Sun Life UpTown Waterloo Jazz Festival Announces 30th Anniversary Line-Up

by | Mar 28, 2023 | News Releases

March 23, 2023 – WATERLOO, ON – The Sun Life UpTown Waterloo Jazz Festival is pleased to announce the 2023 Festival line up. The headliners will be two internationally known Canadian stars.  At this time, the Festival is announcing that Friday night will feature JUNO and GRAMMY award winner Alex Cuba. There will be another major announcement coming later in April regarding the Saturday headliner.

This year the Festival celebrates 30 years of bringing world-class music to the Region.  The Festival will run July 21 to 23 in the usual location close to Waterloo City Hall and admission remains free.

“This is a special year for us and our Artistic Director, Derek Hines, has outdone himself putting together an exceptional program of performers in celebration of our 30th Anniversary,” said Steve Joyce, President of the Festival.  “Last year was a fantastic experience and this year will be even better!  We just love organizing this Festival for residents and visitors to the Region of Waterloo.”

Derek Hines is pleased with the program of artists who will perform at this year’s Festival.

“We are very fortunate that the ‘stars’ aligned so nicely for our 30th Anniversary line-up,” said Hines.  “In addition to the roster of local talent, we will present headliners who have not been part of our Festival in the past and who have very broad musical appeal.”

“Alex Cuba will highlight our Friday night performances. Alex is a singer/songwriter with a real flair for melody.  He performs original, Latin-influenced songs that are very catchy and beat driven,” said Hines.  “Originally from Cuba, he now calls Smithers, British Columbia home and recently won a Latin GRAMMY award for his latest album.  That’s in addition to his two JUNO awards!”

“In addition, we will be announcing another major Canadian talent later in April so stay tuned for that.”

“Toes will be tapping and people will be dancing the whole weekend long,” promised Hines.

Other highlights of the Festival include Cheri Maracle who is an indigenous jazz singer and So Long Seven – a group that blends blue grass and folk music with Indian influences for a truly unique sound.  Sunday’s program will highlight an all-women cast of feature performers.

Local artists on the program include Freshwater Funk, Ted Warren and Jeff Daniels.  The Festival will also feature up-and-coming new, local musicians in the Youth Jazz Ensemble led by Jason White. The current list of performers for the 30th Anniversary Festival includes:

Alex Cuba

Cheri Maracle Quintet

Jonathan Chapman Trio

Freshwater Funk

Jeff Daniels

So Long Seven

Eric Divito Trio

Ted’s Warren Commission

Sammy Jackson Trio

Barbra Lica

There will be lots to see and do with family activities in the afternoon, a variety of food trucks and the usual beverage service.

“This is a historic year and we want to pay special tribute to the legacy of all our volunteers, artists, sponsors and grant organizations who have made the Festival such a wonderful community event,” said Joyce.  “It was great to be back together last year and this year’s Festival will be even more memorable!”

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