Tickets go on sale Saturday at noon
Exclusive pre-sale for Infolettre Spectra subscriber starts tomorrow!
And yes, sparks will fly during the indoor program of this 35th edition of the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, presented by TD in collaboration with Rio Tinto Alcan! Sparks will light up our eyes and our stages, ignited by a constellation of the greatest names from the world of music! Night after night, fans can expect unexpected encounters, exclusive creations, musicians who flirt with or achieve perfection, or soar into the sublime… In other words, the Festival treats itself—and all of us!—to an unprecedented 35th birthday program! From June 26 to July 6, jazz unveils all of its splendour in our venues, featuring the greatest artists from here and abroad, breathing new life into the music in its purest form or its many related musical genres, from blues to hip-hop. Tickets for these concerts go on sale this Saturday, April 26 at noon… although Infolettre Spectra subscribers (subscription is free at infolettrespectra.ca) can purchase them starting tomorrow at 9 a.m. until Friday at 9 p.m.!
Get ready for major anniversaries and massive marquee names!
This edition promises to be a supreme series of celebrations, with an incredible array of timely anniversaries: the Festival’s, of course, but also milestone moments for the OSM, Oliver Jones, Guy Nadon, François Bourassa, the Newport Jazz Festival, major works A Love Supreme by John Coltrane and Rhapsody in Blue by Gershwin and also landmark albums by the Violent Femmes, Gogh Van Go and Cassandra Wilson. Special guests will flock in from all over the world (and from around the block), with as many legends as newcomers who are all the rage on Planet Music. To whet your appetite for this anniversary edition, feast on such luminaries as Diana Ross, Keith Jarrett, Michael Bublé, Terence Blanchard, Rufus Wainwright, Trombone Shorty, Beck, Marcus Miller, Katie Melua, Jack DeJohnette, Earth, Wind & Fire, Tony Bennett, Ben Harper, Ginger Baker, Tord Gustavsen, Stacey Kent, Brad Mehldau, Dr. Lonnie Smith… Are we excited yet? And yet—incredibly—this barely adds up to the number of indoor concerts in a single day at the Festival!
Celebrations… from beginning to end!
Alain Lefèvre and the OSM in the Opening Concert
These two major evenings not only mark the 35th birthday of the Festival, they also celebrate the 80th season of the OSM and the 90th anniversary of Rhapsody in Blue by George Gershwin, the first work to break jazz into the world’s premiere concert halls. The program features Cuban Overture, Rhapsody in Blue and Concerto in F by Gershwin as well as Symphonic Dances taken from immortal musical West Side Story by Leonard Bernstein. And let’s not forget Lefèvre’s jazz compositions, performed with double bassist Michel Donato and drummer Paul Brochu, with whom they were recorded. Alain Lefèvre and the OSM, The Gershwin Legacy. Opening concert: June 26, 8 p.m. (also June 27, 7 p.m.), Maison symphonique de Montréal (Le Festival à la Maison symphonique series). Presented in collaboration with CBC/Radio-Canada.
Oliver Jones, 80th Birthday and Closing Festival Concert
with Lorraine Desmarais, Ranee Lee, Josée Aidans and Daniel Clarke Bouchard
The Festival closes out celebrations of its 35th edition by marking the 80th birthday of one of its most loyal and longstanding friends: internationally renowned Montreal pianist Oliver Jones. After the rare privilege of his solo concert in Cinquième Salle last summer, the living jazz legend does up his 80th with a superb soirée in Théâtre Maisonneuve. And for the cherry on top, the kid from Saint-Henri welcomes some of his dearest musical friends: Lorraine Desmarais, Ranee Lee, Josée Aidans and Daniel Clarke Bouchard. An emotional evening for Montreal jazz… with 88 keys and 80 candles! July 5, 8 p.m., Théâtre Maisonneuve, PdA (Les Grands concerts Rio Tinto Alcanseries). Presented in collaboration with CBC/Radio-Canada.
The event of the 35th anniversary!
Michael Bublé at the Centre Bell
Michael Bublé returns 10 years after his Festival debut! Following a 40-date American tour in support of his 6th album, To Be Loved, our very own international superstar treats fans to a pair of evenings in the Centre Bell. A multiple Grammy winner with 45 million albums sold, Bublé rolls out his timeless hits, and pieces from his latest album featuring 4 original co-written songs and covers of Elvis, the Bee Gees, the Jackson 5 and Frank Sinatra. July 4 and 5, 8 p.m., Centre Bell. Presented in collaboration with Evenko and Livenation.com.
