3 DAYS OF TORONTO JAZZ IN THE HERITAGE NEIGHBOURHOOD KENSINGTON MARKET
Born and raised in Kensington Market, singer-songwriter and philanthropist Molly Johnson O.O.C. had been dreaming of this festival for years. On September 16th, 2016, her dream came true. Thanks to her founding team, Genevieve Marentette, Ori Dagan, community members, and countless volunteers, KMJF was born!
Celebrating Eight Years of Jazz Excellence
Now in its 8th year, the Kensington Market Jazz Festival (KMJF) will showcase over 200 of Toronto’s finest musicians in 92 shows. Experience Canadian jazz in Toronto's vibrant heart and heritage district. Under our theme "BETTER, NOT BIGGER," we're fuelled by over 100 volunteers, from September 29 to October 1, to whom we extend our highest gratitude.
Festival Highlights for 2023
Opening Street March: The Shuffle Demons and The Heavyweights Brass Band.
Intimate Piano Sessions at Tom's Place hosted by John Devenish.
The Slaight Music Big Band Stage at El Gordo's Backyard hosted by Jaymz Bee, with one of our very special guests LIGHTHOUSE, back for their second year.
Busking across various iconic spots: Ozzy's, Eative, Nu Bugel, Wanda's Pie in the Sky & more.
Youth Performances by Madoka Murata's renowned music school, Discovery Through the Arts and the JAZZ.FM91 Youth Big Band at the SLAIGHT MUSIC Big Band Stage.
Bellevue Square Park's Global Music Stage curated by Lulaworld and hosted by Laura Fernandez
Melanie Doane's Kids' Ukulele School celebrates the National Day for Truth & Reconciliation at 4Life Natural Foods.
Poetry Jazz at Supermarket: A collaboration with Toronto’s Poet Laureate Lillian Allen, Robert Priest, and OCAD poetry students.
Totalling an impressive 92 shows featuring over 200 artists.
Our Merch Pop Up at 4Life Natural Foods, where you can buy festival merch and a CD.
Projects & Initiatives
Over the past eight years KMJF has created:
Seasonal music series in the market.
Recordings for artists like Laura Hubert and Billy Newton-Davis.
KMJF Kids Music series in collaboration with Tom Mihalik, Yamaha Canada Music Ltd., and St. Stephen's Community House Youth Arcade.
And we are pleased to announce that Billy Newton-Davis is set to release a new album in 2024, backed by our initiatives.
We have been graciously funded by the City of Toronto, the Ontario Arts Council, and benefactors like Slaight Music, the Emerald Foundation, Wanda Ho & Tom Pladsen, and our Board Members.
Our mission at the Kensington Market Jazz Festival is to celebrate and elevate the vibrant jazz culture of Toronto, fostering community connection and championing local talent in the heart of the city's heritage district. We aim to maintain an artist-driven, community-supported, and volunteer-fuelled festival that respects the rich history of Kensington Market and ensures our efforts harmonize with its legacy.
OUR FUNDRAISING ASK
Molly Johnson O.O.C., our Founder and Director, shares:
“I started KMJF to offer Toronto a local, grassroots JAZZ festival reflecting our market's rich cultural tapestry. Your support is pivotal. While financial backing is crucial, advocacy is equally transformative. Donations over $25 since our charitable status in 2021 come with tax receipts.”
Cheques: Kensington Market Jazz Festival,
861/2 Nassau St., Unit 205, Toronto, ON M5T 1M5
Charitable Status 740259924 RR 0001
Artistic Curation & Selection
The Kensington Market Jazz Festival is a curated event, with selections made by our Artistic Director, Molly Johnson, and a dedicated committee. We kindly note that we do not accept artist submissions.
Connect with Us
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Help us keep the lights on
KMJF PARTNERS 2023
CITY OF TORONTO
LONG & MCQUADE
YAMAHA MUSIC CANADA
KENSINGTON MARKET BIA
TOM MIHALIK & TOM’S PLACE
ST. STEPHEN'S COMMUNITY HOUSE
ROCHELLE RUBINSTEIN & EMERALD FOUNDATION
WANDA HO & TOM PLADSEN