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Jazz Festival Free Concert Venues

Vancouver International Jazz Festival

The Vancouver International Jazz Festival offers numerous FREE concerts in downtown Vancouver, on Granville Island, in Yaletown and on the North Shore.

Free Jazz concerts take place at the venues listed below on various days between around the third week of June and Canada Day each year. In 2020, the festival was scheduled to run from June 19th until July 1st. Due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus that shut down much of Vancouver beginning in the spring, however, the festival in 2020 was unfortunately cancelled.

 


2021 JAZZ FESTIVAL

The 2021 Vancouver International Jazz Festival takes place both online and in-person from June 25th to July 4th. Folks can access online streams for $11 each or buy packages of streams for about $50.

There are around 60 free shows on offer this year. This doesn’t include a few that are online-only.


 


This article contains information about the following venues:

Ironworks | Tom Lee Music | The Western Front | Granville Island | North Shore | VIVO Media Arts Centre | Guilt & Co. | Robson Street | Georgia Street | David Lam Park | Yaletown Roundhouse


 

Click on any of the above links to jump to a specific location, or continue reading to learn about all the different concerts across Vancouver and the North Shore. Or, for a list of free concerts organized by date, click Jazz Festival Music Lineup.

 

Vancouver’s Free Jazz Venues

In years when it isn’t cancelled due to pandemics, the Vancouver International Jazz Festival offers free concerts every day between around June 20th and July 1st (plus or minus a few days).

Below is a list of around five dozen free Jazz concerts for 2021 that are sorted by location. There is a lot less of a variety in concert venues this year compared to past festivals due to the pandemic.

Festival venues in more normal years include the plazas outside the Vancouver Art Gallery, at St. Andrew’s Wesley on Burrard, on a number of different stages on Granville Island, in Yaletown and on the North Shore.

Jazz Concerts by DateBelow you’ll find the list of free performances organized by location. For a list of free concerts sorted by date, see the Jazz Music Lineup.

For more information on the festival in general, see the Vancouver International Jazz Festival.

Note: concert dates, times, performers and other details may vary.

 

Ironworks Theatre Concerts

A regular venue for the festival since 2017, the Vancouver International Jazz Festival is holding a free concert all ten days of the festival at the Ironworks Stage which is located at 235 Alexander Street in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.  All the performances start at 4:30 pm.

 

Tom Lee Music Hall

Located at 929 Granville Street, the Tom Lee Music Hall is unique in that the events taking place during the Jazz Festival are different workshops rather than proper concerts. Most of the artists running these workshops are also performing on a different date and at a different venue. All six free workshops in 2021 start at 3:30.

 

The Western Front

A new stage for this year’s festival, the Western Front is located at 303 East 8th Avenue. There are three days of free shows at the venue, with multiple local performers doing somewhat shorter sets in each.

 

Granville Island Locations

Free Jazz concerts also take place daily on Granville Island during the Vancouver International Jazz Festival at a few locations. Most years there are also free Canada Day concerts at various spots on Granville Island on the July long weekend.

 

Ocean Art Works Stage Concerts

An outdoor pavilion with a roof overhead, Ocean Art Works is located at 1531 Johnston Street on Granville Island. It’s a new venue for the festival this year and, interestingly, the most used of all venues (for free shows) in 2021. There are two free shows every day at Ocean Works with one at noon and another at 1:30 pm.

  • Bonnie Northgraves Quartet – June 25th, 2021 (12:00 pm)
  • Krystle Dos Santos – June 25th, 2021 (1:30 pm)
  • Malleus Trio June 26th, 2021 (12:00 pm)
  • Amanda Sum June 26th, 2021 (1:30 pm)
  • Idle Moon June 27th, 2021 (12:00 pm)
  • Mary Ancheta Quartet June 27th, 2021 (1:30 pm)
  • Shannon Scott June 28th, 2021 (12:00 pm)
  • Lydia Hol June 28th, 2021 (1:30 pm)
  • Omianan June 29th, 2021 (12:00 pm)
  • Ribcage June 29th, 2021 (1:30 pm)
  • Peggy Lee & Cole Schmidt Trio feat. Dan Gaucher June 30th, 2021 (12:00 pm)
  • The Della Kit (fka Erica Dee) June 30th, 2021 (1:30 pm)
  • Thad Bailey-Mai Quartet July 1st, 2021 (12:00 pm)
  • Marin Patenaude July 1st 2021 (1:30 pm)
  • Kristin Fung July 2nd, 2021 (12:00 pm)
  • Parlour Panther July 2nd, 2021 (1:30 pm)
  • Anita Eccleston July 3rd, 2021 (12:00 pm)
  • Tom Wherett Group July 3rd, 2021 (1:30 pm)
  • Christopher Fraser Quartet July 4th, 2021 (12:00 pm)
  • DJ Kookum and Sierra Baker July 4th, 2021 (1:30 pm)

 

Performance Works Stage Concerts

Bands play each day indoors at Performance Works. The venue’s address is 1218 Cartwright Street. It’s in the far southeast corner of Granville Island not far from Ron Basford Park.

2021 performers are listed below. There is one free show for every day of the festival and they all start at 2:30 pm.

