The highly anticipated Kensington Market Jazz Festival (KMJF) returns this year for the 7th year of performances, 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.
The KMJF will return to 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.
Created and helmed by award-winning jazz vocalist Molly Johnson, 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 Saturday and Sunday from 1-2:30pm and 4-5:30pm.
The weekend concerts run from 1 p.m. until 11 p.m. The media invite and details to the festival’s kickoff is below.
There are no advance tickets. All shows will operate in the traditional KMJF format of ‘Audience Pays Artist,’ – Cash Only – where the trusted KMJF volunteers collect a cover charge at the door. For full transparency, KMJF takes a 10% service charge to go towards festival production and the remaining 90% is given to the band leader. This format works for all as KMJF has a track record of filling venues through word-of-mouth, and extensive promotion through the festival themselves and artists working together. 100% of the proceeds from CD sales during KMJF go directly to the artist.
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 more. The complete list of artist and venues can be found here.
KMJF will once again after two years of virtual programming, return to in-person programming the city’s beloved Kensington Market clubs Tapestry, Handlebar, Supermarket, Pamenar and El Gordo’s (Big Band Stage).
The Kensington Market Jazz Festival is a Charitable organization, committed to presenting live music in the heart of Toronto's heritage market neighbourhoood throughout the year and with a festival in early fall.