Grammy winning rapper Killer Mike to headline this year’s Vancouver Jazz Festival

The Vancouver International Jazz Festival started this weekend, and this year’s event features an unusual headliner: Atlanta rapper Killer Mike.

The critically acclaimed rapper takes the stage on Saturday June 29th at 7:30 pm.

Coastal Jazz executive director Nina Horvath says the yearly event — which has been running since 1985 — takes a non-prescriptive view to what “counts” as jazz.

“For us, it’s really like a big, encompassing umbrella,” Horvath said.

“But that includes anything that’s really rooted in the spirit of creativity and improvisation and exploration.”

She say jazz is the basis of many different styles and genres, especially for music coming out of America.

“Somebody like Killer Mike too, who’s a performer with such a very clear social justice message, really links to the ties of jazz as a form of protest and a form of political activism as well,” she says.

Horvath says that most years, the festival attracts up to 100,000 attendees, and they expect attendance to be in that range this year as well.

Many people travel for the event, she says.

“About 10 to 12 per cent of our attendees, usually every year, are from out of country, and so that’s people travelling here specifically for the festival, or we definitely can get some traffic off of the cruise ships as well,” she said.

Horvath says the format of the festival will be similar to past years, with one change.

“We’ve got an education programme that’s new this year called our New Improvisers Studio, which will be a week-long session for some young artists to work intensively with some of the artists that we brought in to perform at the festival and to learn from them and explore improvisation,” she said.

“We’re really excited about that.”

This year’s festival will feature around 150 shows over eight days, and more than 30 per cent of those shows are free, she says.

“We certainly pride ourselves on making our music accessible to everyone,” she said.

“So if you are feeling inflation these days, don’t worry, we’ve got music for you that you can still come out and enjoy.”

The festival runs until June 30.

Top Stories

Top Stories

Most Watched Today