to register, visit our website.

WANTED: Have YOU seen this man?

The Jazz Man is real, and he's been getting himself into all sorts of trouble. Follow him on Twitter to see what kind of shenanigans he's been getting up to around town. 
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