Navigating the festival

I was interviewed this past Monday for a publicity piece about Toronto events which will air in Buffalo and Rochester, and one of the questions asked was: "How does someone navigate the festival?" It's a good question - with over 300 shows at 60 venues in ten days, it can be overwhelming to figure out what to see, and where to see it! So - here now are my thoughts on navigating the 25th TD Toronto Jazz Festival...

We've spent a lot of time over the past year ensuring that our website is as user-friendly as possible. Starting at the home page - with its listing of twelve of the festival's biggest shows - you can search the festival's listings by artist, date, venue, genre and instrument, or use the general search box to enter your own terms. You can also click on "Calendar" to get a run-down of all of the jazz activity happening during the festival, whether on official festival stages or in the forty local clubs booking their own acts.

You can also find information on how to get to the festival, hotel and ticket packages, local attractions and dining options. Whether you live in town or out, we've got everything you need for a va - or stay - cation.

Pick up a brochure
Our brochure is jam-packed with listings for every show happening over the festival's ten days: official festival shows, club shows, free workshops and events - it's like having the entire festival in your pocket! We're finishing off distribution now; by the end of the week you'll be able to pick up a brochure at HMV, Bay Bloor Radio and all festival venues; after May 18 you'll also find them at all GTA TD Canada Trust branches.

Visit us at Metro Square!
As you may have heard, our main hub this year is at Metro Square, 221 King Street West, in the entertainment district, between Simcoe and John Streets (see the map). We've got free shows on the square starting each day at noon (12 pm), followed by the 2 pm workshops, the 5:30 pm concerts, and each evening's featured concert, as well as vendors, JAZZ.FM91, and an HMV Store - it will be quite the hive of activity! Drop by anytime to take in the festival atmosphere and speak with one of over 200 volunteers who help to make the festival a success each year. They'll be able to answer any of your jazz festival-related questions, including who to see, where to buy tickets, where to eat, and more!

The Artistic Director's Guide to Jazz
Created last year, the Artistic Director's Guide to Jazz allows me to delve a little more deeply into the artists who are appearing at the festival. There are two versions of the Guide: online, I go "beyond the bio", providing additional background information, video and audio clips, and my personal take on why each artist is worth seeing. We're also once again planning for three live editions of the guide. During each live session, I'll be chatting with a local jazz expert about a series of concerts at the festival in a relaxed environment - a great way to find out more about the artists (including audio clips and personal anecdotes), meet a local jazz musician, and say hi to the festival's Artistic Director (me!). More details on the live sessions will be available soon; in the meantime, please visit the Artistic Director's Guide to Jazz online.

So - there are four ways to navigate the variety of activity which makes up the TD Toronto Jazz Festival. In addition, you can contact us by email or phone, visit us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.

We look forward to seeing you in June!


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