A Week of Exciting Shows at Old Market Square (and they’re free!)

  • UPDATE: Cari Burdett has unfortunately had to cancel her performance on Wednesday, June 20

One of the Jazz Festival favourites is the series of free shows hosted at Old Market Square in Winnipeg’s historic Exchange District. You can catch a variety of musicians – local, national, and international – perform on the state-of-the-art open-air stage, “the Cube,” while enjoying a cold drink at the beer gardens, some local eats from one of the many food trucks and vendors set up around the Square, and taking in the warm evening atmosphere with friends and family.

Our opening weekend set-up will remain in place all week – something new we’ve never done before – and this year we have more touring acts performing at the Cube than ever before, so this is a great opportunity to see some world-class artists for free. We’ve curated each night around a different theme, from swing to hip hop to blues, so you can choose your favourite style of music to take in, or let your mood dictate what kind of party you’re into! We also have artists performing each day at noon, so if you work in the area or you’re looking for a great way to break up your day and enjoy some sunshine and fantastic music, this is the place to be. Where else could you catch unparalleled Cuban-Canadian pianist, composer and arranger Hilario Duran perform in an intimate outdoor setting while you enjoy your lunch?

If Latin music is your thing, come down on Friday, June 22 from 5:45pm onward for some sizzling salsa, cha cha, and timba beats. Charanga Tropical – the Minneapolis-based Cuban-inspired band – perform at 10:35pm and are sure to get you up on your feet.

If you’re looking for a night of high-energy horn sections, come down on Friday, June 15 for Horns Up! You’ll get to see Quebec’s Parc X Trio perform break-beat grooves and contemporary jazz harmonies, as well as McNasty Brass Band, who brought their rowdy vocals and the spirit of New Orleans to Winnipeg this past February for our Mardis Gras fundraiser.

Looking for a night of blues and roots? Then Saturday, June 23 is your night to see a host of Winnipeg acts, as well as New York’s critically acclaimed drummer, Dan Weiss. He performs at 9:15pm with his metal-jazz trio, whose unique approach to song structure and improvisation will leave you speechless.

Or maybe Wednesday, June 20’s In/Out concert is right up your alley, with Indianapolis’ surf-jazz-blues-pop guitarist, Charlie Ballantine, performing at 7:00pm and New York’s explosive horn and percussion trio, Moon Hooch, playing at 10pm. Whatever your poison, we’ve got a show for you!

Check out our full schedule of free shows here: 

 Charanga Tropical

Charanga Tropical

 Dan Weiss Starebaby

Dan Weiss Starebaby

 Moon Hooch

Moon Hooch

Jodie Layne