Renee Rosnes, Laila Biali, Al Muirhead among performers for this year’s JazzYYC summer fest

Event continues to expand and grow in its third year, with new series, new venues and more ways for Calgarians to experience the music.

From one day dedicated to jazz to an entire weekend.

On Sunday, United Nations designated International Jazz Day, the cats at JazzYYC unveiled their lineup for this year’s Summer Jazz Festival, taking place June 15 to 18 in the city.

And, much like the expansion from the one event to the next, on this, the third official year for the fest, it continues to grow and add events.

The 2017 festival features an amazing array of Calgary, Canadian and international stars with even more ways to get involved and experience the music in some pretty special settings.

New this year is the MainStage @ MRU event on Saturday, June 17, which will feature prairie-born, perennial Juno-winner, pianist and composer Renee Rosnes in duo with bassist Neil Swainson at the TransAlta Pavilion in the Taylor Centre for the Performing Arts.

The main venue for the fest will once again be the Ironwood Stage and Grill, right in the heart of Inglewood. And along with the room’s ticketed Canadian Series, which will feature performances by local legend Al Muirhead and fave Cheryl Fisher, as well as T.O.-based Laila Biali, Halifax’s Gypsophilia, and a Sax Summit with Montreal’s Joel Miller Quartet and Calgary native Brett McDonald’s quartet, there will be, for the first time a Late Night Series. The all-Alberta acts performing the evening shows include the Jim Brenan 10tet +1 featuring Jon Day, Mallory Chipman  and the aforementioned Brett McDonald Quartet, who will host the wrap party and jam session on Sunday, June 18.

The final ticketed group of shows during the JazzYYC Summer Jazz Festival is the Late Night International Series, which includes: Argentina’s Gabriel Palatchi at Lolita’s on June 15; Japanese act the Nobuki Taken Trio the next night at Lolita’s; and New York-Toronto mashup with Nick Fraser, Kris Davis and the Tony Malaby Trio at the King Eddy on June 17.

Other events throughout the weekend include free workshops at the National Music Centre and the signature free JazzWalk on the Sunday afternoon, which features dozens of performances throughout the city — the full schedule and lineup to be unveiled at the end of May.

Tickets for the shows are now on sale from the official JazzYYC site, with a new partnership between the organization and TD Canada Trust to sponsor the education programs also meaning that students can knock $10 off the cost of the ticketed shows.

JazzYYC Summer Jazz Festival runs June 15 to 18 at various locations around Calgary. For tickets and information please click here.

Mike Bell has been covering the Calgary music scene for the past 25 years with publications such as VOX, Fast Forward, the Calgary Sun and, most recently, the Calgary Herald. He is currently the music writer and content editor for, and the co-host of the show Saved By the Bell, which airs Wednesdays from 4-6 p.m. on CJSW 90.9 FM. Follow him on Twitter/@mrbell_23 or email him at He likes beer. Buy him one.