TD Toronto Jazz Festival Announces Lineup for 2018

04 May 2018



Seal, Herbie Hancock, Savion Glover, Bettye LaVette, Alison Krauss, Cécile McLorin Salvant and More!


TORONTO – From legendary artists to rising stars, the lineup for the 32 nd edition of the TD Toronto Jazz Festival, running from June 22 – July 1, 2018, includes names that will resonate with jazz lovers and music fans of all ages. Featured this year are:

  • Jazz master Herbie Hancock, joined by James Genus, Trevor Lawrence Jr. and Lionel Loueke
  • British soul singer Seal, performing his hit songs as well material from his new album of jazz standards with a big band
  • Cécile McLorin Salvant, winner of the 2018 GRAMMY for Best Vocal Jazz Album
  • Banjo master Bela Fleck with all the original Flecktones
  • Vocalist Gregory Porter performing songs from his new CD Nat King Cole and Me
  • Vocalist, fiddle virtuoso and 27-time GRAMMY Award winner Alison Krauss
  • The Bad Plus , in their first Toronto appearance with new pianist Orrin Evans
  • Blues and soul legend Bettye LaVette, who just released an album of Bob Dylan covers The Guardian called “slinkily ferocious,” headlining our first ever Blues Revue hosted by Toronto legend Danny Marks
  • Lake Street Dive , performing music from the recently-released Free Yourself Up
  • Local legends-to-be (and two-time JUNO nominee) Weaves
  • Snarky Puppy , in their first Toronto play since 2016
  • Tap master Savion Glover, star of the Broadway smash Bring in 'Da Noise, Bring in 'Da Funk, with acclaimed drummer Marcus Gilmore
  • Guitarist Liona Boyd paying homage to Yorkville’s folk music history of the 1960’s
  • Elise LeGrow , taking on the CHESS Records catalogue covering material from Bo Diddley, Etta James, Chuck Berry, Fontella Bass and more
  • One of the country’s greatest jazz singers,Holly Cole featuring her new album Holly
  • The futuresonic jazz/rock/electronic sounds of KNOWER
  • Montreal-based keyboardist Anomalie
  • And Heather Bambrick with a rotating cast of special guests

Tickets are on sale now at


The hub of the Festival returns to Bloor-Yorkville, whose importance to Toronto’s musical heritage is well-established. Some of the world’s most important folk, pop and jazz musicians played in Yorkville over the years, at venues such as The Night Owl, the Penny Farthing, the Riverboat, Meyer’s Deli and the Bermuda Onion.

The 2018 Festival will feature more than 150 free concerts over ten days in an expanded Yorkville footprint. This series will feature the very best in jazz from Toronto, across the country and around the world. The full schedule will be announced in May 2018.

Each year we honour the legacy and heritage of Yorkville’s music and arts scene of the 1960s/1970s. Last year we paid tribute to its rich historical heritage with a special performance by Canadian icon Randy Bachman; this year, on Saturday, June 23, Liona Boyd, in a rare Toronto appearance, in the intimate setting of The Church of the Redeemer, will give a nod to the folk scene that made Yorkville so famous with “A Tribute to Yorkville in the Sixties,” highlighting much of the music that helped define a generation. And, picking up on the beatnik and bohemian scenes which once flourished in Yorkville, Toronto Poetry Slam collaborates with the Festival with works that will explore pressing contemporary issues. Featuring poets chosen to represent Toronto at the National Poetry Slam in Chicago in August, the evening will be in combination with music from afro-dub fusion band D’Bi and the 333, headlined by d’bi.young anitafrika, herself an acclaimed poet and playwright.


We are presenting a special, first-time collaboration with the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) as we co-produce their highly popular Friday Night Live (#FNLROM) on opening night,Friday, June 22, with an evening called “ Jazz Club.” For one night only, jazz and swing, from throughout the decades, will fill the historic museum as we transform the space into a giant jazz club. Come dressed to the nines as history comes alive at the summer’s best dance party.

On Saturday, June 23, we have a special performance by the legendary Seal at the Sony Centre with highlights from his new album of jazz standards and, of course, his greatest hits. And stay tuned for a very special announcement just before the Festival for more opening weekend celebrations---you won’t want to miss it!


