Rekindle Your Love for the King of Rock in Niagara

Posted on

image001It’s hard to believe, but Elvis Presley — the King of Rock and Roll — died almost 40 years ago. Since that time, his music and legendary prowess as a musician, performer, and singer have only grown in popularity, as is evidenced by the fact that he is still the world’s best-selling recording artist — over 600 million records have been sold around the world. It’s a number that continues to grow daily.

One way people’s love for Elvis’s is regularly stoked and satisfied is through the work of Elvis impersonators. While there were only about 170 Elvis impersonators working before Elvis died, it is estimated that there are currently over 85,000 working Elvis impersonators in the world today. Las Vegas alone has anywhere between 125 and 500 at any given time. While it may seem strange to someone who doesn’t love the King, for fans of his sultry, raw energy and unforgettable voice, a good Elvis impersonator is easily the next best thing to the King himself.

That’s why, if you’re an Elvis fan, it’s time to book a stay in Niagara Falls for a time that coincides with Wednesday, November 4. Already known for bringing in some of the best entertainment the world has to offer, Niagara Falls is rolling out the carpet for the King. For that one day only, one of the world’s top ten Elvis impersonators — Tim E — and his band — the Yes Men — are slated to perform their high-energy, unforgettable act at the Greg Frewin Theater.

The Show

image003Joined by Cynthia Pepper, the woman who starred with the King in the film, “Kissing Cousins,” Tim E and the Yes Men are a force to be reckoned with. The 12-piece band has more than enough ammunition to showcase Tim E’s uncanny ability to channel Elvis in all his splendor, talent, and passion. You’ll get to see and feel what it must have been like to be a teenager 60 years ago with the music, the moves, and the emotion of Tim E as Elvis Presley.

Why Tim E?

Just how like Elvis is Tim E? Well, he’s won more awards as an impersonator than can properly be counted, including “King of the World Elvis Tribute Artist World Champion” in 2013 in Memphis, Tennessee. Not only does he look like Elvis, sound like Elvis, and move like Elvis, his deep respect for and admiration of Elvis is clear from start to finish of his amazing two-hour show.

The Details

There will be two performances on November 4: one at 1 p.m. and one at 7:30 p.m. Depending on whether you choose the matinee or the evening show, tickets start at under $11.00 for children and $16.00 for adults. Children under 4 are free. At each show, Cynthia Pepper, Elvis’s life long friend and co-star, will take questions, and she will also be selling copies of her memoir, “Pigtails, Presley & Pepper.”

Plan your vacation to Niagara Falls so that it includes world-class entertainment. An Elvis impersonator to end all Elvis impersonation, Tim E and the Yes Men are that rarest of treats: a once-in-a-lifetime show that can be experienced in a once-in-a-lifetime place.

How to Drink Beer in Niagara Falls

Posted on

image001Summer is great for fruity frozen drinks; winter needs deep, warming cocktails; but autumn is indubitably the beer season. Fortunately, Niagara Falls is an excellent destination for a beer-cation, especially during September and October when the regional hops fields are being harvested and the local brewers are hard at work fermenting new ales and lagers. This year, you shouldn’t bother trying to scrounge up tickets to Belgium or Germany — Oktoberfest is happening right here in Niagara Falls.

Old Falls Street Oktoberfest

For the sixth year in a row, Niagara Falls, New York is celebrating Oktoberfest in a big way on Old Falls Street, the main thoroughfare of the American side. All along the street, visitors can fill up their steins with new brews and old favorites — as well as a smattering of delicious regional wines. There will also be familiar German foods on offer: bratwurst, pretzels, apple strudel, and more. Throughout the day, you can drink and dine while listening to live entertainment from the Bergholz German Band, the German-American Musicians, and the Edelweiss Dancers; plus, there will be a number of festive street vendors to explore and enjoy. You can even bring your kids, who will stay busy at the petting zoo, bounce house, and arts and crafts tent.

