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 most years. In 2023, the festival runs from June 23rd until July 2nd.
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.
JAZZ IN FORT LANGLEY
Another awesome music festival is the Odlum Brown Fort Langley Jazz & Arts Festival. In 2023 it takes place from July 20th to 23rd. Some of the artists performing at the festival in Fort Langley this year include the Ruthie Foster Band, The Harpoonist & the Axe Murderer, My Son the Hurricane, Five Alarm Funk, Crystal Shawanda, and other bands.
If you like Jazz, you’ll definitely want to check out this festival. It’s always impressive!
Vancouver’s Free Jazz Venues
In 2020, the Vancouver Jazz Festival was completely cancelled due to the outbreak of COVID-19. The 2021 the festival was able to run, but as an online event from June 25th to July 4th. The festival happened as an in-person event last year. It takes place in its almost pre-pandemic format again in 2023. This year’s dates are June 23rd to July 2nd.
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 originally scheduled for 2022 that are sorted by location. 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. 2023 will likely be similar, but with exact details to be confirmed.
Below 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.
A regular venue for the festival since 2017, the Vancouver International Jazz Festival typically holds half a dozen or so free concerts at the Ironworks Stage. The venue’s address is 235 Alexander Street in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. All the performances last year started at 5:00 pm. 2023 details are to be confirmed.
- Littles – June 27th, 2022.
- Primary Trio + Karen Ng / Russell Sholberg / Lisa Ullën – June 28th, 2022.
- Used Gowns + The Nausea – June 29th, 2022.
- John Paton’s Parallax – June 30th, 2022.
- Dave Rempis (solo) – July 1st, 2022.
- Why Choir – July 1st, 2022.
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.
Unfortunately, as of late May last year, there weren’t any events scheduled at this venue for the 2022 festival. 2023 details are to be confirmed.
The Western Front
A new stage for the 2021 festival, the Western Front is located at 303 East 8th Avenue. There weren’t any shows scheduled for this venue in 2022. 2023 details are to be confirmed.
Granville Island Locations
Free Jazz concerts 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. The location made its festival debut in 2021 and has quickly become a much-used venue. There were shows every day of the festival at Ocean Art Works in 2022. 2023 details are to be confirmed.
- Terminal Station – June 24th, 2022 (4:00 pm).
- DJ Koakea + DJ Keilani Rose – June 24th, 2022 (11:00 pm).
- Black Gardenia featuring Daphne Roubini – June 25th, 2022 (4:00 pm).
- DJ O Show – June 25th, 2022 (4:00 pm).
- Audrey Ochoa Quartet – June 26th, 2022 (4:00 pm).
- Spindle! – June 27th, 2022 (4:00 pm).
- Kevin Romain’s Salience Network + Emma Augustsson – June 28th, 2022 (4:00 pm).
- Emily Best – June 29th, 2022 (4:00 pm).
- Under the Surface – June 30th, 2022 (4:00 pm).
- Sharon Minemoto Quartet – July 1st, 2022 (1:00 pm).
- Strange Worlds Trio – July 1st, 2022 (4:00 pm).
- DJ Handsome Tiger – July 1st, 2022 (11:00 pm).
- Todd Stewart Crescent Quartet – July 2nd, 2022 (4:00 pm).
- DJ Kookum – July 2nd, 2022 (11:00 pm).
- Noah Walker Trio – July 3rd, 2022 (4:00 pm).
- DJ Paisley Eva – July 3rd, 2022 (11:00 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. 2022 performers are listed below.
- Josh Zubot Quartet + Darius Jones – June 24th, 2022 (2:30 pm).
- Orchid Ensemble – June 25th, 2022 (2:30 pm).
- Kamil Piotrowicz Trio – June 26th, 2022 (2:30 pm).
- Sunna Gunnlaugs Trio – June 27th, 2022 (2:30 pm).
- Dan Wilson Quartet – June 28th, 2022 (2:30 pm).
- Giveton Gelin – June 29th, 2022 (2:30 pm).
- Michael Formanek Drome Trio – June 30th, 2022 (2:30 pm).
