Bringing jazz to the residents of Niagara-on-the-Lake, the Twilight Jazz Series recently expanded its showcase to offer an outlet for local jazz fans.
On the third Sunday of every month until June 2019, Cork’s Playhouse Theatre will feature a steady flow of jazz musicians.
Fans can also still expect shows at Mahtay Café and Lounge in St. Catharines on the first Sunday of the month throughout the series.
Juliet Dunn, executive director, artistic producer and co-creator of the TD Niagara Jazz Festival, says she saw an opening for more jazz in NOTL, “A lot of residents of NOTL really liked jazz. The timing was just right.”
Dunn says there are a lot of great venues for live rock and alternative music in the area, but jazz was something she felt was lacking.
Each month boasts a new theme showcasing a variety of jazz styles. Part of its aim is to show music-goers that jazz isn’t as static as expected. She says some people hear the word jazz and they have certain expectations. “The word jazz has a stigma around it.”
She’s trying to show them that it can be so much more.
Dunn updated the marketing angle to attract a variety of people. With themed shows each month she says they can showcase a wider range of styles, drawing people out that otherwise might not have attended.
“Everything this season has sold out so far. Changing the marketing angle has helped a lot.”
Employing a variety of jazz musicians, the festival aims to keep things local. Dunn says that while she strives to hire local artists, she also brings some in from all over. “Part of our mandate is to employ local musicians. It’s nice to help and contribute to what they can offer.”
Dan Plunkett, owner of DPLU Music, a sponsor of the Twilight Jazz Festival, says it’s a great community event. “We’ve had some great performances so far. It always draws a really great crowd.”
Plunkett says they were happy to expand. “It’s been a great cultural experience for Niagara, I’m glad to be a part of it in NOTL.”
This month the theme is January Blues.
Avery Cantello Blues Band can be found at Cork’s Playhouse Theatre on Jan. 20.