The Old Falls Street Oktoberfest occurs on the afternoon of Saturday, October 3, from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. Admission is free, but you definitely don’t want to come without a generous budget for beer.

Niagara Brewing Company Oktoberfest

On the other side of the border, the brand-new (and highly rated) Niagara Brewing Company is hosting this year’s Canadian Oktoberfest. Drawing inspiration from the traditional Bavarian celebration, the brewery is offering premium, German-style beers expertly paired with authentic German cuisine. Brewmaster Gord Slater, the genius behind the magnificent tastes at Niagara Brewing Co, will be attending the affair, providing insight and answering questions about brewing and beer. True beer aficionados are likely to revere this Oktoberfest event.

The Niagara Brewing Company Oktoberfest is scheduled for Friday, October 16. Tickets to the dinner (with drinks included) cost $79, but you can save on your trip by bundling the event with hotel accommodations.

Niagara Beer Trail

image003If these two events don’t provide nearly enough ales and lagers, you can round out your Niagara beer-cation with a tour of the Niagara beer trail. Though the region is known better for its excellent wineries, Niagara is quickly becoming a craft brewer’s paradise due to the plethora of fresh ingredients for beer-making.

Thus, beer tastings, like wine tastings, are becoming a popular activity for natives and tourists who enjoy the often complex, distinctive flavors of beer. The beer trail includes seven outstanding local breweries that specialize in different techniques and styles of beer and provide delectable dishes to pair with them. Of course, there are more bars and breweries in Niagara, but we believe these seven stand above the pack:

  • Merchant Alehouse Restaurant Brewpub
  • Oast House Brewers
  • Silversmith Brewing Company
  • Niagara College Teaching Brewery
  • Niagara Brewing Company
  • Taps on Queen Brewhouse and Grill
  • Syndicate Restaurant and Brewery

3 Places in Niagara Falls to See the Fall Foliage

Posted on

image001Autumn is a glorious time of year to visit Niagara Falls: The summer crowds disperse, the hotel prices drop, the warm temperatures mellow, and the lush, verdant trees turn passionate shades of red, orange, and yellow. Though the fall foliage in the Niagara region doesn’t hit its beautiful peak until about the second week of October, visits to Niagara Falls throughout the fall season will be rewarded with glimpses of the leaves aflame in autumn colors. Here are the top three spots around Niagara Falls for excellent views of the autumn trees.

1. Dufferin Islands

Just a short walk from the main tourist district in Niagara Falls, Dufferin Islands Park is comprised of a series of small, man-made islands covered in flourishing forest. Quiet and serene, the park is an excellent escape from the busy walkways closer to the Falls. The islands are linked by a series of quaint footbridges, and paths crisscross throughout the forest allowing visitors to explore the park for the absolute perfect spot to rest and relax.

At the start of September, the leaves on Dufferin begin to rapidly change into violent hues. The fallen leaves make excellent cushions for picnics — as well as stunning keepsakes. It is difficult to take a bad picture of Dufferin in the autumn, with the landscape so bright and beautiful.

2. Skylon Tower

image003While a skyscraper might not be your first instinct when you are considering places to see fall foliage, Skylon Tower is absolutely one of the best lookout spots in all of Niagara Falls. The unmissable observation deck soars 775 feet above the rushing falls, providing panoramic views of the Niagara Region — and its changing fall leaves. From this vantage point, you can look over acres of red, orange, and yellow forest in America and Canada, as well as:

  • Horseshoe, American, and Bridal Falls
  • Niagara wine country
  • The Great Gorge
  • The Toronto and Buffalo skylines

Plus, you can visit the observation deck again at night for a completely different view, which shows the Falls themselves consumed with bright colors as well as the glittering city lights far below.

Tickets to the Skylon Tower observation deck are about $10 per adult and $6 per child. While you are in Skylon, you might also want to enjoy a meal at the outstanding revolving restaurant, which gives you 360-degree views while you dine on world-class fare.