- Andy Milne and Unison – July 1st, 2022 (2:30 pm).
- OA4 – July 1st, 2022 (4:30 pm).
- Simon Millerd Sextet – July 2nd, 2022 (2:30 pm).
- Jeff Younger’s Dark Matter Machine – July 3rd, 2022 (2:30 pm).
Canada Day Concerts on Granville Island
July 1st Concerts at Performance Works
There is usually a special concert lineup at Performance Works on July 1st. However, that’s been lessened the last couple years due to the pandemic. In 2022, there were just two free shows at Performance Works on Canada Day.
To learn more about Granville Island on July 1st see our article about Granville Island on Canada Day.
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 weren’t any concerts on this stage last year (or at least not to our knowledge). 2023 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.
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 was one free show at this venue in 2022.
- Big Lazy – July 1st, 2022 (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 there were none in 2021. There were two free shows in 2022, however. They were both at 1:00 pm. 2023 details are to be confirmed.
- Joyce N’Sala – June 25th, 2022.
- Jamie Lee Trio – July 2nd, 2022.
BlueShore Financial Centre for the Performing Arts
Location: BlueShore is on the Capilano University campus at 2055 Purcell Way. There were no free shows scheduled here for 2022. 2023 details are to be confirmed.
VIVO Media Arts Centre
A new venue in 2021, VIVO Media Arts Centre is located at 2625 Kaslo Street. Its focus is on more experimental performances. There were no shows scheduled here in 2022.
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 2022 there were no “Jazz Festival” concerts at this venue. Guilt & Company was, 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.
Note: There were no performances at this venue in 2022. 2023 details are to be confirmed.
Georgia Street Stage Concerts
Location: In the north plaza outside the Vancouver Art Gallery at the corner of Georgia Street and Hornby.
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. 2022 shows are below.
- Sister Jazz Orchestra – June 25th, 2022 (12:30 pm).
- Mary Ancheta Quartet – June 25th, 2022 (2:15 pm).
- Pantayo – June 25th, 2022 (3:45 pm).
- Louis Cole Big Band – June 25th, 2022 (5:30 pm).
- Ghost-Note – June 25th, 2022 (7:30 pm).
- Jodi Proznick: New Horizons – June 26th, 2022 (12:30 pm).
- Greasy G and the Pool Party featuring Jakito! – June 26th, 2022 (2:15 pm).
- Ludic – June 26th, 2022 (3:45 pm).
- Tanika Charles – June 26th, 2022 (5:30 pm).
- Malika Tirolien – June 26th, 2022 (7:30 pm).
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. That was the case again in 2022.
- Jasper Sloan Yip – July 2nd, 2022 (12:30 pm).
- The Dardanellas – July 2nd, 2022 (1:45 pm).
- Blowout Band – July 2nd, 2022 (3:30 pm).
- Thus Owls – July 2nd, 2022 (5:15 pm).
- Jo Passed – July 2nd, 2022 (7:00 pm).
- The Suffers – July 2nd, 2022 (8:45 pm).
- Kealoha – July 3rd, 2022 (12:30 pm).
- Parlour Panther – July 3rd, 2022 (1:45 pm).
- Alvaro Rojas’ Gran Kasa – July 3rd, 2022 (3:30 pm).
- Tonye Aganaba – July 3rd, 2022 (5:15 pm).
- The Modelos – July 3rd, 2022 (7:00 pm).
- Jeff Parker DJ Set – July 3rd, 2022 (8:45 pm).
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.
Note: There were four performances at this venue over the Canada Day long weekend last year.
- Thad Bailey-Mai Quartet – July 2nd, 2022 (3:00 pm).
- Omianan – July 2nd, 2022 (6:00 pm).
- Mike Bjella Quartet – July 3rd, 2022 (3:00 pm).
- Jocelyn Waugh Quartet – July 3rd, 2022 (6:00 pm).
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:
- Festivals & Events Calendar
- Vancouver Summer Activities
- June Events Calendar
- July Events Calendar
- Vancouver Shows & Entertainment