Cape Breton Jazz Festival





August 2-11, 2018


Most Evening Concerts 2018 to be held:

Joan Harris Cruise Pavilion (Big Fiddle) , 60 Esplanade, Sydney, NS B1P 1A1 


Full Schedule for the 2018 to be During June 2018



Thursday, August 9 2018 at 7:30 pm Joan Harris Cruise Pavilion, Sydney

New York Stories with former Nylon Group singer Micah Barnes and Jazz Pianist Holly Arsenault! 

“New York Stories” takes audiences on a musical tour of The Big Apple starting uptown at The Apollo Theatre and The Cotton Club and moving midtown to Times Square & Broadway before landing downtown at legendary Jazz Clubs such as Birdland and The Blue Note in The Village!   

Canadian Jazz crooner, Micah Barnes and critically acclaimed Jazz Pianist Holly Arsenault will be performing classic songs from legendary New York songwriters like Irving Berlin, George Gershwin, Cole Porter, Fats Waller, Duke Ellington, Carole King & Burt Bacharach, as well as material from Micah’s critically acclaimed album “New York Stories” (eOne Music) which he and Holly are touring the Atlantic provinces with! 

Don’t miss the chance to spend an evening in Manhattan! 

Video link:







 Highlights From 2017:




 Guitarist/Vocalist: Mike Rud


 Pianist/Vocalist: Steve Amirault



Island to Island Cuban Group Los Primos:


Featuring Augusto Enriquez and Jeff Goodspeed



Steppin’ Out :


Vocals by Kevin Colford on Classic Jazz Standards




Ethan Ardelli Quartet:


featuring:  Kirk MacDonald (sax)

 Ted Quinlan (guitar), Steve Amirault (piano),

Eric Burke (bass, Ethan Ardelli (drums)



Cookin’ Blues Night:


Joe Murphy Band,

featuring Curtis Matheson on guitar


Dan Dorion Band



Festival Closing Party:


Joe Waye, Michele Stephens, Carl Getto,


Charlotte MacDonald, Red Mike MacDonald,


Johnny Hawkins, and others




Festival Performers


Kirk MacDonald, Island to Island Presents Los Primos, Augusto

Enriquez, Jeff Goodspeed, Matt MacLennan, Shelley Allen,

EthanArdelli, Kevin Colford, Red Mike MacDonald,

Ken Howatson, Steve MacInnis,

Bruce MacKinley, Russell LeBlanc, Ronnie Leadbeater, Peter

MacDonald, Mike Rud, Steve Amirault, Ted Quinlan,

Eric Burke,

Joe Murphy Blues Band, Dan Doiron Blues Band,

Curtis Matheson,

Joe Waye, Michele Stephens, Johnny Hawkins,

Carl Getto, ChrisMcDonald, Charlotte MacDonald, Take Note

Drummers, Scott Rodney,

Matthew  Nicholson, Doug Johnson, Tyler MacDonald, and others




Phone Carl at 902-565-1092


2017 Community Sponsors:


Hearthstone Inn,

Coastal Community Radio,

New Dawn,



Cape Breton Regional Municipality,

Destination Cape Breton,

Nkearns Event and Project Solutions,

Coda Recording Studio.



New York Stories with former Nylon Group singer Micah Barnes and Jazz Pianist Holly Arsenault! 

New York Stories with former Nylon Group singer Micah Barnes and Jazz Pianist Holly Arsenault! 

Past Press Releases


                Three Juno Award Winning Artists  

           Kirk MacDonald, Mike Rud, Steve Amirault  

To Highlight 2017 Cape Breton Jazz and World Music Festival




Guitarist and vocalist Mike Rud from Montreal, pianist and vocalist Steve Amirault from Toronto, along with iconic tenor  saxophonist Kirk MacDonald of Toronto and formerly from New Waterford, NS, who fresh off his European jazz tour will headline this year's Festival. All have been past winners of a Juno Award, symbolic of outstanding music achievement in Canada. The three performers will be playing at the Heartstone Inn on Kings Rd. in Sydney, during the week long Festival. Rud and Amirault are scheduled to appear at the Festival on Wednesday, August 9. Amirault will also appear with the Ethan Ardelli Group on Thursday at the Hearthstone Inn. Tickets cost $20 in advance at $25 at the door. Locations for advance ticket sales will be announced shortly.


