2015 TD Niagara Jazz Festival A Huge Success

The 2015 TD Niagara Jazz Festival celebrated a very successful four days of jazz, wine, culinary events, artisans, and art across Niagara Thursday July 23rd through Sunday July 26th.

Now in its second year, the TD Niagara Jazz Festival saw record crowds enjoy Canadian and internationally acclaimed jazz musicians by way of headline concerts, jazz education sessions, wine andculinary packages, jazz performances, artisan markets, and free events throughout Niagara-­‐on-­‐the-­‐Lake and across Niagara.  

“The 2015 TD Niagara Jazz Festival almost tripled its attendance from its inaugural year, which is a strong endorsement for a jazz festival of this scope and quality in Niagara,” said Juliet Dunn,Executive Director, “We added several new components this year, and they all generated strong appeal and robust ticket sales.”

The festival “unofficially” kicked off on Wednesday, July 22nd with the Downbeat Downtown Photography exhibit at the Niagara Artists Centre (NAC) in St. Catharines, featuring the jazz photography works of Dan Brown. The exhibit was combined with a projection of 'Jazz on a Summer's Day' by Bert Stern and director Aram Avakian on the rooftop patio of the NAC.

The festival “officially” launched on Thursday, July 23rd at Stratus Vineyards in NOTL. With perfect weather and many of the TD Niagara Jazz Festival partners, sponsors and VIP's in attendance, the Steinway piano on the outdoor stage with a view of the vineyard with the piano styling’s of Gord Sheard were a great match. The weather was optimal and the food offerings by Yellow Pear and Il Gelato di Carlotta paired very well with the atmosphere.

Friday, July 24th featured a sold out festival flagship event with Michael Kaeshammer at Jackson-­Triggs in NOTL. Guests were entertained by local duo 'Vox Violins' as they lined up to check in, andonce seated, guests were treated to a spectacular performance by local jazz vocalist Ashley St. Pierre. Under the stars, the headliner Michael Kaeshammer gave 110% in his performance. Animmediate standing ovation was the result for this sold out performance.

On Saturday, July 25th, the Fiesta Stage at Simcoe Park in NOTL featured live entertainment, dance lesson, and Etsy artisans. The Fiesta Stage was made possible in part with support by the Niagara Region with a ‘Niagara Investment in Culture’ grant, the Town of NOTL, the Province of Ontario and the Government of Canada. Festival organizers were excited to see this new project come to life, and also encouraged by the Town of NOTL’s receptivity to this new initiative.

Also on Saturday, the Festival moved into downtown St. Catharines with the new “Mill Street Market Stage” in the market square. Hundreds came out to enjoy live jazz in this 'pop-­‐up' jazz club.Performances by Frank's Bus Brass Band, Ori Dagan, Barbra Lica, Robi Botos and the Heilig Manoeuvre were jam-­‐packed and gave new life to the St. Catharines Market. Jazz fans were entertainedin this unique downtown pop-­‐up jazz club until 1am.

On Sunday, July 26th, the day opened with a live jazz duo at the NOTL Golf Course overlooking the beautiful Niagara River and Fort Lewiston. The festival then moved to White Oaks Resort and Spa in NOTL for the Dixieland Jazz Brunch. Guests were welcomed with a mimosa and had a lovely selection of culinary offerings put forth by White Oaks. 'Dinny and the All Stars' were a great match for this picturesque location and the audience was thrilled with the music.

Later on Sunday, the 2015 TD Niagara Jazz festival wrapped up at the Garrison Village / Etsy Family Stage in NOTL. Etsy vendors, food vendors, and food truck vendors framed the location along with all seven Festival winery, beer and cider sponsors. The music was a combination of local jazz artists: Sarah Jerrom, Redlight Sessions and visiting artists: JazzFM 91 Youth Big Band, Genvieve Marentette, and the Shuffle Demons. The Shuffle Demons closed the festival with a parade through the crowd and had the event ending on a high.

Throughout the weekend, performances also continued in several venues across Niagara, including the Dinner Jazz Series where dinner and jazz were packaged together in several of the region’stop restaurants, and the Club Series, with top-­‐ name performers featured in several local clubs, wineries, and breweries.

“The entire festival weekend was an incredible success, with perfect weather throughout,” stated Dunn, “The team of Festival staff, volunteers, and many attendees have been eager to share ideas to make the 2016 TD Niagara Jazz Festival even better.”

“We put together a unique Niagara experience featuring some of the finest jazz performers from across the region and across the globe,” added TD Niagara Jazz Festival Artistic Director Peter Shea. “We are incredibly grateful to be able to bring a jazz festival of this calibre to Niagara. We look forward to continuing to grow the TD Niagara Jazz Festival thanks to the amazing support of our attendees, sponsors, vendors, and communities.”

About TD Niagara Jazz Festival: The 2015 TD Niagara Jazz Festival is a four-­day celebration of jazz, performed in intimate indoor and outdoor venues in the heart of Niagara's stunning wine country July 23-­26, 2015. The TDNiagara Jazz Festival presents the finest Canadian and internationally acclaimed jazz musicians by way of spectacular concerts, wine, craft beer, and culinary packages throughout Niagara-­‐on-­‐the-­‐Lake and selectedlocations throughout Niagara. Full Festival details can be found at www.niagarajazzfestival.com and on Twitter @jazzniagara