Jazz Festival

It’s time to bust a move, Belleville, and put some sizzle in your summer. The sounds of New Orleans, New York, and Havana are coming to you this Labour Day Weekend when our Downtown District hosts its first Jazz Festival from September 2 through 4.

Jazz Festival organizer, Howard Rees—a Toronto-born, New York-trained jazz pianist with deep ties to Bay of Quinte Country reached out to the City of Belleville, Bay of Quinte Tourism, the Quinte Arts Council, and the Belleville BIA who embraced his vision with enthusiasm. Based on earlier success directing festivals in the Distillery District of Toronto, and a vocal jazz collaboration with the Hastings Prince Edward School Board in 2019, Howard felt the time was right.

Howard has reached sponsorship agreements with Karlo Estates, Wellington, Lakeland Multi-Trade, Cobourg and Bay Mazda, Belleville, to support the festival. He partnered with Long & McQuade to provide musical equipment.

During the event, part of Front Street will be transformed into a pedestrian walkway with a variety of musicians performing “al fresco”. Other performers will grace the Bernice Parrott Stage behind City Hall, The Belleville Club, and the Parrott Gallery upstairs at the Belleville Public Library. In addition, several downtown restaurants including Capers and Dinkels will offer live jazz performances during their dinner hours. How tasty is that?

Let’s bookend our summer with jazz. On Thursday, June 16 from 4:30 to 6:30 at The Belleville Club, Howard is hosting a public festival launch with artist line-up announcements, chats with dignitaries, hors d’oeuvres, wine tasting, and an auction for a ten-person Gold Medal wine-tasting experience at Karlo Estates. Entertainment will be provided by the Howard Rees Trio: Howard on piano, Paco Luviano on the upright bass, and Harry Ellis on drums, with guest appearances by other festival performers. Tickets are available at the door ($20).