Beaches 27th International Jazz Festival – Street Fest

Well it is another year of the Beaches “27th” International Jazz Festival!

From the Festivals main site

StreetFest is a Beaches International Jazz Festival signature event showcasing the finest in Big Band, Swing, Dixieland, Smooth, Afro-Cuban, Fusion, Funk, R&B, Ska and Soul sounds that Toronto has to offer. Over forty Canadian bands entertain you along a closed to traffic 2.5 km stretch of Queen Street East located between Woodbine Avenue to the west and Beech Avenue to the east. It’s an annual pilgrimage for tens of thousands of music enthusiasts who flock on Thursday, Friday and Saturday during the final Festival week, to groove to the music, swing to the sounds and soak in the street scene and ambience.”

As you can see in their own words it takes in a large stretch of road and has various music styles that are preforming during the street festival.
Location of the Beaches Jazz Festival - Street Fest

We where down yesterday (Thursday) and it was hopping along Queen Street E. with more people then many of us have seen in previous years, or at least it felt like it early on when making our way though the thong of people in attendance we think its because of the people who are here for the Pan Am Games, but we could be wrong – though from a few people we did talk to that was why they where here in the city to start with because of the game’s so it stands to reason that other’s who where here Thursday where also here because of the Games, which means we might well see even more this evening and Saturday evening.

It use to be that the first day of the street fest was mostly local’s who would be in attendance, but its grown over the years (as you can tell by the festival hitting 27 years). I remember the festival when it first started out 27 years ago as a very local event that was a one day event and didn’t take up Queen Street E., it was a few years before that happened and when it did the number of local’s who where upset over it was major mostly because of how it was rolled out and parking issues plus many where caught away from home and trying to figure out how to get home was a issue. Well nun of that has really changed for many of us who are long term living here and those who are new are not immune to still running into the getting home issue (some of us still get trapped by that for various reasons).

The Jazz Festival has grown over the years, and now is more a International Music Festival then a Jazz Festival since you can walk along Queen and hear as they said “Big Band, Swing, Dixieland, Smooth, Afro-Cuban, Fusion, Funk, R&B, Ska and Soul” and everything in between, its got in most regards something for everyone who might choose to attend. Even some of the happening during the time leading up to the Street Fest doesn’t always have anything to do with Jazz, since there are workshops/events on Photography, Painting, Food Trucks, and the list goes on.

It is certanily an interesting three days during the Street Fest that takes place, enough so that to take it all in you almost need to divide it into all three days to get though it all!

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On a side note, you can follow the happenings from the International Beaches Jazz Festival though their Twitter page, Facebook page and Flikr account.

Take care everyone, post more in short order.