Everyone at the Sun Life UpTown Waterloo Jazz Festival was disappointed that the Festival for 2020 was cancelled due to the pandemic. Provincial leaders and health care experts have decided that large group events are still not allowed in the province. The Sun Life UpTown Waterloo Jazz Festival fully supports this decision. The health and safety of the audience, volunteers, vendors, sponsors and performers comes first. As soon as this decision was made, the festival committee turned their focus to the 2021 Festival and they are already planning to come back bigger and better than ever. The committee looks forward to welcoming EVERYONE back to Uptown Waterloo for the next Festival. In the meantime, please stay safe!
The Sun Life Financial UpTown Waterloo Jazz Festival is an annual three day music festival featuring many different genres of jazz music. Join the more than 35,000 enthusiastic festival goers who attend this free annual event. Take in various jazz artists on two stages right in the heart of Uptown Waterloo!
For more than 25 years the UpTown Waterloo Jazz Festival has featured international, national and local jazz artists. The festival receives over 200 submissions annually from performers to be part of the festival. Past line ups have included Matt Dusk, Michael Kaeshammer, The Toronto Brass Orchestra, and Randy Lyght. With dozens of performers on two stages visitors enjoy a wide range of jazz and a lot of fun!
The Sun Life Financial UpTown Waterloo Jazz Festival also teams up with local restaurants to bring even more music to UpTown Waterloo with its Jazz After Jazz program. Special performances at select restaurants take place before, during and after the on stage shows, providing jazz in a more intimate setting.
Engaging youth into the Jazz/music scene and offering expert teaching is important to the festival and part of how it gives back to the community. Working to grow the next generation of jazz musicians and enthusiasts, the festival features aYouth Jazz Ensemble providing young musicians with workshops and experienced instructors, and the opportunity to perform on stage. The Young Musicians Education Program is a two week residence program that give young musicians hands on experience. There are also free jazz workshops to help musicians develop their skills. For kids who aren’t old enough to participate in the workshops, the Kids’ Tent is home to an instrument petting zoo, where they get hands on with various instruments.
Not only does the festival offer great musical talent, it also offers delicious food vendors as well as other interesting booths located at both stages. More than 100 volunteers are required to make the festival a success.