3. Goat Island

On the American side of the Falls, you can take a path to Goat Island — a rather small, heavily wooded island between the two U.S. waterfalls and the Canadian Horseshoe Falls. Goat Island provides a unique vantage point, from which you can view the magnificent autumn colors of the Niagara region while taking in the thundering Falls. The walking paths around Goat Island are truly sublime, especially during the fall season; you can also explore the connected Green Island (which isn’t so green in September and October) and Luna Island, which separates Bridal Falls from American Falls. Goat Island is also home to the Cave of the Winds, where you can see the U.S. Falls up close, from below.

4 Niagara Late Summer Events That Won’t Last Long

Posted on

image001Summertime is Niagara’s busiest season, and we understand why. Niagara’s summer weather and scenery are some of the most beautiful in the country, so we make for an excellent destination no matter your vacation goals. Because of the considerable influx of travelers around this time, we always plan out best regional events for the summer months, so our visitors can soak up as much Niagara fun as possible. However, as summer once again draws to a close, so do our outstanding seasonal attractions. Here are four of our favorites that are rapidly drawing to a close — so you better get to Niagara Falls before they’re gone.

1. Sharing an Icon

Niagara Falls is recognized around the world as a magical place, and it has been celebrated as an inspiration for centuries. The Niagara Falls History Museum is celebrating the global appreciation for the natural wonder with an exhibit featuring various images of the Falls across the ages, from the first published image of the falls in 1697 to modern pictures on social media.

Admission to the museum is $5 for adults, $4 for students, and free for children. Sharing an Icon closes September 6.

2. Earth and Sky Film Nights

After the sun sets on Niagara, the air is cool and comfortable, and the sky lights up with twinkling stars. The atmosphere is just right for a glass of wine, a picnic blanket, and a thrilling movie. Chateau des Charmes, a winery outside Niagara-on-the-Lake, celebrates great modern film with a handful of movie nights on its cozy summer lawns. This year, they are screening Ethan Hawke’s “Seymour: An Introduction” — a much lauded film by a celebrated actor.

Earth and Sky Film Nights cost $15 per show and include renowned wines and gourmet snacks from local vendors. The event ends September 7.

3. Music Under the Stars

image003The countryside surrounding the quaint town of Niagara-on-the-Lake is flush with ripening wine grapes during the summer, and in daylight, you can easily go from vineyard to vineyard and delight in Niagara wines. However, at night, one of those wineries transforms into a fanciful star-lit stage where renowned Canadian artists put on wondrous musical acts. Jackson-Triggs Niagara Estate Winery provides the chairs and the performances, as well as samples of some of their outstanding wines, so visitors need only bring eager ears (and potentially some rain gear).

Ticket prices to Music Under the Stars varies by night. The event ends September 11.

4. @ The Museum Thursday Night

The Niagara Falls History Museum is one of the city’s most beloved institutions for its emphasis on natural and cultural history of the region — as well as its amazing Thursday Night attractions. The museum hosts an exciting new event every Thursday night; the events are designed to engage and enthrall all manner of people. This summer, the most stirring Thursday Night events have been:

  • Summer Courtyard Music Series. Eight Niagara bands perform intimate concerts in the museum courtyard, accompanied by local food vendors.
  • Impersonating 1812. Brilliant and knowledgeable 19th century recreationists explain and demonstrate common customs from the War of 1812.
  • Community Art Project. Visitors can contribute to a massive project that aims to unite everyone’s vision of Niagara Falls into a single work of art.

@ The Museum Thursday Night is absolutely free to everyone. The last of these events, the Community Art Project, will continue until September 17.

4 Reasons to Eat Niagara Fruit

Posted on

image001The entire Ontario region is known throughout Canada and North America as an area that excels in producing fruit and vegetables of a wide variety, but it’s the area’s tender fruit production that keeps Canada in everything from peaches and pears to cherries and plums during the summer and autumn months. And with orchards and farms scattered all over the countryside, Ontario’s bounty is almost always exceptional.