The program, series by series
Événements spéciaux TD series, 7:30 p.m., Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, PdA
presented in collaboration with ICI Musique, CBCMusic.ca, La Presse+, Rouge FM, Boom FM, Virgin 96 and CHOM
To pre-open the Festival, alternative music icon Beck performs at the event for the first time June 25 (8 p.m.) with a new album—the eagerly anticipated Morning Phase. The following evening (June 26), musical explorer, inspired artist and renowned producer Daniel Lanois enters accompanied by two very special guests, Emmylou Harris and Trixie Whitley. Then, in an exclusive for our 35th and her only North American concert, talented young artist Katie Melua brings in her acoustic trio June 27, returning after a 5-year absence to present her latest bestseller, Ketevan. Singer-guitarist Ben Harper swoops in June 28 for a concert accompanied by living legend of the blues, harmonica master Charlie Musselwhite, presenting their brilliant recent collaboration, Get Up! Pre-eminent suave orchestra Pink Martini stir up their multicultural, polyglot sound June 29 (3 p.m. and 8 p.m.) with a repertoire boosted by a new album and very special guests, The von Trapps. The series continues June 30 with THE landmark American ’70s R&B band, Earth, Wind & Fire, landing the Mothership at the Festival for the first time with massive hits and songs from their solid 2013 release Now, Then & Forever. Another legendary figure from the music world takes the stage July 1: inimitable crooner Tony Bennett, sharing the stage with his daughter Antonia for a few choice songs. Then, the “Queen of Soul,” Aretha Franklin makes her grand return to Montreal July 2, 6 years after her one and only previous performance, a night fondly remembered by devoted fans. She’ll pass the torch to showbiz icon and living legend Diana Ross, offering fans the priceless gift of her very first visit to the Festival, for 2 very special evenings, July 3 and 4 (opening act: her daughter, Rhonda Ross). Next, two generations of the blues meet on July 5 in a concert uniting the regal B.B. King and young prodigy Gary Clark Jr., winner of the 2014 Grammy for Best R&B Performance. And, finally, R&B Maxwell, one of the major figures in contemporary R&B, finally performs in Montreal on July 6 for the very first time in his career!
Grands concerts Rio Tinto Alcan series, 8 p.m., Théâtre Maisonneuve, PdA
presented in collaboration with ICI Musique, CBCMusic.ca, 98,5 FM and CJAD 800 AM
This memorable edition revels in the presence of 4 grandes dames of jazz vocal, following one another on successive evenings! First, no stranger to major events, singer Cassandra Wilson (June 26) celebrates the 20th anniversary of her immortal album Blue Light ‘Til Dawn (opening act: Andreas Varady). Next (June 27), Dianne Reeves, winner of the 2002 Ella Fitzgerald Award, presents her new album, Beautiful Life, a perfect marriage of R&B, Latin music, pop and jazz in covers of songs by Bob Marley, Fleetwood Mac and Marvin Gaye (opening act: Nico Sarbanes). Then, June 28, jazz vocal star Stacey Kent enters with a new album, The Changing Lights, exploring one of her favourite genres: bossa nova (opening act: Emie R Roussel solo). On June 29, superb Afro-Spanish singer Buika makes us swoon in a first visit with her trio! The repertoire includes La noche mas larga, an album digging into the roots of flamenco and jazz (opening act: Bet.e & Stef). It’s also the first visit for legendary British drummer Ginger Baker (June 30), heading his quartet Jazz Confusion with Pee Wee Ellis, Alec Dankworth and Abass Dodoo, featuring top-flight high-energy jazz that dances with African rhythms. A leader in contemporary jazz, New York bassist and composer Marcus Miller returns July 1 to present his latest album, Renaissance, a brilliant fusion of jazz-funk, post-bop and rock (opening act: Parc X trio). Legendary flamenco dancer Juan Manuel Fernandez Montoya “Farruquito” follows in those footsteps July 2 (at 6 p.m.) with his show Improvisao, a perfect fusion of guitar and dance in a spectacle expressing total freedom. Next (July 3) comes a superlative double bill (7 p.m.): first, the Terence Blanchard Quintet, led by the renowned trumpeter and artistic director of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, followed by a large ensemble showcasing the global jazz repertoire and its composers, the Orchestre national de jazz de Montréal with guest Terence Blanchard and his musicians. The most American of French groups, Moriarty returns July 4 with tracks from a new album, Fugitives, a most literary musical aesthetic (opening act: Kandle). Finally, the evening after the Oliver Jones closing concert (July 5), get ready for a singer hailed all over the planet, who left fans here spellbound in 2010: Andrew Bird (July 6) (opening act: Elisapie).
