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Markham Jazz Festival Newsletter
July 15, 2021

TD Markham Jazz Festival Announces Virtual Festival August 20-22, 2021!

To all our loyal Jazz Fans!

As we all know, a “normal” festival is again impossible this year, so we will be mainly virtual.  Our virtual festival will take place August 20 – 22 and will comprise more than 15 hours of programming – kind of like one movie that spans the entire weekend!  What a huge job!  Sarah Kim Turnbull, our artistic director is spearheading the production, which will include approximately 17 concerts featuring some of Toronto’s most beloved, professional jazz groups.   All of these concerts have been live-taped in advance, in various locations such as Pfaff Dealerships, the Biltmore Theatre in Oshawa and even outdoors behind the McKay Art Gallery on Main Street Unionville, where we would normally have our Beer and Wine Garden Stage.  And what a challenge it was to do these tapings where so few people could meet indoors due to pandemic restrictions!  But we got it done!
Our broadcast which will start Friday evening, run all day and evening on Saturday, and conclude on Sunday afternoon will, in addition to professionally produced concerts, also feature interviews with many luminaries in the jazz world as well as other surprises.
We know that you don’t want to spend a glorious weekend in the summer glued to your devices  at home, so we will be providing (a little closer to the event) a complete schedule of who is performing and at what time!
All streaming free to you from:
Here are a few early artist announcements to whet your appetite for fabulous live jazz and blues!  Many more announcements to follow. 

Tak Arikushi

Tak Arikushi is a veteran of the Canadian Jazz Manouche scene (also known as “Gypsy Jazz”) who started in Vancouver before relocating to Toronto. Now, he leads his own project, Onyuuden, an exploration of the crossroads between Japanese culture and jazz music. It combines the red-hot swing in the style of Django Reinhardt and the introverted moods of traditional Japanese music. His single Sakura Swing has been featured multiple times on CBC radio. For his TDMJF appearance, he’s joined by Mo Mitchell on violin, Jared Higgins on guitar and Alex Fournier on bass.

Jenie Thai

A classically trained pianist who plays gritty barrelhouse piano steeped in the blues, Jenie Thai also writes and sings tough and tender ballads. In Edmonton, Jenie attended Grant MacEwan University’s jazz and contemporary music program as a performance major. Her first full-length album, 2013’s Only the Moon, received extensive airplay, and she’s earned three Maple Blues award nominations since 2016. After touring Canada with her latest album, Night on Fire, Jenie is opening for Downchild Blues Band as they celebrate their 50th anniversary.

Elmer Ferrer

A 2021 Juno nominee for his most recent album, “Básico, no Básico y Dirigido,” Elmer Ferrer is a multi-award-winning guitarist, composer and producer now based in Toronto. Elmer is one of the most versatile and prolific Cuban musicians on the music scene. He has recorded over 150 CDs, including two Latin Grammy-nominated albums, and performed with Zucchero, Chucho Valdes, and Sting among many. Recent work includes recording and touring with Canadian fiddlers Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy, Mark Kelso & the Jazz Exiles and the Larnell Lewis Band.


Electrifying Toronto jazz drummer Ernesto Cervini radiates energy from behind his kit and on multiple musical and educational projects. With his JUNO-winning sextet Turboprop, Cervini creates a landscape of musical textures and moods on which these monster musicians can play. The band features his regular quartet mates of Joel Frahm on tenor saxophone, Adrean Farrugia on piano and Dan Loomis on bass, plus Tara Davidson on alto saxophone and William Carn on trombone. Their JUNO-award winning third album, Abundance, was released in the fall of 2018.
Turboprop – Ernesto Cervini

We are busy updating our website to provide you with all the information you need to enjoy this incredible weekend of entertainment.   Please visit us often at our website at

Finally Live and In-Person Jazz:  Our next e-newsletter will be devoted to our LIVE CONCERT to be held at the Hilton Toronto Markham Suites – on the rooftop in the Zen garden!  This will be ticketed...more to follow!

See you there!
The TD Markham Jazz Festival is a not-for-profit organization with a mandate to enrich cultural life in the region by bringing emerging and established jazz artists to Markham for all to enjoy. Established in 1998, the festival draws more than 25,000 residents and visitors to the streets of Unionville during the third weekend in August. Local and international artists deliver over 30 open-air performances during the weekend as well as in selected “hot spots” and at a ticketed opening-night concert. During the year, the festival hosts “Hot Spot Concerts” at selected venues in Markham. TD Canada Trust became its title sponsor in 2014.

Contact Christie Day, Executive Director, at:
(647) 983-7777  
Copyright © 2021 Markham Jazz Festival, All rights reserved.

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