While central to the stellar fruit-growing reputation of Ontario, the Niagara region doesn’t always receive as much attention for its fruit-growing prowess by the millions who visit the area every year. Tourists are often too busy enjoying the many wineries and the stunning waterfalls to marvel over the wealth of fresh and delicious fruit available during the growing season. However, to really experience Niagara, it’s essential to bite into some of its ripest seasonal offerings during a visit.

If you’re headed to the Niagara region anytime in the next couple of months, the tender fruit will be ready for you. Here are four reasons to include some time for fruit on your Niagara vacation’s itinerary.

1. There’s So Much of It!

Ontario enjoys its reputation as a powerhouse of agricultural productivity, but when it comes to tender fruits — peaches, plums, pears, sweet cherries, sour cherries, apricots, strawberries, prunes of all colors, and raspberries — over 90 percent of what is grown in Ontario is actually grown just on the Niagara Peninsula. The same rich soil, mild climate, excellent drainage, and abundant water that allows for the region’s robust grape production also contributes to the abundance and quality of everything grown in the area, but the fruit crop is particularly superb.

2. It’s Beautiful

image003Driving around the Niagara Peninsula is one of the best ways to spend an afternoon, and it’s not just because the grape vineyards are so lovely. Interspersed throughout the region are the scores of farms and orchards that keep Canada in fruit, and the meticulous care the trees and bushes are given helps account for why the area is so postcard perfect and picturesque. Don’t just get a photo at the Falls when you visit Niagara, be sure to snap a few along the roadside in front of a field of cherry trees or pear trees, too.

3. It’s Delicious

Fresh fruit picked the morning you sink your teeth into it is a delight unrivalled during the summer months, and in Niagara, it’s a welcome rite of passage for locals and visitors in the know each and every year. The roadside stands dotted along the Niagara Parkway are a great introduction to Niagara’s freshest fruit, and you can also usually buy jams and pies at them as well.

4. You Can Pick Your Own

Especially if you’re visiting Niagara as a family, look into the many orchards and farms that offer pick-your-own fruit opportunities. It’s a great way to get outdoors and experience a little bit of the working farm life in the region. A few of the best places to pick your own fruit include:

  • Parkway Orchards
  • Bry-Anne Farms
  • Cherry Avenue Farms
  • Two Century Farm
  • Town and Country Farms

Head to Niagara for a world-class vacation, and while you’re there, be sure to eat the fruit.

What You’ll Find at the 2015 Niagara Craft Beer Festival

Posted on

image001When people hear the word Niagara, the first thing that leaps into their minds are the region’s eponymous waterfalls, but the area boasts thousands of events, industries, and offerings so that even if the Falls weren’t in the area, it would still be a great place to live and visit.

Some of the many happenings common to the Niagara region are the scores of festivals that take place throughout the year. From peaches and ribs to wine and music, Niagara’s festivals alone make the place a standout destination. Here is one such festival — the Niagara Craft Beer Festival — and some of what you can expect to find if you get to attend.

Don’t separate your love of beer from your love of waterfalls. Head to Niagara over August 22 and 23, and indulge in both at the Niagara Craft Beer Festival.

The Beer

If you’ve ever wanted to experience what Canadian craft brews taste like, few opportunities exist like the one at the Niagara Craft Beer Festival. Flagship beers and specialty beers will all be on hand and on tap for a beer tour of Ontario that would take you weeks to accomplish on your own as more than 20 breweries will be pouring their brews — many of which are fresh off wins at the Canadian Brewing Awards this past June.

The Food

The only way to keep drinking great beer is to keep your belly full of great food, and the festival will have some of the area’s best food available. Food trucks from a number of different area restaurants will be onsite so you can enjoy everything from the quintessential Canadian dish — poutine — from Smoke’s poutinerie to gourmet and locally sourced fare from el Gastronomo Vagabundo. You can also get your favorite bar food from Iggy’s Pub and Grub, and there are other options as well.

