From its humble beginnings on the grounds of Science North to the international acts now presented under the big lights, Jazz Sudbury continues to grow and flourish.
Planning is well underway for this year’s festival. The festival collaborates with local businesses to present events at seven unique and intimate downtown venues, including the Townehouse Tavern, the Alibi Room, La Fromagerie, the Laughing Buddha, Red Fang Tavern, Kuppajo Espresso Bar and the Sudbury Theatre Centre.
Main-stage events will take place at Grace Hartman Amphitheatre, with free concerts in downtown Sudbury and at the William Bell gazebo.
One of the enhancements included this year is the expansion of the Bourbon Street jazz walk. Since 2013, the jazz walk has traditionally been a series of intimate performances providing local and established touring artists with an opportunity to collaborate in one of three partner establishments. Between venues, audiences have been escorted by a traditional Dixieland band. This year, the event will close Cedar Street to traffic. It will be decorated and inspired by the historic and vibrant Bourbon Street of New Orleans.
Spectators can expect an even bigger multi-instrumental jazz parade with free public access to local artisans and food vendors. The event will feature street performances by the all-female aerial acrobats, The Silver Starlets, as well as Canada’s reigning champions of feel-good horn music, the Heavyweights Brass Band, and Sudbury’s own Nickel City Dixie Stompers.
Similar to previous years, ticketed shows will be held at La Fromagerie, Red Fang Tavern and a headline performance at Sudbury Theatre Centre by Canadian saxophonist and composer Alison Young.
The jazz walk takes place on Sept. 7 from 12-4:30 p.m., with a free outdoor spectacle on Cedar Street until 3 p.m. Jazz walk tickets are $50, allowing ticket holders entry to all three venues. Tickets at the door will be $15 at La Fromagerie and Red Fang Tavern, and $20 at the STC.
Organizers also have some exciting news for our premium cocktail and martini lovers. This year, the festival is aiming to curate a VIP experience for all attendees and will be relocating the martini lounge to The Alibi Room, in order to provide the most ideal vantage point for audiences.
Professional mixologists will be onsite creating the perfect menu for the festival with premium brands such as Woodford Reserve Bourbon, Glenfiddich Scotch Whisky, Luksusowa Vodka and Hendrick’s Gin. The Alibi Room is an award-winning bar with a modern, upscale and sophisticated take on a prohibition-era speakeasy. It has an extensive list of cocktails and unique spirits.
Not only will the festival have the talented mixologists from the Alibi Room behind the bar, but organizers also have knowledgeable and charismatic brand ambassadors onsite representing our premium spirit brands, and hosting tasting events and masterclasses.
The festival schedule can be found at jazzsudbury.com/schedule. Tickets are available at La Fromagerie on Elgin Street; Kuppajo Espresso Bar on Larch Street; A&J Home Hardware, 469 Bouchard St.; Long & McQuade, 255 King St.; Jett Landry Music, 1119 Lasalle Blvd.; Walden Home Hardware; Val Caron Home Building Centre; Waxman Records in North Bay; and online at jazzsudbury.com.