Red Hot Jazz & Cool Blues Wednesdays

Wednesdays, June 13 to September 5, 2018; Hendrie Park

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woman in sunglasses singing into microphone in the Rose Garden Tent

Jazz in the Garden

6:30 to 9 p.m.; Hendrie Park

An RBG tradition continues with another stunning lineup of entertainment returning to the Hendrie Park stage. Get set for some award-winning jazz and blues musicians in our lovely garden setting.

 Included in your General Admission or Membership

Cold drinks and BBQ menu available for purchase on-site. NOTE: No outside food or alcohol allowed. Performances run rain or shine. See the event FAQ for more details.

Lineup: Coming Up Next

We put together a great lineup of artists for you this year! We're bringing back some favourites from previous years as well as welcoming some fresh faces. Learn more about who you can see performing in the gardens by reading more about the artists below.


Steve Strongman

June 13

6:30 to 9 p.m.; Hendrie Park | Blues

Award-winning Canadian bluesman Steve Strongman is a versatile talent, and a restless one. By constantly pushing himself in new directions, he has kept himself vital. His talent is huge and impossible to miss, and it’s matched by his staggering musical ambition — as guitar-slinger, songwriter or vocalist. The same structures and progressions that animate blues and roots music can also choke the air out of it, smothering it in caricature and cliché. But Strongman is a subtle shape-shifter who manages to slip that trap without betraying the music he loves. Throughout, he never sounds an inauthentic note or loses touch with the essence of the blues.


Rebecca Binnendyk

June 20

6:30 to 9 p.m.; Hendrie Park | Jazz and Pop

Hailing from Ontario, Canada, Rebecca is an adult contemporary artist with crossover jazz and pop influences. Her 2016 album, Some Fun Out of Life, was distributed by Universal/Alma throughout Canada, the United States and Europe. It's an upbeat, effervescent listen with a mix of covers and original tunes available on Spotify, YouTube, iTunes and Google Play.

Influenced by artists like Amy Winehouse, Nina Simone, Caro Emerald and Etta James, Rebecca is currently traveling the world performing and growing musically ahead of her next album release. She is also busy writing music with Canadian pop star and music mentor Dan Hill, as well as with Irish song writing production team Twin Monarch.


Samantha Martin and Delta Sugar

June 27

6:30 to 9 p.m.; Hendrie Park | Blues

Martin is the lead singer, songwriter and focal point of the group. As a dynamic front woman, she possesses a stunning voice that is capable of summoning up tidal waves of spine-tingling emotion in one instance while delicately bringing out the nuances of a gut-wrenching lyric in the next. A torrid force of nature, night after night she takes audiences to emotional peaks while leaving them stunned with her sheer pin-you-against-the-wall power.

While Martin is a powerhouse unto herself, the vocal alchemy of Delta Sugar is not the work of a single talent. In combination with what she likes to term her “co-vocalists,” Sherie Marshall and newest full time member Mwansa Mwansa, the vocal blend Delta Sugar produces is pure, unadulterated gospel-tinged, neuron-tingling magic where the sum is even richer than the already soul-melting parts.


Barbra Lica

July 4

6:30 to 9 p.m.; Hendrie Park | Jazz

Juno-nominated artist Barbra Lica is fast rising Canadian vocalist and songwriter and has been receiving accolades for a unique approach that stresses subtlety, grace and storytelling. Based in Toronto, Barbra’s live show captivates audiences all over North America with her genuine warmth and confident stage presence. A deep passion for the music of classic vocalists like Doris Day and Ella Fitzgerald led Barbra to pursue a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Performance at the University of Toronto. Shortly after graduating, Barbra was runner-up in the 2013 Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition with judges Al Jarreau and Gretchen Parlato. Now a seasoned live act on the Canadian and American club and festival circuits, Barbra consistently performs in intimate spaces and prestigious theatres, such as New York City’s legendary Birdland Jazz Club and Toronto’s Koerner Hall.