The Details

image003Held over the weekend of August 22 and 23, the Niagara Craft Beer Festival is Southern Ontario’s premier craft beer festival. Guests must be at least 19 years old to attend, and a photo ID is required to gain admittance. All the festivities will take place at The Market Village in Niagara-on-the-Lake, and admittance costs $20 on Saturday and $10 on Sunday. Both days’ ticket price allows for in and out access, as well as three 5-ounce beer samples, and a commemorative Craft Beer Festival mug. On Saturday, the event runs from 1 p.m. until 9 p.m., and on Sunday it opens up at 1 p.m. and closes down at 6 p.m. The event will go on rain or shine, and in the event of rain, don your galoshes, because no refunds will be given. There will also be live music and the spinning of some excellent vinyl records for entertainment throughout the two-day festival.

3 Reasons to Head to St. Catharines This August

Posted on

image001One of the best parts of visiting Niagara Falls is the wealth of charming communities in the immediate area. Quaint downtowns, fabulous restaurants, charming festivals, biking and hiking trails, museums, lush and green parks, and more await visitors to towns like Welland, Niagara-on-the-Lake, St. Catharines, and more.

If you’ve enjoyed yourself in Niagara Falls before, or even if you haven’t, set aside some time to explore the region. While every town and village is worth a stop, the city of St. Catharines has some remarkable offerings. Here are three of them, and they’re all reasons you should book a trip to Niagara that includes a visit to St. Catharines this August.

1. The Weather

To be fair, the August weather is a reason to visit anywhere on the Niagara Peninsula, but because St. Catharines is such a vibrant place, the warm and balmy late summer month is a perfect time to get acquainted with all it has to offer. The average temperature in St. Catharines for the month of August is less than 80 degrees Fahrenheit, and each day brings the smallest bit of cooling to each day’s high. While it can reach as high as 88 degrees now and again, for the most part, August is an ideal temperature for summertime activities. So, whether you’re lounging, picnicking, or reading in Montebello Park’s more than two hectares or shopping at the Farmer’s Market or any of the downtown’s amazing boutiques and galleries, the weather will more than support your endeavors.

2. Summer Downtown D’Lish

The equivalent of Restaurant Week in downtown St. Catharines, Summer Downtown D’Lish runs from August 14 through August 29, and it includes special menus for lunch and dinner at many of the city’s downtown restaurants. A lot of the restaurants offer prix fixe menus that range in price from $15 to $40, and they often create specialty dishes that aren’t available throughout the rest of the year. Especially because the Niagara region’s restaurants and chefs do such a good job of using local produce, cheese, meat, and seafood, Summer Downtown D’Lish offers visitors and locals a chance to experience Niagara’s bounty in a unique way.

3. The Full Moon Ghost Walk

image003Held on August 29, the Full Moon Ghost Walk is a great chance to raise the hairs on the back of your neck while learning about St. Catharines spookiest past events and people. With a history that dates back before the American Revolution and includes being a prominent stop on the Underground Railroad, St. Catharines has a storied past that can enliven the imagination once you learn some of its more sensational details.

A guided tour that takes place from 9 p.m. until 10:30 p.m., all you have to do to participate is meet up at Market Square at the King Street doors. Tickets cost $10 and can be purchased in advance, but you can also just show up with cash in hand. Rain or shine, the walk will go on, so if you do choose to go, be sure to dress appropriately.

The Niagara region is home to countless ways to spend your time, but during the month of August, the city of St. Catharines offers some of the best.

