Year 2001

In year 2001 the Vancouver Sweet Basil Jazz Festival was conceived from the conviction that Vancouver has a permanent space for a strictly jazz festival and one that attempts to include not only Juno Award winners and top-ranked professionals but also the vast array of secondary high school talents playing within the jazz band curriculum and the exceptional talents that genesis from the Vancouver Community College, Capilano College and Kwantlen University College jazz programs. Thus the Vancouver Sweet Basil Jazz Festival is a grass-root and communal oriented event reaching the entire spectrum of the jazz community, the thousands of parents who put their youths into the high school jazz band programs, the music teachers, the band directors, the professionals, the Juno stars, the thousands of young high school and college students, the growing jazz public, the avid jazz lovers and the festival goers. The founder, creator and prime volunteer of the Vancouver Sweet Basil Jazz Festival is Michel Pan or simply Pan. Sweet Basil Jazz depends on the work of volunteers who donate their skills, time and services and has limited funding to support artist fees, program guides publication, office expenses and operating costs. The product is always a labour of love and hard work period. The official media, corporate and venue sponsors included CBC Radio One, Radio Canada Premiere Chaine, Radio Canada Television Colombie-Britannique, the Westender, the Source, Roland Canada, O’Douls Restaurant, Tom Lee Music, Alliance Francaise, Backstage Lounge, Carnegies, Vancouver Community College, Vancouver School Board, Point Grey Secondary School, VCC College, Kwantlen University College. Special support was also provided by Global TV and AM600. A total of eight venues with 37 performances were advertised from November 1 to 17, 2001.

Please view festival 2001


Year 2002

Vancouver Sweet Basil Jazz began the promotion of the following jazz series year round:

  • Sweet Basil Solo Jazz Piano Series
  • Sweet Basil Duo Recital Jazz Series
  • Sweet Basil Potpourri Jazz Series
  • VSBJF Festival to be held in October 2002

The venue presenters consisted of the Alliance Francaise, the Vancouver Public Library and the Point Grey Secondary School with Sweet Basil Jazz director Michel Pan acting as the overall curator on a volunteer basis for the venue presenters. Important sponsors added included the Vancouver Courier Newspaper, the Pacific Music Industry Association, PricewaterhouseCoopers and the Accent Inns. This creation of platforms for the established JUNO Award winners, established Canadian stars and deserving young artists to share ideas, to perform on the same stages, and to share in the publicity and exposure, thereby creating a true jazz family community, are paramount to Sweet Basil Jazz. The establishment of the Roland Canada - Sweet Basil Jazz - VSB bursary awards for the Vancouver School Board further distinguished the festival. The goal for 2002 was to present a more compact
and extremely high quality festival which encompassed the following flavours.

  • Sweet Basil Solo Jazz Piano Performances
  • Sweet Basil Jazz Duo Recital Performances
  • Sweet Basil Jazz Potpourri Performances
  • Sweet Basil Jazz Vocal Performances
  • Vancouver Public Library Sweet Basil Jazz Cafe Noon Hour Performances
  • VSB Vancouver District Secondary Jazz Festival (featuring 10+ jazz bands)
  • Live recording Workshop by Roland Canada & Sweet Basil Jazz
  • Workshops: Guitar Seminars, Roland Live Recording Workshop, PMIA Music Business Seminar
  • Presentation of important Canadian artists from Montreal & Winnipeg
    • Jean-Francois Groulx from Montreal
    • Ron Paley from Winnipeg
  • A few of the headlining shows were: Jean-Francois Groulx Trio, Ron Paley Trio, Oliver Gannon & Miles Black Duo and the Jazz Divas w/Miles Black Trio

Please view festival 2002


Year 2003

For year 2003, the Vancouver Sweet Basil Jazz Festival was presented by CIBC. Numerous funding sponsors, inclusive of the Government of Canada, Fidelity Investments, Talvest Mutual Funds, Roland Canada, Tom Lee Music, VMA Local 145, BC Hydro, JAM Industries, SOCAN Foundation were brought on board by the unrelenting effort of festival director Michel Pan, who donated another full year of work as the executive and artistic director. Vocal legend and 6-time Grammy Nominee Mark Murphy, Chuck Israels, François Bourassa, Miles Black, Babayaga String Quartet, Tango Paradiso, Mother of Pearl, Joseph Pepe Danza, Ménage à Trois Trumpet Kings & Jazz Divas and numerous artists drove the festival forward with great performances at eight venues throughout the city. Venues included the magnificent Stanley Theatre, Vancouver Public Library, Studio16, Roundhouse Theatre, Alliance Française, Tom Lee Music, Backstage Lounge and Hot Jazz Club.
Special thanks to the media support provided by the Courier, Global TV, North Shore News, Vancouver Sun, Radio-Canada, AM600, CBC Arts Beat Calendar, Ming Pao, Sing Tao and others. Special thanks to Accent Inns, official hotel of the festival.

Deciding not to combat status quo, protective funding biases and patterns,
the Sweet Basil Jazz Festival renamed itself as the Vancouver Sweet Basil Singers’ Festival for the 2004 edition. Beyond and besides jazz, the festival will slowly expand its programming to include great singers from all walks of life, culture and ethnic diversity. Whilst this new direction and transformation slowly takes shape, the festival will continue to present jazz and non-jazz artists and great performances in order to create more cultural vibes for all lower mainland residents and visitors.

Please view festival 2003