August 19

THE KENSINGTON MARKET JAZZ FESTIVAL 2018, with 400 musicians playing over 200 shows is less than a month away! It starts Friday, Saturday, Sunday September 14th, 15th& 16th

THE KENSINGTON MARKET JAZZ FESTIVAL 2018, where 400 musicians play over 200 shows is less than a month away! It starts Friday, Saturday, Sunday September 14, 15, 16, and this year will be the best one yet. Deemed by Brad Wheeler of the Globe and Mail as “wildly successful,” the new kid on the Toronto jazz festival block is the brainchild of founding director, acclaimed musician, philanthropist and Officer of the Order of Canada, Molly Johnson. Born in Kensington Market, she dreamt of creating this festival for years as inspired by playing European festivals. Since the spring of 2016, with the help of musicians Ori Dagan and Genevieve Marentette, and social media maven Celine Peterson, Johnson has been spearheading an annual celebration of Toronto culture and talent.


“What makes the weekend so magical is the coming together of the Kensington Market neighbourhood and Toronto’s music community. Musicians, audiences, volunteers and participating businesses are what make this festival what it is,” says Johnson. “CASH ONLY at the door means an ENGAGED AUDIENCE. Our goal is to have sold out shows at every venue and we work very hard using social media and hard-working volunteers to stuff those venues with people who love live music  as well as Kensington Market.”


And here’s where you come in. We’d love for you to host a set, a venue, a night, or as much or little as you can! The scripts will all be written for you, and of course, you can add your own flourishes, and kick off that part as only you can. The Google doc spreadsheet is here and it’s based on a first-come, choose your spot method. We would be honoured for you to be a part of the festival!


There are two brand new venues this year which the KMJF is particularly excited about engaging with: The Kiever Synagogue (25 Bellevue Ave), St. Stephen-In-the-Fields Church (102 Bellevue Ave), with more to be announced this summer. Returning participating venues include: Handlebar (159 Augusta Ave), Hotbox Cafe (204 Augusta Ave), Poetry Jazz Cafe (224 Augusta Ave),  Supermarket (268 Augusta Ave), Pamenar Cafe (307 Augusta Ave), Lola’s (20 Kensington Ave) to name a few. For the third year, Tom’s Place (191 Baldwin Street) will host the Piano Room featuring a Yamaha Grand and a dozen of Canada’s best pianists throughout the weekend.



Born and raised in Kensington Market, singer-songwriter and philanthropist Molly Johnson O.C., had been dreaming of this festival for years. On September 16th, 2016, her dream came true. Together with her founding team members Ori Dagan and Genevieve Marentette, Social Media Director Céline Peterson, members of the Kensington Market community and countless volunteers, KMJF was born.
Kensington Market Jazz Festival is proud to showcase hundreds of established musicians on the Toronto jazz scene, in one of the city’s most vibrant neighbourhoods, in the heart of Toronto’s heritage district. Over the last two years, KMJF has presented over 320 concerts, with over 500 musicians, 25 venues and the help of over 150 volunteers. Leading in to the third year of KMJF (September , the KMJF team are hard at work curating and preparing for what is sure to be the most exciting year yet. Under the Kensington Market Jazz umbrella, there have been many other projects that have come to life in the last three years, including winter and spring series in the market, two live recordings, and in April 2018, KMJF Kids Music was launched in partnership with the festival’s patron saint, Tom Mihalik of Tom’s Place, Yamaha Canada Music Ltd., Discovery Through The Arts, Youth Arcade Studio, and St. Stephen’s Community Centre. KMJF has recently received an operations grant from the Ontario Arts Council alongside continued support from Slaight Music and other private donors.
The Kensington Market Jazz Festival is proud to be an artist-run, volunteer-driven festival that has been met with overwhelming support. KMJF wishes to honour the history in the market and strives to ensure that our vision remains in-tune with that of the neighbourhood. We look forward to presenting more music in 2018 with the addition of a couple new venues and some exciting partnerships, and invite you to join in the excitement!


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We would like to thank Eric Alper for the invitation to this event and all the infor