Kristen Violet May

July 11

6:30 to 9 p.m.; Hendrie Park | Jazz

Based out of Toronto and hailed as an “arresting female“ by the former editor of Mix Magazine NYC, Kristen Violet May is a rising voice in soulful pop and jazz. Inspired by the melody and musical depth of 60’s soul and jazz, Kristen’s powerful vocals will delight fans of retro-tinged artists like Adele, and Amy Winehouse. Her song writing comes from a place of life experience and loss, with a hopeful outlook amidst a darker past exploring love and relationships in all their forms. She was recently named one of "35 best Canadian jazz artists under 35" by the CBC. Kristen is currently working on her debut LP due to be released in early 2018.


Spencer MacKenzie

July 18

6:30 to 9 p.m.; Hendrie Park | Blues

"17 year old ‘New Artist of the Year’ Maple Blues Award winner, Spencer MacKenzie, has an insightful musical expression emerging from his body, and the only explanation is an old soul residing within! He has a deep, soulful, true to the blues sound, with an electrifying twist that captivates his audience. There is no question that musicians should be judged by ability and not by age, and that is certainly the case with 17 year-old blues artist Spencer MacKenzie…his guitar playing is crisp and clean even as it delivers some down-to-the bone licks…He’s got the blues power in his soul...” – Blues Blast Magazine (USA)


The Paul DesLauriers Band

July 25

6:30 to 9 p.m.; Hendrie Park | Blues and Rock

The Paul DesLauriers Band is made up of virtuoso guitarist and singer Paul DesLauriers and the masterful rhythm section of Greg Morency on bass and Sam Harrisson on drums. Their latest release, the aptly titled Relentless (June 2016), is a genuine blues-rock escapade featuring 10 original new songs encompassing their most original and powerful work to date. Recently crowned Entertainer of the Year, Electric Act of the Year, Bassist of the Year (Greg Morency) and Drummer of the Year (Sam Harrisson) at the 20th annual Maple Blues Awards held in Toronto on January 23rd 2017, in January 2016 the band also took 2nd place at the 32nd International Blues Challenge, the world’s largest gathering of blues acts, organized by The Blues Foundation.


Kimya Hypolite

August 1

6:30 to 9 p.m.; Hendrie Park | Jazz

Kimya Hypolite is a triple-threat performing artist from Toronto, Canada. She is a recent graduate of theworld-renowned Bachelor of Music program at Humber College. Kimya is adancer in the Caribbean Dance Theatre Company, and a teacher/Choreographer at the Roots & Branches Children's and Youth Dance Program. Kimya sang lead vocals in Torontoworld Pop band,"7Sould" and now directs her own band, “All of the Above," a collective of musicians, bringing together their diverse musical backgrounds to explore a palette of musical genres. These include R&B, Jazz, Pop, Afro-Caribbean, and Latin influences. Kimya’s soulful vocals and honest delivery tell a musical story with every song.


Crystal Shawanda

August 8

6:30 to 9 p.m.; Hendrie Park | Blues

Crystal Shawanda grew up on the Wikwemikong reserve on an island in Ontario, Canada. Her parents raised her on Country music and taught her to sing and play guitar, but it was her oldest brother who introduced her to the blues. He would hang out in the basement cranking Muddy Waters, B.B. King and Etta James, and Crystal would sit at the top of the stairs, straining to hear those soulful sounds. There was a part of her that often wondered if she would ever be able to sing like that. And when no one was home, Crystal would practice singing the blues.

Crystal’s music is a modern take on the blues but is deeply rooted with heart-wrenching laments and catchy rump-shakers. It’s where the north meets the south and captures the resilience of the human spirit — much like the way Crystal does.


Steven Taetz

August 15

6:30 to 9 p.m.; Hendrie Park | Jazz

Steven Taetz has performed in Carnegie Hall(NYC), Rockwood Music Hall and The Bitter End (NYC), Hotel Cafe (LA), Blue Room (Korea), Capital Pride (Wash DC), Ironwood (Calgary), House of Jazz (Montreal), and in Toronto’s Rogers Stadium, The Rex, The Jazz Bistro, Hugh’s Room, and many more. He has released music internationally, charted for radio play and sales, and released his first studio album with collaborations from JUNO-winning artists from across Canada.


Jordan John

August 22

6:30 to 9 p.m.; Hendrie Park | Blues

To say that vocal sensation Jordan John is a more powerful and polished lead vocalist and multi-instrumentalist than many players twice his age would tell just a fraction of the story. Adept on drums, keyboards, guitar and bass, he has already compiled a longer list of credits, and displays more assuredness and maturity, than many performers twice his age.