Upcoming Classic Car Events in Niagara

Posted on

image001For lovers of classic cars, trucks, and motorcycles, there are few experiences as satisfying as attending a classic car show, where the pleasure of seeing a rare, mint condition vehicle firsthand is a common occurrence. Thousands of vehicle models have come and gone over the more than 100 years that have passed since Henry Ford made the personal motor vehicle a reality, and while not every single one of those vehicle models has been heralded as a standard bearer over the years, each one nevertheless carries with it the weight of both cultural history and personal memory. When it comes to feeling the wistful nostalgia of times gone by and the deep admiration elicited by world-class functional design, the classic car show is truly in a class by itself.

For the visitor to Niagara with a love of classic cars — or the visitor to Niagara who wants to show off a classic car, truck, or motorcycle he or she proudly owns — there are dozens of events held throughout the region all year long. If you’re headed to Niagara Falls in the next few weeks or months, however, here are four annual classic vehicle events that shouldn’t be missed.

1. Kinsmen Annual Show and Shine

Held each year in Niagara-on-the-Lake, this year’s Kinsmen Annual Show and Shine will take place August 9 at Kinsmen Scout Hall. Registration for vehicles is from 8 a.m. until noon, and each vehicle entered costs $5. The show is open to spectators from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. for $3. Children under 12, however, get in free.

2. Classic Car and Truck Show

A St. Catharines classic car event, the Classic Car and Truck Show takes place at the CAA Car Care Centre on August 16 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. There is no charge to show a vehicle or attend this event thanks to the sponsorship of CAA Car Care Center.

3. 9th Annual Pine Ave. Classic Car and Bike Cruise

Held every year as part of the Niagara Falls Blues Fest, this classic car show is actually a cruise, which makes just being in Niagara Falls when all those beautiful relics of the past roll by a memorable treat. Thursday, September 10 at 5 p.m., anyone with a classic car, truck, or motorcycle is encouraged to meet up at Sal Maglie Stadium. The cruise will leave from there at 6 p.m. and will go down Pine Ave. to Old Falls St. Set up camp along the route, or wander over to the meet-up spot at 5 p.m. to get a good look at some beautiful old vehicles.

image0034. Last Chance Car Show and Swap Meet

Part of the Niagara Regional Exhibition held in Welland every year, this large and very popular car show features well over 1,000 different classic vehicles that are worth millions of dollars. Hosted by the Sunset Cruisers Car Club, the car show also includes a swap meet. You can register your vehicle for $10 and set up a booth to sell your secondhand goods and wares for $10, too. Spectators pay just $5 to get in, and the event runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Head to Niagara, and experience you love of classic cars in one of the world’s best-loved vacation destinations.

3 Niagara Region Events Where History Comes Alive

Posted on

image001For the history buff, spending a day or week among the dusty annals of a library’s special collection sounds like a vacation made in heaven, whereas, for most of us, such an endeavor is a lot less fun. Regardless of its importance in the overall scheme of things, for the majority of people, any engagement with “history” needs to involve some pretty hefty razzle dazzle to attract and hold our attention, which is why history buffs invented historical reenactments, which are a fantastic way that history gets preserved and learned.

Experience Niagara’s past in tandem with its stellar present by visiting Niagara Falls during one of these three reenactments during the month of July.

What’s a Reenactment?

A historical reenactment is an entertaining and educational activity that involves a group of people reenacting an event that took place some time in the past. Spectators attend and observe from the sidelines in order to get a fly-on-the-wall view of the event as it unfolds. Most reenactments are of battles, and they take place all over the world to mark significant times of war in a given location in a nation’s history, and the Niagara region is home to some excellent ones.

1. The Battle of Fort George

On July 11 and 12 at the Fort George Historic Site, reenactors from all over North America will join together to mark the 202nd anniversary of the Battle of Fort George. A bloody fight that took place during the War of 1812, the Battle of Fort George was a seminal engagement in the Niagara region’s history that saw the Americans defeat British troops to successfully capture the fort. In addition to battle reenactments that will take place on Saturday and Sunday, the weekend will also include musket firings, period music, artillery presentations, and more.

