Nanaimo Jazz Festival

September 12, 2017


For 3 days and nights, downtown Nanaimo will jump with the beats and grooves of live jazz, including a New Orleans-style “second line” parade starting in the Old City Quarter. Decorate an umbrella, join The Second Line, Dance! Jam!....

Enjoy free Jazz in Diana Krall Plaza - see our schedule below - the NMA Band, The Dukes of Wellington, The Blues Blasters, and The Freedom Gospel Choir - as well as Decadence at Pioneer Plaza! 

And come dance to Andrew Homzy's 10-piece band, the NOLA NightHawks at the historic Dorchester Hotel on Friday, September 15 at 7:30pm. Only 200 tickets will be sold.

Of course, we wouldn’t want you to miss our Headline concert at the Port Theatre on Saturday, September 17 at 7:30 - From New Orleans, the John Ellis Quintet, Double Wide. John has recorded nine CDs under his own name and more than 100 CDs with the A-list jazz musicians in New York.  Double Wide, which has made three CDs, features Sousaphone virtuoso Matt Perrine -  award-winning drummer, Joe Dyson, Jr., trombonist/big band leader Alan Ferber, and pianist/composer John Chin. This is truly an all-star group, as their links reveal.

Many of you will know Rick Scott of Pied Pumpkin and his music for children - but not with a connection with jazz. Rick has joined with pianist Nico Rhodes to play music such as you’ve never heard - Roots and Grooves - rhythmic, creative, thoroughly enjoyable - jazzy. Did we mention that Rick plays the Appalachian dulcimer?  Hear them in concert - with the Greg Bush Sextet at our beautiful Port Theatre on Sunday, September 17 at 4:00.

Nine jazz events in three days? Why not stay a night or two at Nanaimo’s historic Best Western Dorchester Hotel? All events are Downtown - just a few steps away - and two of them are in the Dorchester’s “Opera Room”.

Do you have children - or grandchildren? Bring them to our Port Theatre events for only $5 per student - eyeGO. Give them the opportunity to hear and see something which may not be a part of their musical experience.

Jazz music is both fun and artistic. Born in New Orleans, jazz has profoundly influenced other music throughout the world.

Thanks to the members, our non-profit society jazz has a stronger voice in the cultural milieux as well as a discount for you on concerts and merchandise. has all the details about all nine events - even a New Orleans style parade. Decorate an umbrella and join "The Second Line”.

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"Nanaimo Arts Council acknowledges with gratitude that we are on the traditional and unceded territory of the Snuneymuxw First Nation."