About Us

The Festival began in 1989, when local jazz artists were booked to perform at the Kew Beach Bandshell in the Beach area of Toronto. Now celebrating her 27th anniversary, the Festival has blossomed into a 14-day event that attracts millions of fans and makes a major contribution to promoting Canadian jazz excellence locally and on the world stage.

This great diva of jazz festivals goes about her business in a steady and nurturing fashion, welcoming her guests, new and old, and winning a new generation of admirers by experimenting around her edges and keeping her programming current and fresh.

She’s brought you countless memorable musicians over the years, artists such as Brian Hughes, David Blamires, Jane Bunnett, Warren Hill, Jesse Cook, Ingrid Jensan, Carole Weilsman, Molly Johnson, Jay Douglas, Francois Bourassa, Lorraine Desmarais, Mark Jordan, Carl Weathersby, Hilario Duran, Matt Dusk, Tromebone Shorty, and Red Barret, just to name a few!

The Festival hopes to stick around for the next two decades to bring Torontonians, Canadians and visitors from around the world Canadian and international jazz talent and innovation. Rather than having Canadian talent recognized abroad before being accepted locally – the Festival legitimizes local talent and provides a springboard for its artists to catapult unto the world music scene. The Festival attracts one of the most diverse audiences of any event in Canada and has a broad based and loyal constituency of jazz music and festival lovers.

“The world has taken notice of this little street festival. We continue to be the ambassadors for the City and its jazz scene. Where else in Canada can you find a festival of this magnitude, beachside, and for free?” – Lido Chilelli, Executive Producer, Beaches International Jazz Festival