Jelly Roll Books First-Ever International Dates With 2 Canadian Plays

The 50th CMA Fest Nightly Concerts at Nissan Stadium Day 2
Jelly Roll performs onstage for night 2 of the 50th CMA Fest at Nissan Stadium on June 09, 2023 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for CMA)

Genre-fusing country sensation Jelly Roll has been pushing musical boundaries for years and now he gets to cross borders.

Jelly will head north of the border for two Canadian dates in July. He’ll play July 8 show at the Meridian Center in St. Catharines, Ontario, at a benefit for the Heather Winterstein Foundation and the following day will perform at Ottawa’s Bluesfest on a lineup that includes Future Islands, Maroon 5 and Carly Rae Jepsen, among others.

International touring has been a challenge for the chart-topper because of his past felony convictions, which throws up hurdles during the visa application process. One of those — for aggravated assault — proved especially tricky, as Pollstar reported in a September 2023 cover story.

The significance of the performances being Jelly’s first is not lost on his hosts.

“The Heather Winterstein Foundation and the family of Heather Winterstein are grateful that Jelly Roll is honouring us with his very first Canadian concert on our behalf,” Jennifer Dockstader, executive director of the Foundation, said in a statement. “His dedication to raising awareness, sharing his story of healing, and supporting substance use disorder treatments are a beacon of hope for Indigenous and non-Indigenous people alike across Turtle Island. His message brings the struggles of our loved ones into the open and helps us celebrate the healing journeys of our relatives in our community, offering opportunities for equity and reconciliation.”

Tickets for the St. Catherines show will be available June 21 at 10 a.m. local time at Bluesfest tickets for the July 9 show go on sale June 19 at 10 a.m. on the festival’s website.

Jelly Roll is well-known for being candid about his life and about the struggles he faces. He told Jon Bon Jovi recently in a feature for Interview that while he’d been issued a passport, he was still working on gaining admission to other countries. He echoed that — but tinged it with optimism — in an interview with Howard Stern last week.