2. The Battle of Chippewa

image003Another engagement during the War of 1812, the Battle of Chippewa took place nearly two years after the Battle of Fort George, and while it resulted in another American victory over the British — and caused significant British losses — it nevertheless failed to allow the Americans to make much headway in the war overall. This July 5 marks the anniversary of that battle, and reenactors will take to the field to relive it at 2 p.m.

3. French and Indian War Encampment

On the first weekend in July, the Siege of 1759 that took place during the French and Indian War will be reenacted at Fort Niagara. Hundreds of reenactors are slated to attend for both the battle reenactments and the living history camps. Period artisans, craftspeople, and merchants will also be on-site, and there will also be artillery firings, musket demonstrations, Native councils, military music concerts, youth recruitment demonstrations, special exhibits, and much more.

No matter which end of the history-loving or hating spectrum you routinely find yourself on, the month of July boasts three spectacular events in and around the Niagara region sure to stoke your curiosity of what Niagara was like long before the 21st century.

What You’ll Find at the 2015 Niagara Jazz Festival

Posted on

image001Jazz is a form of music as iconic as our region’s eponymous waterfalls, but unlike our waterfalls, jazz branches off, transforms, and reinvents itself at almost every turn. It started out in the United States in the late 19th and early 20th centuries as a lively and inspired synthesis of African American, brass band, pop, and European music that incorporates improvisation, blue notes, poly-rhythms, swung meter, and more, and throughout its young lifespan — it is just a bit over 100 years old — jazz has spread throughout the world.

To the true jazz aficionado, the form is best experienced live, so long as the players playing are up to snuff, which is why—if you love jazz—you need to plan a trip to Niagara for the 2015 Niagara Jazz Festival.

The Festival

A newer music festival celebrating its second year, the Niagara Jazz Festival spans July 23 through the 26, and it takes place in the heart of Niagara’s beautiful wine country at venues that range from small, indoor, intimate settings to more airy and festive outdoor scenes. Both Canadian and international artists are featured throughout the festival’s four days, as well as culinary packages, award-winning wines, and great local craft beers. Last year’s festival saw more than 3,000 attendees over three days, and this year’s hopes to draw even more, as the Niagara region plays host to the lovers and keepers of North America’s greatest musical art form.

The Bands

image003There are plenty of entertainment and educational events slated to take place throughout the festival, but the highlights are the bands. Here are some of the performers making their way to the Niagara region for the NJF:

  • Gord Sheard. A well-known Canadian jazz musician who’s been playing for over 30 years, Gord Sheard’s most recent project, The Gord Sheard Quintet, will perform their unique blend of jazz, rhythm and blues, and African and Brazilian music.
  • Heillig Manouevre. This Toronto-based quartet has been a Canadian jazz favorite since 1998. Specializing in their own unique version of contemporary jazz, they play mostly original songs and just recently added saxophonist, Alison Young.
  • Genevieve Marentette Trio. After spending eight years singing and performing in Asia, Marentette is back in her homeland where she will be joined by pianist Mark Kieswetter and bassist George Koller.
  • Dinny and the Allstars. A Dixieland-style band, Dinny and the Allstars features Brian “Dinny” Dinsdale on trumpet. They play everything from marches and ragtime to standards, but their focus is on music that will get a crowd on its feet.
  • Vox Violins. Beth Bartley and Mark Clifford are Vox Violins, and they play a blend of jazz, folk, rock, gypsy, and classical music that has taken them around the world numerous times since they first began playing together in 1980.
  • Michael Kaeshammer. Beloved Canadian performer, Michael Kaeshammer, is slated to be the NJF’s 2015 Flagship Event Headliner. He is an accomplished pianist and singer, who specializes in blending boogie-woogie-style piano with rock, blues, jazz, and more.

If you love jazz and you love wine country, come to Niagara the last weekend in July for the Niagara Jazz Festival.