Previous events

Juno Award winner saxophonist Kirk MacDonald with Special Guests

Joan Harris Cruise Pavilion Big Fiddle, Esplanade, Sydney

Juno Award winner saxophonist Kirk MacDonald of Toronto will highlight the evening along with ECMA award winner trumpet player Paul Tynan of Antigonish who will lead an of hot and cool jazz backed by a rhythm section of some of Cape Breton's top players. Opening the show will be clarinet player Virginia MacDonald and guitar player Lucian Gray.

The Booty Boppin' Brass Band

Sydney Waterfront, Near the Big Fiddle , Sydney, Nova Scotia

Led by Halifax Trumpet player and vocalist Mike Cowie with a selection of some of Atlantic Canada's top jazz players, this high energy band includes: Rick Waychesko on trumpet, Martin Davidson on tenor sax, Dan Martin on trombone and vocals, Pierre Devillers on Tuba, and Dave Burton on drums. The group will have people dancing in the aisles.

The Booty Boppin' Brass Band plays blues based high energy music with driving 2nd line, Funk, Hip Hop and Latin beats. The BBBB is about impossible horn arrangements, a Sousaphone that doesn't stop and fun vocals.

The Booty Boppin’ Brass Band gets our audience singing, stomping, and playing percussion on stage with us - we also feature some cool choreography and audience march throughs.

The BBBB was featured on the main stage at The 2016 Halifax Jazz Festival with Preservation Hall. In 2017 the band is featured 5 times on the CBC stage during the Halifax Tall Ships Festival.

New York Stories: Jazz crooner Micah Barnes and acclaimed pianist Holly Arsenault

Joan Harris Cruise Pavilion, 60 Esplanade, Sydney, Nova Scotia

“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! 

Jazz Fest Celebration Featuring Lots of Local Performers

Joan Harris Cruise Pavilion, 60 Esplanade, Sydney, Nova Scotia

Some of the local jazz performers expected to be on stage include saxophone players Russell LeBlanc, Bruce McKinley, and Matt Nicholson. Along with guitar players Doug Johnson, Scott Rodney, and Chris McDonald, drummers Ethan Ardelli, and Johnny Hawkins, and vocalist Debbie Keating. and others.

Outside the Jazz Box: Dwayne Cote and Jason MacDonald; Also Crowdis Bridge, Jordan Musycsyn

Joan Harris Cruise Pavilion, 60 Esplanade , Sydney, Nova Scotia

The word jazz is often unclear. This year the Cape Breton Jazz Festival presents music which often has been considered as 'outside the jazz box'. Outstanding Cape Breton Fiddler Dwayne Cote and guitarist Jason MacDonald will heat the audience up with their energetic playing. As a further treat, the Cape Breton group Crowds Bridge and solo musician Jordan Musycsyn will showcase their talents during this fun evening.

Blues with the Whiskysmoke Blues Band

 —  —

Outdoor Beer Garden Show in Membertou, Membertou Trade and Convention Centre, Membertou, Nova Scotia

Fill up your evening with Blues music which begins at 8 pm and continues until midnight. Theresa Malenfant and Scott Medford will open the evening followed by the Whiskeysmoke Blues Band. This event is presented as a partnership between The 'Ride for the Cure', in conjunction with the Cape Breton Bike Rally, and the Cape Breton Jazz Festival.

Kicking off the 2018 Cape Breton Jazz Festival is a Festival favourite the Bill Stevenson Trio. Based in Halifax, the trio which consists of Bill on piano, Geoff Arsenault on drums, and Ron Hines on bass never fails to deliver a high energy soulful performance. Through Bill's rich vocals and elegant yet blues filled piano playing the group entertains audiences with songs sung and played from throughout the jazz era - songs from the Great American Songbook, and from the lexicon of blues and popular standards. Sit back and enjoy or dance to this classy presentation of fun filled music.