In partnership with CBC Music and the JUNOS, Canadian musicians will be featured prominently this summer as the Festival spotlights the very best in jazz and world music on Saturday, June 30. Rotating between two stages in Yorkville, the showcase will feature eight acts, each having recently received a JUNO nomination or won a JUNO Award, including theOkavango African Orchestra, Hilario Durán, Shirantha Beddage,Autorickshaw, Beny Esguerra and New Tradition and more.

Recognizing the importance of fostering emerging talent, and acknowledging the blurring of genre lines in today’s music-making, we are pleased to announce the Festival’s first ever Industry Showcase. OnMonday, June 25, 6:30 pm in the Stealth Lounge of the Pilot Tavern, four Toronto acts from diverse musical backgrounds will perform for invited guests and members of the general public: indie-soul singer-songwriter AHI with his quartet; soulful songwriterNefe with her trio; O’Pears co-creatorLydia Persaud with her trio; and jazz group Collective Order. These are performers already making an important impact on the local music community and adeptly demonstrating the connection between jazz and a variety of jazz-related genres.

The Festival has also grown to include several new venues this year including Trinity-St. Paul’s Church where we will feature progressive trio The Bad Plus (June 24); the much buzzed about vocalist Elise LeGrow (June 26); jazz music’s fastest rising star Cécile McLorin Salvant (June 27) and the inimitableHolly Cole performing music from her new album, Holly (June 28).

“In 2017, we moved to Yorkville, enabling us to create the true Festival feeling we had been craving. We're excited to build on last year's success with more shows on more stages in 2018,” states Artistic Director Josh Grossman. “I invite everyone to join us in Yorkville for outstanding free performances all day, every day, and to check out the top international musicians we have on offer at ticketed shows throughout the city. With venues ranging from 100 seats to the largest concert halls, we're sure you'll find your flavour of jazz.”

The full lineup of the TD Toronto Jazz Festival, including the complete Yorkville schedule and site map---and a few special surprises---will be available in May 2018. Tickets are on sale now for the following shows listed below:


Friday, June 22

Heather Bambrick & Friends with Russ Little Quartet feat. Guido Basso – Home Smith Bar, The Old Mill Toronto

Saturday, June 23

Seal – Sony Centre for the Performing Arts

Liona Boyd & Friends - A Tribute to Yorkville in the Sixties – Church of The Redeemer

Heather Bambrick & Friends with Russ Little Quartet feat. Jackie Richardson – Home Smith Bar, The Old Mill Toronto

Toronto Poetry Slam – The Pilot

Sunday, June 24

The Bad Plus – Trinity-St. Paul’s

Monday, June 25

Alison Krauss – Sony Centre for the Performing Arts

Gregory Porter – The Elgin Theatre

Blues Revue feat. Bettye LaVette – Koerner Hall

Lake Street Dive – Danforth Music Hall

ART the Band – The Pilot

Tuesday, June 26

Snarky Puppy – Danforth Music Hall

Savion Glover featuring Marcus Gilmore – Koerner Hall

Elise LeGrow – Trinity-St. Paul’s

KNOWER (Anomalie opening) – Horseshoe Tavern

Wednesday, June 27

Cécile McLorin Salvant – Trinity-St. Paul’s

Bela Fleck & The Flecktones – Danforth Music Hall

Weaves – The Phoenix

Thursday, June 28

Holly Cole – Trinity-St. Paul’s

Friday, June 29

Herbie Hancock – Sony Centre for the Performing Arts

Heather Bambrick & Friends with Russ Little Quartet feat. Melissa Stylianou – Home Smith Bar, The Old Mill Toronto

Saturday, June 30

Heather Bambrick & Friends with Russ Little Quartet feat. Carol Welsman – Home Smith Bar, The Old Mill Toronto

The TD Toronto Jazz Festival returns this summer from June 22 – July 1, 2018. As one of the premiere jazz festivals in North America, it transforms the city for 10 days as the sounds of jazz fills concert halls and the streets of Yorkville come alive. From jazz legends, emerging artists and established musicians, come celebrate the 32nd edition this summer!

For more information, visit

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