Toronto’s Kensington Market Jazz Festival returns for its seventh year of performances in October, boasting an incredible lineup. Since its inception, the can’t-miss festival has brought the biggest names in jazz music and up-and-coming superstars to Toronto in a series of ticketed and curated busking shows.
After two years of virtual performances due to the pandemic, the KMJF will return with live, in-person entertainment Oct. 1-2 in Toronto’s vibrant neighbourhood of art, vintage shops and multicultural cuisine, a designated National Historic Site of Canada.
This year confirmed artists include Kevin Barrett & Julie Michels, Sammy Jackson, Billy Newton-Davis, Micah Barnes, Diane Leah, Heavyweights Brass Band, Amanda Martinez, Jay Douglas, Laura Fernandez, Allison Au, Elizabeth Shepherd, Michael Occhipinti, Eddie Bullen, Barbra Lica and many more.
Created and helmed by award-winning jazz vocalist Molly Johnson, the KMJF will kick off at Tom’s Place (190 Baldwin St.), the hub of the festival’s solo piano series, hosted by Holly Nimmons. The other participating venues include Tapestry (formerly Poetry Jazz Café), Handlebar, Supermarket and Pamenar with seven shows each per day. There are also pay-what-you-can shows in Bellevue Square Park on both days, from 1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
The concerts run from 1 p.m. until 11 p.m. There are no advance tickets. All shows will operate in the traditional KMJF format of Audience Pays Artist. Trusted KMJF volunteers collect a cover charge — cash only — at the door. The festival keeps 10% of the take to cover costs, while the remaining 90% is given to the bandleader. 100% of the proceeds from CD sales during KMJF go directly to the artist.