All that jazz! Darling Harbour Jazz Fest / by Jessica Lee

I remember the precise moment I fell in love with jazz music. Summer 2009, at the Beaches Jazz Festival in Toronto.

I was young, wide-eyed and fresh out of my first year of university. Jazz, swing and blues was a whole new world to me. The seduction of the rhythm and the way you could feel the emotion behind each note was just too much. People were dancing in the streets and singing along. I fell whole-heartedly and contently.

When I heard there was a jazz festival at Darling Harbour, I decided I would go despite the looming exams.

It was the first time I had gone to Darling Harbour in the daytime and it was just beautiful. A little touristy- but still nice.

The festival was only a three-day one and not as big or memorable as the one I go to in Toronto every year and as a result, it made me miss my hometown.

The summer months in Toronto (June, July, August) are the best months of the year. All the major festivals take place during this time, the patios are all open, the weather is nice and warm, and usually I'm off school. I'm pretty bummed I'll have to miss my favourite time of the year in Toronto because I'm travelling, but you can't have everything and travelling to a new countries will be novel and hopefully exciting.

Here are a few photos of Jazz Fest:

It's a pretty tourist-oriented area so buskers are always around.

I thought the little trains were pretty cool. You pay them $4.50 or $3.50 if you're a child and then you get a little tour. Obviously it's a tourist trap because Darling Harbour isn't that big and is definitely walkable.

There was a good-size crowd but again, since it was in Darling Harbour, some of these people were tourists and not genuine music lovers- the vibe just wasn't there.

That's okay though. I enjoyed the music.

This is James Valentine (another J.V., not the ex Maroon 5 member). I had never heard of him either, but he was alright. He was actually quite decent, but I used to work at a concert venue (lots of AMAZING music) and I also go see a lot of live shows in my spare time so my standards have flown pretty high.

The audience doesn't look that impressed. Tough crowd.

The festival went on until night, but we didn't stay long due to exams. I did however manage to fit in a dance at the end.