Be it performing in front of 20,000 + as a lead singing, guitar wielding frontman, opening for The Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin (at her personal request), jamming at age 16 on drums with the artist formally known as Prince, singing the American National Anthem at the 2011 Toronto Honda Indy, performing as interim bassist for famed Canadian rock trio, Wide Mouth Mason, Jordan’s talent and energy is sure to delight and amaze both avid and casual music listeners.


Eliza Pope

August 29

6:30 to 9 p.m.; Hendrie Park | Jazz

21-year-old Toronto jazz/pop songstress Eliza Pope brings refreshing diversity of material in her performances. Pope can nail a hearty blues song with an empowering attitude, do light and breezy and warm and sentimental, and can shine equally on a tender and mellow ballad.


Justin Saladino

September 5

6:30 to 9 p.m.; Hendrie Park | Blues and Rock

Homegrown Montrealer, Justin Saladino leads a guitar-driven roots rock group. At 23 years old, Justin has been on the scene for over a decade. Having performed alongside the likes of Victor Wainright, Steve Strongman, Frank Marino, Paul Deslauriers, Jack de Keyzer, and Ronnie Baker Brookes; he’s seen first hand how it’s done. Learning from the masters and translating these experience into his own project, the Justin Saladino Band puts on a dynamic show, demonstrating a wide palette of sounds from heavy blues/rock riffs to folky acoustic tones all while keeping the audience grooving.


musicians playing under the tent

Review a Performance for a Chance to Win!

Royal Botanical Gardens is always looking to improve the guest experience at our Garden Music Nights concert series, so we’re conducting a survey to gain a better understanding of what’s working and where we can do better.

Your participation in this survey is greatly appreciated and if you provide us with your valuable feedback you can enter for a chance to win a new or renewed membership to RBG.


Event FAQ

Have a question about RBG's Music Night series? Click the topics below for more information. If you have a question that is not answered, give us a call at 905-527-1158.

Tickets >>

Garden Music Nights performances are included in your daily General Admission and are FREE for card-holding RBG Members. General admission tickets are available to purchase online at rbg.ca/visitus, or in person upon arrival at RBG Centre.

Did you know your General Admission gives you access to all five garden areas for the day? Come to RBG early in the day and experience Rock Garden, the Arboretum, Laking Garden and Mediterannean Garden before joining us in Hendrie Park for the main performance!

Inclement Weather >>

The RBG summer music series performances are held rain or shine!

Directions and Parking >>

This event is held in Hendrie Park. Parking is included, and available at RBG Centre, 680 Plains Road W. in Burlington. Access the garden through the main building, through the Atrium, and down to the Hendrie Park Tunnel. The concert takes place in the Rose Garden tent, and is accessible via paved pathways.

RBG Centre is accessible by Burlington Transit. For more information about arriving at RBG by bus, visit rbg.ca/directions.

Seating Arrangements >>

All seats are general admission, and first-come first-served. Chairs are provided but fill up quickly. If you are arriving after the show has started there is a chance all the chairs may have been taken, so please bring your own lawn chair.

Food >>

No outside food or drink permitted at this event. The Greenhouse Café will be offering a BBQ menu and licensed bar items available for purchase at their tent near the performance area starting at 5:30 p.m., one hour before the perfrormance begins.

Accessibility >>

RBG welcomes the use of personal assistive devices that allow visitors to enjoy our facilities and services. The Garden Music Nights stage is located in Hendrie Park, and is accessibly by paved pathways with a ~350m walk from the Hendrie Park Tunnel.

For convenience RBG has a limited number of wheelchairs available for loan at the RBG Centre and Rock Garden Visitor Centre kiosks. Wheelchairs are available on a first come basis and may not be reserved in advance. It is recommended that guests bring their own wheelchairs.

Seating is provided for this event. There are a limited number of accessible seating areas marked for the performance. Please be mindful of these and if you do not require accessible seating, please choose another seat.

Pets / Service Animals >>

Well-behaved dogs are welcome at the music series but must remain leashed at all times. Any pets found disrupting the event or other guests may be asked to leave.

Personal animals (with the exception of service animals) are not permitted in RBG's indoor spaces, except to access the Hendrie Park tunnel through RBG Centre.


Thank You To Our Sponsor

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