Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Launch event for Burgundy Jazz, June 19

Tomorrow night, there will be a launch event for the interactive documentary Burgundy Jazz, a project I've been working on for the last two years (and why I haven't posted much in the last while).

Burgundy Jazz is about the rich history of jazz in Montreal from the perspective of the black community in Little Burgundy. It reaches back to Prohibition and earlier, and explores how Montreal became a jazz hotspot in the early years – how headquarters set up in Montreal by Grand Trunk Railway and Canadian Pacific Railway attracted black workers at a time when train travel was luxurious and being a porter was the best job available to blacks; and how the rejection of Prohibition in Quebec led to Montreal being the only major city in Canada or the U.S. to legally drink, which attracted tourists for drinking, dancing, gambling, prostitution – and jazz.

It explores some of the great personalities of the local jazz scene such as Oscar Peterson, Louis Metcalf, the Sealey brothers, Charlie Biddle, Nelson Symonds and Oliver Jones. We also take a look at some of the legendary clubs such as Rockhead's Paradise and the Café St. Michel.

We've been working around the clock lately to prepare the project and to put together a fun event to kick things off. The launch event will begin at 5pm at the Centre culturel Georges-Vanier with a vernissage of a free gallery exhibit of photos we gathered as part of the project. There will be drinks and refreshments.

Afterwards, Dr. Oliver Jones will act as the honourary Grand Marshall of a New Orleans-style jazz parade from the CCGV to the Corona Theatre where the main event will take place. At 7:30, a show will take place which will screen the documentary episodes of Burgundy Jazz, interspersed with live entertainment by a variety of acts in the style of 1950s nightclubs, including singing, dancing, burlesque and jazz musicians. Some of the musicians include legends like Glenn Bradley, Billy Georgette and Norman Marshall Villeneuve who all played at places like Rockhead's.

In addition to being a great time, the event is a fundraiser with the proceeds going to the Little Burgundy Coalition. We hope you can join us!

Buy tickets: click here


June 19th 2013

5 p.m. - free
Georges Vanier Cultural Centre - 2450 Workman St.

Music by the Mario Allard Quintet

Followed by a “New Orleans” style musical parade in Little Burgundy, led by honorary Grand Marshall Dr. Oliver Jones.

7 p.m. – $12 / $15 at the door*
Corona Theatre - 2490 Notre-Dame St. West

Featuring vaudeville-style performances, including jazz legends Norman Marshall Villeneuve, Glenn Bradley and Billy Georgette, in addition to a projection of capsules from the web documentary, and DJ Andy Williams from Jazz Amnesty Sound System. Co-hosted by Stanley Péan, from the radio show Quand le jazz est là... (Espace musique) and Sonali Karnick of All in a Weekend (CBC Radio 1)

Buy your tickets at the Corona Theatre or online

* Plus service charges. A portion of ticket sale revenues will be donated to the Little Burgundy Coalition

Check-out full line-up of Burgundy Jazz events during summer 2013.

Burgundy Jazz is presented by Catbird Productions in association with Espace.mu and CBCMusic.ca, with the financial participation of Radio-Canada, the Canada Media Fund, the Mobile Media Lab at Concordia University; and with the collaboration of the Festival international de jazz de Montréal, the Arrondissement Sud-Ouest, the Georges Vanier Cultural Centre, the Corona Theatre, Quartier du Canal, L’Autre Montréal, and Véhicule Press.

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