Le Festival à la Maison symphonique series, 7 p.m., Maison symphonique de Montréal
presented in collaboration with The Gazette, CJAD 800 AM and Rouge FM
This series kicks off in brilliant form with the Festival’s opening concert, Alain Lefèvre and the OSM, The Gershwin Legacy (June 26, 8 p.m. and June 27, 7 p.m.)! On June 28, (8 p.m.), we remain in grandiose form with piano genius, daring composer and peerless improviser Keith Jarrett performing solo, all the more precious given this musician, a living legend of the Festival considered by many to be one of the most important musicians of the past half-century, hasn’t treated us to such a proposition in almost 25 years. Also solo, inimitable singer-songwriter Elvis Costello—spearhead of the punk-New Wave era, legendarily and fearlessly absorbing pop, jazz, country, cabaret and the standards of the Great American Songbook—returns June 29 after an 8-year absence. We also welcome back the winner of the 2003 Ella Fitzgerald Award, Bobby McFerrin (June 30), whose latest album, spirityouall reconnects with his famed father’s legacy as a Negro spirituals singer. The series continues July 1 with one of the major pianists on the jazz scene, Brad Mehldau, making his first ever Maison symphonique appearance in a solo concert. And to close out, the 6th Battle of the Bands rekindles musical fireworks July 5, matching up two legendary ensembles, the Glenn Miller Orchestra and the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, who’ve previously dueled in the very first edition of the musical combat in 2008—a Battle won by Miller’s men…
Nouveau monde series, 8 p.m., Théâtre du Nouveau Monde
presented in collaboration with MusiMax and The Gazette
Two Canadian pop stars follow one another in this series. On June 27, 28 and 29, Rufus Wainwright polishes the jewels of his latest, Vibrate: The Best of Rufus Wainwright, solo, an overview of a 7-album career that has won him renown as a peerless singer and composer (opening act: Lucy Wainwright Roche). On July 3, 4 and 5, Cœur de pirate performs hits selected specifically for season 5 of Trauma, along with bonus treats in her concert, Tried and True, Trauma and Other Notable Songs.
Rythmes series, 8:30 p.m., Métropolis
presented in collaboration with MusiquePlus, CKOI 96,9, Virgin 96 and CHOM
The funkiest of African divas, Angélique Kidjo, kicks things off June 26 with a repertoire including her 13th and latest album, Eve, written in tribute to African women (opening act: Karim Diouf) Next (June 27) comes Nikki Yanofsky, the darling of the Montreal jazz scene, discovered at the Festival in 2006 when she was just 12, and now an internationally-acclaimed artist (opening act: Jon Batiste and Stay Human). She’ll pass the baton to the pioneers of the French novo dub scene, High Tone (June 28), who hit hard with fierce sounds and video projections that transform the venue into a parallel universe (opening act: Face-T). Charismatic young New Orleans trombonist Trombone Shorty (June 30) follows hot on his heels with a new album, Say That to Say This, accompanied by his faithful combo Orleans Avenue (opening act: Hypnotic Brass Ensemble). The next day (July 1), it’s a fiery Reggae Nite with a double bill uniting Burning Spear, undeniably the greatest living reggaeman, and Sly & Robbie, THE tuffest rhythm section of the past 30 years. Then, buckle up July 2 for a fabulous and slightly crazy project courtesy of Dweezil Zappa, eldest son of the late and very much lamented Frank: Zappa Plays Zappa, reanimating his father’s eclectic and singular repertoire. Legendary American punk-folk group the Violent Femmes make their Festival debut July 3, thirty years after the release of their first album, a multi-million seller that featured unforgettable hits Add It Up and Blister In The Sun (opening act: Foreign Diplomats). Another high-profile debut visit follows July 4: the Barenaked Ladies, with 25 years of witty hits and 7 well-deserved JUNO Awards (opening act: Whitehorse). Then (July 5) it’s a double bill starring Montreal pop-indie band Groenland, with the soaring songs of their first album, The Chase, and American St. Vincent, landing at the Festival with jazzy electro-rock. As the perfect series closer July 6, mixer-composer Simon Green, alias, Bonobo unveils the sonic creations of a solid album released last year, The North Borders (opening act: Krystale).
