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North Shore Jazz festival features free outdoor shows and exciting concerts in two beautiful theatres

The 23rd annual event will take place across multiple venues in North Vancouver and beyond, with can’t-miss performances from old favourites, as well as soon-to-be new ones

The 23rd annual North Shore Jazz Series features highlights galore, but it’s the “first-time-ever” presentations that make this year’s edition stand out.

Of course, North Shore Jazz, June 23 to July 2, again features free and ticketed shows in multiple venues. But this year, the series – produced by BlueShore Theatre at Capilano University in partnership with Vancouver International Jazz Festival – includes two new theatres and a new outdoor venue.       

Celebrated Canadian jazz artist Molly Johnson makes her North Shore Jazz debut Saturday, June 24 at 8 p.m. at the series’ new theatre Fei & Milton Wong Experimental Theatre at SFU Woodwards. The Juno Award-winner’s records include her funky 2018 release Meaning To Tell Ya and an homage to Billie Holiday.

Making their North America debut is the amazing Sumrrá, from Spain. Together for 23 years, the trio’s incredible synergy allows them to stretch creatively so audiences can expect exciting, unique jazz at North Shore Jazz’s’ other new theatre, Shadbolt Centre for the Arts,  Tuesday, June 27, at 8 p.m.

Molly Johnson. Photo via: Chris Nicholls Photography.

Also at the Shadbolt, CapU jazz faculty member Daniel Hersog will debut his 18-piece jazz orchestra Monday, June 26, at 7:30 p.m. The big band performs music from sophomore album Open Spaces (Folk Songs Reimagined), a treasure trove of alluring interpretations of folk classics by Gordon Lightfoot and others, as well as a brace of folk-inspired Hersog originals. New York’s Scott Robinson and Noah Preminger join a stellar crew, including Brad Turner, Bruno Hubert and Bernie Arai.

To inaugurate North Shore Jazz’s newest outdoor venue, Shipbuilders Square at the Shipyards, Scott Smith and the Evil Ways celebrate the music of Santana, Sunday, July 2, at 7 p.m. Honouring the same lineup of the original Santana band that made three groundbreaking albums between 1969 and 1971 and stunned the world with their legendary appearance at the Woodstock Festival, the group features the breathtaking guitar chops of Vancouver-based Smith and his premiere band of conga, timbales, drums, bass and organ players. During hits like “Black Magic Woman,” and “One Como Va” dancing at this free show is highly encouraged!

Four more North Shore Jazz shows are also free.

Steelin’ In The Years. Photo via: Sheila Say.

Native American musical powerhouse Charly Lowry, from North Carolina, wows at West Vancouver Memorial Library on June 23, at 7:30 p.m. 

A blend of Middle Eastern, Asian and Quebecois folk music, Nazih Borish, from Montreal, joins Joutou/Silk Road for an afternoon outdoor concert at North Vancouver Civic Plaza on June 24, at 1 p.m. 

Steely Dan fans won’t want to miss Steelin’ In the Years, a fantastic, all-star, 11-member homage to the band on June 25, at 1 p.m., outdoors at Lynn Valley Village. 

And stellar R&B and funk singer Krystle Dos Santos performs with her powerful trio in an afternoon concert on July 2, at 1 p.m., at North Vancouver Civic Plaza.

For more information on all performances, as well as tickets to BlueShore at CapU shows, visit