In February Vancouver’s Granville Island hosts a series of free Jazz concerts. They take place at Performance Works, but also at other venues sometimes too.
In 2021 the free Jazz concerts happened virtually due to concerns about the spread of COVID-19 and the accompanying restrictions on large gatherings. The 2021 performances happened on the weekend of February 19th to 21st.
Free Jazz on Vancouver’s Granville Island
Winterruption used to be an annual winter arts festival on Granville Island in February that included dance, music, film, art, crafts and food. The festival happened annually up until 2017. Since then, in its place, Granville Island simply hosts a series of free Jazz performances.
When Winterruption existed, it included music and Jazz, and had a “small festival” feel. It was also very kid-friendly. More recently there is just the Jazz, but it’s still worth checking out.
Jazz Concerts on Granville Island
Free Jazz concerts took place virtually through the Coastal Jazz & Blues Society website in 2021. The event was just as long as the previous year, running from Friday February 19th, 2021, to Sunday February 21st, 2021. Hopefully the concerts will be able to resume in-person next year in 2022.
For more details on the 2021 virtual concerts visit the official Granville Island website.
In 2020 the free Jazz concerts took place at Performance Works at 1218 Cartwright Street on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday of February 21st to 23rd. Featured performers that year included Lydia Hol, Dawn Pemberton, the David Sekula Quartet, The Watermill Project, Sick Boss, Jaimie Branch’s Fly or Die II, the Bonnie Northgraves Quartet and Itamar Erez.
Below was the schedule of events in 2021. Future Winter Jazz events will likely be similar (although they will hopefully be held in person).
Friday, February 19th, 2021
- 8:00 pm – DJ Kookum with Sierra Baker
Saturday, February 20th, 2021
- 12:30 pm – Jamie Lee Trio
- 1:40 pm – Jamie Lee Trio
- 3:45 pm – Bruno Hubert Trio with Brad Turner
- 4:55 pm – Bruno Hubert Trio with Brad Turner
- 8:00 pm – Gordon Grdina Trio
Sunday, February 21, 2021
- 12:30 pm – Alvaro Rojas’s Gran Kasa
- 1:40 pm – Alvaro Rojas’s Gran Kasa
- 3:45 pm – Dalannah Gail Bowen
- 4:55 pm – Dalannah Gail Bowen
Tips and Advice
Below are some useful tips and bits of extra information to help you enjoy your Jazz and Granville Island experience.
TIP #1: The Jazz concerts “sell out.” To improve your chances of getting in, arrive at least 30 minutes before show time, and well before 7:30 pm on the Friday evening at the latest.
TIP #2: If you like free Jazz, check out our listing of Free Jazz Vespers events which feature some of Vancouver’s top Jazz talent at a number of area churches on Sundays.
TIP #3: Granville Island is a great place for live theatre. The Arts Club Theatre has shows at the Granville Island Stage and live comedy theatre takes place at the Improv Centre with Vancouver TheatreSports.
Winterruption from the Past
In 2017, when the Winterruption Festival last took place, shows and performances included pop-up dances, buskers, and both free and ticketed performances. Examples of music from the 2017 season included the following:
- Camaro 67 with Bigfate – the 10-piece instrumental group performed at the Performance Works venue at 1218 Cartwright Street on Friday, February 17. Tickets were $25.
- Robin Layne Band – free performances featuring a mix of Latin, Jazz and African tunes at the Performance Works venue on the Saturday at 1:00 and 2:10 pm.
- The Mechanics and Material of Theatre Magic – a free tour of the Arts Club production and costume shop at 1377 Cartwright Street where you could see how actors fly and trap doors work along the way.
Other Winterruption activities from years ago included children’s activities, crafts, maple taffy-making opportunities and art exhibits to admire. This was all in addition to Granville Island’s usual collection of interesting shops and things to do including the famous Granville Island Public Market.
A number of other free and ticketed performances happened all weekend in the past too.
For more ideas on things to do in February, check out Vancouver’s Calendar of Events.
And for a list of other festivals taking place in the Lower Mainland throughout the year, check out Vancouver Festivals and Events.