With a lineup focusing on gender representation, LGBTQ+ representation, cultural diversity, and emerging artists, JazzInToronto’s College Street Jazz Festival will showcase some of the best and most exciting talent Toronto has to offer.

The three-day event runs April 21–23, and the lineup this year is comprised of 95% women artists, and includes a wonderful mixture of seasoned performers and emerging artists. Performers include Laila Biali (JUNO-winning musician and CBC Radio host) and Alison Young (JUNO nominee and 2-time Winner for Horn Player of Year at the Maple Blues Awards). Other artists include Carlie Howell & La-Nai GabrielChloe WatkinsonQueen Pepper, DIJLAH, Trash Panda Brass, Racha Moukalled, Grapevine and Jennifer Lo trio.

“The live music scene in our city bursts with talent and diversity, making ours a unique meeting place unlike any other,” said Ori Dagan, JazzInToronto’s artistic director. “We really wanted to celebrate that this year, and to be honest, even within the focus on women’s talent, it was extremely difficult to decide who to highlight.”

All concerts will take place in College Street venues, and the goal is to bring together musicians, venues, and fans in celebration of having survived the challenging times we’ve all faced over the course of the pandemic.

Performances will be held at the following six venues: Revival Bar, The Emmet Ray, Free Times Cafe, Bar Pompette, College St. United Church, and Sellers & Newel.

The festival’s opening-night party will take place at Free Times Cafe (320 College Street), which has presented more than 10,000 nights of live music since opening in 1980. Rising-star pianist Jennifer Lo will kick things off before the festival launches into a fun and lively jam session that will showcase a wide variety of the Toronto jazz community’s members.

The headlining program is as follows:

(And the complete, more jam-packed program of all performances is available here.)

 April 22, 7:30pm: Carlie Howell & La-Nai Gabriel at The Emmet Ray: 


April 22, 9:30pm: Alison Young at The Emmet Ray:


April 22, 11:30pm: Chloe Watkinson at The Emmet Ray:


April 23, 4pm: Meridian Credit Union presents Laila Biali at College Street United Church:


April 23, 7pm: Grand Finale Triple Bill at Revival: Trash Panda Brass, DIJLAH, Queen Pepper:


About The Author

CEO: Chief Entertainment Officer

René Samulewitsch @ReneandI is a globetrotter with a hunger for adventure, but at heart, he will always be an urban tourist with big love for Toronto. When not busy with his day job as a PR strategist, he spends his time exploring the city’s culture and entertainment venues. Rene has a passion for sharing experiences, and truly believes in the power of word of mouth. Favourite place in Toronto: Kensington Market in the Summer as there’s always something new to discover. Queen Street for the urban vibe and King Street to let loose and party.

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