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The Year in Music Festivals

Aretha Franklin

2011 is coming to a close, what a year it was in music! Especially Music Festivals! I attended a few this past year. Starting with the Winterfolk Blues & Roots in February, of which I helped out as a volunteer. Took a lot of pix.Jory Nash " Winterfolk IXThen later in early June, I slummed around the Waterfront Blues Festival, held at Woodbine park.

Gary Kendall Band at Waterfront Blues A couple weeks after that, the Toronto Jazz Festival kicked off with the great Aretha Franklin, to which I had the great opportunity to photogragh after I did video’s for my good friend, Jordan John with his band, the Blue Angels, who opened this awesome festival! That was freakin fantastic! amazing-amazing i tell ya.Aretha Franklin

My TO Jazz Fest tour continued with a trip back to the main stage to see Dubmatix, a local 2009 Juno nominated reggae-dub-d&b outfit, and then the Spanish Harlem Orchestra! These guys had a following there that night. A spiritual moment happened. Incredible!Spanish Harlem Orchestra

On Monday I had a very serious decision to make. Robert Cray at the Main Stage, beautiful tasty guitar with this guy’s band, never seen him before live, or….. SOULIVE at the Lengendary Horseshoe Tavern.Neal Evans-Soulive Fusion, hipster, funky, soul jive groove nastyness! Yeah! ( I hope to see R. Cray at some point, but not this day)   What a blast Soulive is to see perform in a small club. A little too dark for the camera, but I did what I could. Great stuff!

Unfortunately I could not attend the rest of the TO Jazz fest that week, so it goes.  I did however have the upcoming Beaches Jazz Fest scheduled to ensure I was in the city for the duration. As I will detail:Beaches 23rd Annual Jazz Fest

This week long festival held July 15th – 24th , 2011, starts at Woodbine Park, a multi stage setup with several acts performing through-out the first weekend of the fest. Carole PopeThe weekdays that follow are when things get really hoppin. Seminars and workshops educate and entertain us until Thursday night, 6pm, when Streetfest starts off, the always popular outdoor streetfest, were Queen Street is closed to cars and every corner for several km`s has a live band playing. This continues daily 6-11pm until Saturday night.Paul Reddick Band

Saturday and Sunday, the final weekend of the fest, we have a full lineup of acts performing on the octagonal stage at Kew Gardens, just off Queen street. People lounging back on the grass of this natural ampitheatre, soaking in the vibe and atmosphere that only a hot, summer music festival can provide. Good Karma.The Lionel Young Band

Going over my images, it would appear that that was the last music festival I attended in 2011.

Ahhhh, the summer of 2011, sweet music. thank you. Check out my various galleries of each of these festivals plus I will also include their respective web pages. Please enjoy responsibly. thanks.

Winterfolk IX Photo Gallery      Winterfolk Web Site

Waterfront Blues Photo Gallery     Waterfont Blues web site

Galleries from the Toronto Jazz Festival:

Aretha Franklin     Spanish Harlem Orchestra     Soulive

Toronto Jazz Festival web site

Beaches Jazz Festival Photo Gallery      Beaches Jazz Festival Web Site





Preview: 23rd Beaches International Jazz Festival

The 23rd annual Beaches International Jazz festival is set to kick off this Friday at Woodbine Park with Carole Pope on the main stage, Quicy Bullen Band on the New Generation stage and Generation J(azz) on the Youth stage. This starts off a week of Free Jazz & Blues performances by local and international acts on stage’s at Woodbine Park & Kew Gardens, and a Streetfest on Queen where thousands of people come out to enjoy the music and atmosphere.  I’ve been going to this festival since the early days and it just gets better & better every time. My favorite is when they close Queen Street and as you walk along from one corner to the next, the music continues non-stop, from blues to jazz, fusion to latin, dance & big band. A jazz flavour for everybody. Last years photo highlights here.

Check out the complete listing and schedule of music, seminars and workshops at www.beachesjazz.com  Images from last years festival.
Michael Pickett with Harp
God Made Me Funky
camera screen shot