 

Canada Day Events

 

Canada Day Concerts on Granville Island in 2019

July 1st Concerts at Performance Works

There is usually a special concert lineup at Performance Works on July 1st. However, with the lessened overall schedule this year, there is only the one show on Canada Day (listed above).

To learn more about Granville Island on July 1st see our article about Granville Island on Canada Day.

 

Seagull by Granville Market Sign
A Seagull at Granville Island

 

Public Market Stage Concerts

Location: Outside the Public Market on the northwest corner of Granville Island.

Most years see free concerts take place outdoors at the edge of False Creek outside the Granville Island Public Market from 12:00 until 1:00 pm each day. However, there are likely no concerts on this stage in 2021 (although exact details are to be confirmed).

TIP: Take your lunch outside to munch on while enjoying the music. Watch out for the seagulls though as they love stealing food even more than they love the Jazz.

 

Granville Island Jazz Crowds
Jazz at the Public Market Stage

 

North Shore Jazz Concerts

Most years see Jazz concerts take place at the Public Library in West Vancouver, outdoors at the City of North Vancouver’s Civic Plaza, and sometimes at Lynn Valley Village in the District of North Vancouver.

 

West Vancouver Memorial Library

Location: Outdoors at 1950 Marine Drive, West Vancouver. There is one free show at this venue in 2021.

  • Paul Pigat Trio and Big Lazy – June 25th, 2021 (7:30 pm)

 

North Vancouver Civic Plaza

Location: Outdoors at the North Vancouver Civic Plaza at 141 West 14th Street

A few concerts normally happen here, although not in 2021. Hopefully they’ll be back at this location in 2022.

 

Lynn Valley Concert
An outdoor concert in Lynn Valley

 

BlueShore Financial Centre for the Performing Arts

Location: Another new stage for the 2021 festival, BlueShore is on the Capilano University campus at 2055 Purcell Way. There is one free show at this venue.

 

VIVO Media Arts Centre

The last of the new venues in 2021, VIVO Media Arts Centre is located at 2625 Kaslo Street. Its focus is on more experimental performances. There is one free Jazz Festival show on their stage this year.

  • Rudiments for Hexadrome – June 29th, 2021 (5:00 pm)

 

Downtown Jazz Locations

Free concerts in downtown Vancouver most years include performances every evening at Guilt & Company in Gastown as well as all afternoon and early evening outside the Vancouver Art Gallery. In years without pandemics there is live music on both the Robson Street and Georgia Street sides of the Art Gallery on the first weekend of the festival.

 

Live Jazz at Gastown’s Guilt & Co.

Guilt & Company is one of Vancouver’s top music venues. Live band plays there pretty much every night of the year including during the Vancouver International Jazz Festival. In 2021 there are no “Jazz Festival” concerts at this venue. Guilt & Company is, however, open and offering live music of its own.

Location: Downstairs at #1 Alexander Street at the corner of Water Street and Carrall across the street from the Gassy Jack statue in Gastown.

Cost: By donation.

For information about the venue and live music at other times of the year see the Guilt & Co. website. It’s an exceptional place, admission is usually just by donation and the bands are great (but not always Jazz).

 

Robson Street Stage Concerts

Location: In the south plaza outside the Vancouver Art Gallery at the corner of Robson Street and Hornby.

Cost: Free!

Note: There are no performances at this venue in 2021 (or at least not to our knowledge).

 

Robson Street at Jazz Festival
Beer Garden by the Robson Street Stage

 

Georgia Street Stage Concerts

Location: In the north plaza outside the Vancouver Art Gallery at the corner of Georgia Street and Hornby.

Cost: Free!

Note: Since 2018, the plaza’s official name is šx????n?q Xwtl’e7énk Square (where the Indigenous word is pronounced, very approximately, Hootlacken). šx????n?q Xwtl’e7én is used in the local Musqueam, Tsleil-Waututh and Squamish First Nations’ cultures for places where important cultural gatherings like weddings and funerals take place. Like with Robson Street, there are no shows here in 2021 (or at least not to our knowledge).

 

Georgia Steet Jazz Concert Crowds
Georgia Street Plaza

 

David Lam Park

Because of its sheer size and location, David Lam Park is an ideal setting for some of the larger named musicians to perform. Its address is 1300 Pacific Boulevard. With its wide open field, children’s playground nearby and stunning city views, this is definitely a locale you don’t want to miss.

Most years there are several concerts at David Lam Park over the Canada Day long weekend on the Saturday and Sunday. However, that is not the case in 2021.

 

Free Outdoor Concerts

 

Yaletown Roundhouse

The Roundhouse Community Centre is another venue where you’ll usually find free Jazz concerts on the last weekend of the Vancouver International Jazz Festival.

Location: At the community centre at 181 Roundhouse Mews in Yaletown.

Cost: Free!

Note: There are no performances at this venue in 2021.

 

Other Information

Both free and ticketed concerts take place at other venues too. For the complete list of concerts and performance venues, especially for ticketed shows, see the Vancouver Jazz Festival website.

The list above, for convenience, is listed by venue. For a list of free concerts in chronological order, see Jazz Music Lineup.

For a list of other free concerts in the Lower Mainland, click Free Summer Concerts.

Other articles that might be of interest include the following: