JazzInToronto To Showcase Diverse Lineup with A Focus on Women Artists at April’s College Street Jazz Festival

With a lineup focusing on gender representation, LGBTQ+ representation, cultural diversity, and emerging artists, JazzInToronto’s College Street Jazz Festival will showcase some of the best and most exciting talent Toronto has to offer.

The three-day event runs April 21–23, and the lineup this year is comprised of 95% women artists, and includes a wonderful mixture of seasoned performers and emerging artists. Performers include Laila Biali (JUNO-winning musician and CBC Radio host) and Alison Young (JUNO nominee and 2-time Winner for Horn Player of Year at the Maple Blues Awards). Other artists include Carlie Howell & La-Nai Gabriel, Chloe Watkinson, Queen Pepper, DIJLAH, Trash Panda Brass, Racha Moukalled, Grapevine and Jennifer Lo trio.

“Our goal with the triple bill at Revival is to introduce audiences to new musical genres,” artistic director Ori Dagan notes. “Trash Panda Brass is Toronto’s only all-queer brass band specializing in classic tunes of the 1980’s and 90’s; the Middle-Eastern sextet DIJLAH is led by Iraq’s Tara Moneka and features some of the finest musicians on Toronto’s world music scene; and the crowd-pleasing Queen Pepper combines the classic sounds of Soul and R&B with groovy originals.”

“The live music scene in our city bursts with talent and diversity, making ours a unique meeting place unlike any other,” said Ori Dagan, JazzInToronto’s artistic director. “We really wanted to celebrate that this year, and to be honest, even within the focus on women’s talent, it was extremely difficult to decide who to highlight.”

All concerts will take place in College Street venues, and the goal is to bring together musicians, venues, and fans in celebration of having survived the challenging times we’ve all faced over the course of the pandemic.

Performances will be held at the following six venues: Revival Bar, The Emmet Ray, Free Times Cafe, Bar Pompette, College St. United Church, and Sellers & Newel.

The festival’s opening-night party will take place at Free Times Cafe (320 College Street), which has presented more than 10,000 nights of live music since opening in 1980. Rising-star pianist Jennifer Lo will kick things off before the festival launches into a fun and lively jam session that will showcase a wide variety of the Toronto jazz community’s members.

The headlining program is as follows:

(And the complete, more jam-packed program of all performances is available here.)

 April 22, 7:30pm: Carlie Howell & La-Nai Gabriel at The Emmet Ray: 


April 22, 9:30pm: Alison Young at The Emmet Ray:


April 22, 11:30pm: Chloe Watkinson at The Emmet Ray:


April 23, 4pm: Meridian Credit Union presents Laila Biali at College Street United Church:


April 23, 7pm: Grand Finale Triple Bill at Revival: Trash Panda Brass, DIJLAH, Queen Pepper:


About JazzInToronto:

JazzInToronto is a community-focused digital collective that provides daily music listings, and it recently surpassed 10,000 organic Instagram followers (@jazzintoronto). The volunteer-driven group recently received their first grant from Canada Council for the Arts in support of a new venture: College Street Jazz Festival.  

A platform that promotes local jazz artists in the Greater Toronto Area, JazzInToronto connects audiences, musicians, venues and presenters. It offers a platform that bundles all jazz-related information, and showcases a complete range of artists from brand-new talent to established jazz musicians to increase access to the works of Canadian musicians.