Guide to The 2013 Empire Life Kingston Jazz Festival

Empire Life Kingston Jazz Festival, Downtown Kingston, live musicFriday, June 14th marks the official start to this year’s Empire Life Kingston Jazz Festival. The festival, organized by The Kingston Jazz Society, The Grand Theatre and The Skeleton Park Music Festival, is in its 13th year and is continuing to grow and develop at an impressive rate.  This year’s festival offers a diverse selection of music including artists from around the world and featuring many local musicians.  Tickets can be purchased through The Grand Theatre box office individually as well as in a variety of package deals.  Have a look at our guide below and see which shows pique your curiosity.

The Grand Theatre Regina Rosen Auditorium

Friday, June 14th | 7:30pm
La Bottine Souriante
With a full brass section, accordions, strings and lots of foot-stomping, the frenetic energy of this legendary ensemble fuses traditional French folk music with salsa, jazz and its own salute to Québec. This show is great for audience members of all ages and is guaranteed to be a chance to celebrate the opening of the Kingston Jazz Festival with a kitchen dance party on the Grand stage.

Thursday, June 20th | 7:30pm
Georgette Fry: Tribute to Etta James
Juno nominated Georgette Fry, winner of the 2013 CBMA Blues Awards for Singer of the Year is returning to the Grand Theatre stage with a Tribute to Etta James. Special guests Tabby Johnson, Anna Sudac, Mariko Ohtake and Shout Sister!

Friday, June 21st | 7:30pm
Digging Roots
Marching to the beat of their own drum, Canada’s own Digging Roots brings their unique mix of roots, alternative, hip-hop, reggae and blues sounds to the Grand stage. Raven Kanatakta and ShoShona Kish will perform a collection of songs, includes tunes from their latest album, Love Drive.

Saturday, June 22nd | 7:30pm
Nikki Yanofsky
After bursting onto the scene with her debut performance at the 2006 Montreal International Jazz Festival, Nikki Yanofsky has performed and recorded with the New York Philharmonic, the National Symphony Orchestra, Will.i.am, Wyclef Jean and Herbie Hancock.

Thursday, June 27th | 7:30pm
Joshua Redman Quartet
One of the most acclaimed and charismatic jazz artists on the scene today, the Grammy nominated saxophonist Joshua Redman makes a stop with his quartet featuring Aaron Goldberg, Reuben Rogers & Gregory Hutchinson.

Friday, June 28th | 7:30pm
Ron Di Lauro Sextet: Kind of Blue
This iconic album was released over 50 years ago and remains not only Davis’s masterpiece, but one of the best-selling jazz albums of all time. Now the tracks from Kind of Blue will be recreated live by some of this country’s top musicians. Italian-Canadian trumpeter and bandleader Ron Di Lauro will lead a sextet with a set of Miles classics from the late fifties and return in the second set for a full re-creation of Kind of Blue.

Saturday, June 29th | 7:30pm
Hilario Duran and his 20-Piece Latin Jazz Big Band
Hilario Duran, pianist, producer, arranger, composer, bandleader, and educator, better known as “Con Tumbao” represents an important musician in contemporary Cuban music history. Noted as one of the greatest Cuban pianists of the 20th century, this multi Canadian Juno and National Jazz Award winner; American Grammy Award nominee and recipient of the 2007 Chico O’Farrill Lifetime Achievement Award will bring his 20 piece Latin Jazz Big Band to the Festival finale.

Late Night Jazz at The Baby Grand

Saturday, June 22nd | 10pm
Peter Van Huffel and Gorilla Mask
Native Kingstonian Peter van Huffel makes his way back from Berlin with a stop at the Grand as part of a cross-Canada tour. A prolific saxophonist, clarinetist and composer, Van Huffel is the leader of the energy-packed hard-rock/free-jazz trio Gorilla Mask (with bassist Roland Fidezius and drummer Rudi Fischerlehner), which has been together since 2009 and has performed at some of the most recognized music venues in Europe.

Saturday, June 29th | 10pm
Rob Garcia Quartet
“A prime mover in the current Brooklyn jazz scene” (Time Out-New York), Rob Garcia continues to be a strong presence in the international jazz scene as a sideman and bandleader. Having performed on over 40 albums including Grammy Award winners, Garcia will showcase his “remarkable chemistry” (Jazz Times) for his Kingston debut.

Jazz Mix & Mingle, Davies Lounge
Intermission between performances at the Grand Theatre.

Saturday, June 22nd | 9pm-10pm
Christos Smirnios Trio
Kingston percussionist Christos Smirnios heads up his trio ahead of Peter Van Huffel’s Gorilla Mask in The Baby Grand.

Saturday, June 29th | 9pm-10pm
Paul Clifford Trio
Kingston bassist Paul Clifford entertains in the Davies Lounge before Rob Garcia’s quartet takes to the Baby Grand stage.

Porch Jazz

Saturday, June 22nd | 12-2:30pm
Porch jazz is a fun romp through the streets with pit stops for concerts along the way. The Heavyweights Brass Band will lead the parade.  Bring an instrument and join in. At each location, jazz ensembles will play a half-hour set – dance in the streets or bring a lawn chair and relax. Kid and family friendly!

The Sleepless Goat | 12pm: The Heavyweights Brass Band
Kingston School of Dance | 12:30pm: The Downtown Trio
Minotaur Games | 1pm: Dave Barton
The Grand Theatre | 1:30pm: The Jalopy Trio
The Artel | 2pm: The Lemon Bucket Orkestra
The Crack’d Pot | 2:30pm: People Project
McBurney Park | 3pm: Skeleton Park Arts Festival

Skeleton Park Music Festival at McBurney Park

Saturday, June 22nd | 3pm
The Kingston Jazz Festival is pleased to partner with Skeleton Park to present The Soul Jazz Orchestra, Nomadic Massive and The Lemon Bucket Orkestra.

Restaurant Jazz

Tuesday, June 18th | 5pm-7pm
Spencer Evans at Olivea

Wednesday, June 19th | 5pm-7pm
Rubbaboo at The Kingston Brewing Company

Thursday, June 20th | 5pm-7pm
Rubbaboo at The Kingston Brewing Company
Chantal Thompson at The Common Market

Friday, June 22nd | 5pm-7pm
Spencer Evans at Olivea
Rubbaboo at The Kingston Brewing Company

Tuesday, June 25th | 5pm-7pm
Spencer Evans at Olivea

Thursday, June 27th | 5pm-7pm
Hannah Barstow, Paul Clifford and Rich Bannard at The Tir nan og

Friday, June 28th | 5pm-7pm
Hannah Barstow, Paul Clifford and Rich Bannard at The Tir nan og
The Chien Noir All-Stars at Le Chien Noir

Saturday, June 29th | 5pm-7pm
Hannah Barstow, Paul Clifford and Rich Bannard at The Tir nan og
The Chien Noir All-Stars at Le Chien Noir
Chantal Thompson at The Common Market

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