A Cookin' Blues Night Will Be A Special Feature of the 2017 Cape Breton Jazz Festival: Joe Murphy and Dan Doiron on Friday, August 11 2017


Long time Nova Scotian blues player Joe Murphy and his band, along with Dan Doiron of Halifax and his band will headline a 'cookin' blues night' at the 2017 Cape Breton Jazz Festival. The blues night which promises to generate an evening of hot blues will be held on Friday, August 11 at the Hearthstone Inn in Sydney.  Joe Murphy has been entertaining audiences for many years in and around Halifax, and has shared the stage with most of Atlantic Canada's blues players. Doiron, a Port Hood, NS  native,  is delighted to return to Cape Breton to display his blues prowess. Doiron is an oustanding blues guitarist who has performed at the Halifax Jazz Festival. Both bands will have their audiences up and dancing. 


Canadian Jazz Guitarist Ted Quinlan To Appear At 2017 Cape Breton Jazz Festival: Thursday, August 10 2017

TED QUINLAN (guitarist, writer, educator) is respected as one of Canada’s most multi-faceted jazz musicians, highly skilled as a solo jazz guitarist, session player, writer, and dedicated educator. He is a sought-after sideman, frequently appearing with the “who’s who” of Canadian jazz artists on concert stages, in clubs, and in jazz festivals from coast-to-coast. Throughout his abiding career, he has performed with some of the biggest international jazz stars including Freddie Baker, Chet Baker, Eddie Harris, Jimmy Smith, and Joey DeFrancesco. Ted will be performing with of several outstanding jazz players on Thursday, August 10 at the Hearthstone Inn in Sydney, NS.


Drummer Ethan Ardelli To Bring His Group of Outstanding Jazz Players to Jazz Festival Stage; Saxophonist Kirk MacDonald Added To Program: Thursday, August 10 2017


Drummer Ethan Ardelli has become one of the top jazz drummers on the Toronto jazz scene, since moving from Cape Breton to Toronto several years ago. Ethan has played with most of Toronto's top jazz players, and is on their list of drummers to call when they need to have a soulful jazz drumming feel to power their rhythm section. For this gig, Ethan has put together a group which consists of Ted Quinlan on guitar, Cape Bretoner and world traveler Eric Burke on bass, Steve Amirault on piano, and Ethan himself on drums. They will be joined on stage by Kirk MacDonald, a Juno Award winner, and one of Canada's  top jazz tenor saxophone players. They will be playing on Thursday, August 10 at the Hearthstone Inn in Sydney. 


Kevin Colford: Steppin Out - Vocal Arrangements of Classic Jazz Standards  August 7 2017

Vocalist Kevin Colford of Sydney, Nova Scotia will front a  roup of Cape Breton musicians  who together will present a show of arrangements of classic jazz standards.  Joining Kevin on stage on Monday, August 7, 2017, will be Red Mike MacDonald on bass guitar, Ken Howatson on trombone, Steve MacInnis trumpet, Bruce MacKinlay on alto sax, Russell LeBlanc on tenor sax, Ronnie Leadbeater on drums, Peter MacDonald on piano. The classic vocal standards will include songs by Michael Buble, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Tony Bennett, Nat King Cole, Diana Krall. The tunes will range from fast and slow, including swing, dixieland, and polkas. The show will take place at the Hearthstone Inn. Tickets cost $20 in advance at $25 at the door. Locations for advance ticket sales will be announced shortly.


The Cape Breton Jazz Festival is quickly becoming a major festival on the Cape Breton music scene, especially encouraging visitors to Cape Breton to extend their stay to take advantage of the eclectic music offering.


Join our mailing list for the latest news