The Legendary David Wilcox headlines Friday night
MISSISSAUGA, Sept. 6, 2023 – The Tim Hortons Southside Shuffle Port Credit Blues & Jazz Festival (yes, it’s a long name) returns September 8, 9, and 10 in Memorial Park, 40 Lakeshore Rd. E., having reached the quarter century mark.
And, that’s quite the achievement for any music festival.
Founder and artistic director Chuck Jackson remembers that when the Shuffle started in 1999, a dozen eggs cost 89 cents, Serena Williams won her first Grand Slam title, and the average cost of a new GTA home was just $131,000.
“It’s truly amazing how much the festival has evolved,” muses the lead singer for the legendary Downchild Blues Band. “When we started, we had four bands playing on a soccer field at Lakeshore and Highway 10. We didn’t even have a liquor license.”
Today, the Shuffle presents more than 100 international and domestic acts. Fans can enjoy the ticketed Main Stage shows, music on the two free stages, browse the artisan market, or do some noshing at the food stalls. And they can walk the park, beer in hand.
Organizers cite a heightened excitement with the 25th anniversary.
One interested observer at the Shuffle VIP Party was ex-Triumph drummer Gil Moore, owner of MetalWorks Recording Studio in Mississauga.
“(The Southside Shuffle is) a great community event. It has a long history of success,” he said. “Kudos to Chuck Jackson, and the leadership team.”
“That’s 25 years of entertaining families, and I think that’s the most important thing “
Shuffle highlights from over the years include performances by blues and jazz luminaries like Johnny Winter, Buddy Guy, The Funk Brothers, Pat Travers, Mavis Staples, Duke Robillard, Sue Foley, Blind Boys Of Alabama, Ronnie Hawkins, Coco Montoya, David Clayton-Thomas, and The Fabulous Thunderbirds.
And this year’s Main Stage lineup holds its’ own.
Main Stage Acts
On Friday, September 8, things kick off with Spencer MacKenzie showcasing his Juno-nominated album “Preach To My Soul” at 7 p.m., followed by Juno winner Angelique Francis with her powerful mix of Blues, Soul, Jazz, Folk, Americana and more at 8:30. Then, Canadian blues icon David (“Do The Bearcat”) Wilcox tears it up as only he can at 10:15.
Saturday’s lineup features ranking Canadian Blues piano man Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne at 4:30, the much-anticipated The Last Waltz: A Musical Celebration of The Band at 6 p.m., the 12-piece, brass-driven My Son The Hurricane at 8 p.m., and acclaimed True North Records artist Matt Andersen And The Big Bottle Of Joy at 10 p.m.
On Sunday, the entertaining Shewolves Of London appear at 1 p.m. the last woman standing on the 2005 Rock Star INXS Talent Search, Suzie McNeil and The Chain Reaction are on at 2:45, and Toronto blues guitar-slinger extraordinaire Jack de Keyzer plays at 4:30, before Downchild does its’ perennial festival close-out performance at 6:15.
Main Stage tickets are $20 for Friday, $25 for Saturday, and $20 for Sunday. But you can save $5 by purchasing a Weekend Pass for $60. Tickets are available at southsideshuffle.ca, and at the Main Stage gates (with debit, credit and cash accepted, and two ATM’s onsite).
The two free stages in Memorial Park will present such talents as Paul James, Steve Strongman, the Mississippi All-Stars, Jenie Thai, and Mark “Bird” Stafford.
Then there’s the always popular “Street Shuffle”, where Lakeshore Road is closed down to cars from 1 to 5 p.m. and pedestrians can pass by more than 20 outdoor stages featuring acts from across Ontario.
And that’s not to mention the live blues in the local clubs, all weekend long.
Each year, the Southside Shuffle draws more than 60,000 people to the park and Pork Credit’s booming “Harbour Strip”.
Festival Chair Kris Kane notes that, “It’s just steps away from the train and bus stations, as well as the marina. It’s only a short drive from the airport, and is within close proximity of the major highways. There are plenty of lodging options nearby.”
lead photo David Wilcox For more information on David Wilcox visit: www.davidwilcox.net
by Mike Beggs