Background of the Markham Jazz Festival

Jazz for the community

In 1997, local residents Hal Hill and his wife Chris came up with the idea of holding a jazz festival in Markham to bring great music to the community. Hal was a well-known jazz authority, broadcaster, concert producer and the author of “Jazz Canadiana.” With the assistance of a team of volunteers, the Markham Jazz Festival made its debut in 1998 –  to critical acclaim.

Since then, the MJF has garnered a reputation as one of the finer community jazz festivals in Canada, thanks to its innovative programming and unique setting. Diverse and eclectic performers are drawn from the cream of the crop of Canadian jazz artists and from several other countries, including the U.S.A., Cuba and Japan. The Festival’s repertoire spans many genres ­– from traditional, swing and Dixieland to Latin, fusion, world and contemporary jazz.

Take a look at some of the artists who have graced our stages.

  • Guitarist Jeff Healy
  • Pianist Oliver Jones
  • Rob McConnell
  • International jazz star Fred Hersch
  • Violinist Mireille Proulx
  • Legendary proto-bopper Michael Pickett
  • Jazz vocalists and theatrical stars Lyne Tremblay and Ranee Lee
  • Latin trumpeter Nic Ali and “Cruzao”
  • Cornetist Warren Vache
  • Boogie woogie pianist Michael Kaeshammer
  • Dynamic Gospel trio “Revelation Three”
  • Jazz song and lyric writer Bob Dorough
  • Toronto Mass Choir
  • Cimarron with Luis Mario Ochoa
  • June Garber
  • DEW East
  • Tom Van Seters
  • Hilario Duran Big Band
  • Flying Bulgar Klesmer Band
  • P.J Perry
  • Reg Schwager
  • Russell Malone
  • Monte Alexander
  • Sam Rivers
  • Dave Young
  • Chase Sanborm
  • Kevin Clark
  • Autorickshaw
  • Ted Quinlan
  • Shakura S’aida
  • Russ Little
  • Vanessa Rodrigues
  • Heather Bambrick
  • Barry Elmes
  • Marc Jordan
  • Tony Monaco
  • Monkey Junk
  • Bruce Cockburn
  • Dee Dee Bridgewater
  • Dan Hill
  • Dr. Lonnie Smith