Couleurs SAQ series, 7 p.m., Club Soda
presented in collaboration with Rouge FM, CJAD 800 AM and CIBL 101,5 Radio-Montréal
The action unfolds June 26 with singer Alejandra Ribera and her cocktail of musical influences including folk-Latin, jazz, cabaret and pop, soaring on a sublime voice of rare intensity pitched somewhere between Lhasa, Tom Waits and Édith Piaf. Trixie Whitley (June 27), daughter of late soul-bluesman Chris Whitley, transports us to a new plane of her incandescent blues-soul universe. The passion continues with California singer-pianist Beth Hart (June 28), here to conquer the Fest with her powerful voice and heart-stopping songs. Then, prepare for the irresistible hyper-expressive voice and piano of Benjamin Clementine (June 29), riding an impressive wave of popularity since having been discovered playing in the Paris Métro. On June 30, welcome José James, hailed as “the most original talent on the contemporary jazz scene” by Pitchfork, unveiling his remarkable No Beginning No End, released on Blue Note in 2013. Rising young guitar star Omar “Bombino” Moctar, a Touareg from northern Niger, makes an anticipated return to Montreal July 1 after his memorable Francos show last summer. The Festival next welcomes Matt Andersen and The Mellotones (July 2), led by a Canadian guitarist whose fretboard skill is equaled only by his extraordinary voice, presenting their 8th studio album, Weightless. The action continues with the aptly-named True Blues (July 3) show, starring an assemblage of three fabulous acoustic guitarists, Guy Davis, Corey Harris and Alvin Youngblood Hart, reviving the roots of the blues with utterly contagious passion. Then, welcome back our most Bohemian of musical poets, Rickie Lee Jones (July 4), returning after a 7-year absence with The Devil You Know, produced by Ben Harper, and songs from a new album (opening act: Jason Bajada) The always spellbinding Jill Barber (July 5) then unveils her own latest release, enriching an already exquisite repertoire. Mulatu Astatke (July 6), father of Ethio-jazz, closes the series with his new album, Sketches of Ethiopia, blending modern jazz with traditional Ethiopian music, Latin rhythms and reggae.
Jazz Beat Hyatt Regency Montréal series, 9:30 p.m., Théâtre Jean-Duceppe, PdA
presented in collaboration with CBCMusic.ca
The Jazz Beat series opens June 26 with a nod to history in an event celebrating the oldest jazz festival in North America: the Newport Jazz Festival, Now 60, with Randy Brecker, Anat Cohen, Larry Grenadier, Karrin Allyson, Mark Whitfield, Clarence Penn and Peter Martin. Virtuoso guitarist Mike Stern (June 27) returns with a group co-piloted by a renowned saxophonist, the Bill Evans Band featuring Tom Kennedy and Steve Smith, serving up a vigorous jazz fusion that conquered Europe last year. Then comes another supergroup formed by members of Wayne Shorter’s peerless quartet: the Danilo Pérez with Brian Blade & John Patitucci (June 28 at 10 p.m.). On June 29, the Festival welcomes a trio led by one of the most illustrious drummers in jazz history, the Jack DeJohnette Trio with Ravi Coltrane and Matt Garrison and their tribute to the immortal John Coltrane. One of the leading outfits in Scandinavian jazz, the Tord Gustavsen Quartet takes over June 30, in the wake of their 6th album, Extended Circle. On July 1, the Kenny Garrett Quintet, headed by the renowned Detroit saxophonist, showcases a brilliant new release, Pushing the World Away, where jazz embraces funk and Latin music. On July 2, all hail a duo formed by Randy Weston & Billy Harper, two legends here to unfurl their first recording together, The Roots of the Blues. On July 3, we reconnect with the legacy of immortal bandoneonist and composer Astor Piazzolla in the show Piazzolla Plays Piazzolla by Escalandrum. An elegant crooner with a suave voice, Freddy Cole (July 4) has an 80-year (!) musical history including This and That, released in 2013 and a brilliant addition to a rich discography that now numbers some 30 albums. Star saxophonist Joe Lovano is in July 5 with fabulous combo Us Five, whose set includes a 3rd album, Cross Culture, released on Blue Note in 2013. The series finale is a kaleidoscopic musical reverie with Tom Harrell, Colors of a dream with Esperanza Spalding, Jaleel Shaw, Johnathan Blake, Ugonna Okegwo and Wayne Escoffery (July 6), promising a high-voltage soiree with the elite of today’s jazz.
Culte ! series, 7 p.m., Cinquième Salle, PdA
presented in collaboration with Virgin 96 and NIGHTLIFE.CA
This series blazes out of the gate with For the Record: Tarantino in Concert, an electrifying spectacle somewhere between film, music and theatre and presented in a Canadian premiere (June 25 to 30, 7 p.m. and June 28 and 29 at 2 p.m.): a team of 28 dancers, musicians and stage performers delivering a musical version of cult-fave scenes by the film and soundtrack master, from Reservoir Dogs to Django Unchained. Tarantino himself was floored by the show! Then, the Ligue d’Improvisation Musicale de Montréal picks up the baton for a grand provincial finale, with 2 teams of 5 musicians facing off in musical improvs created according to specific themes and guidelines: Montreal-Saguenay (July 4); Québec-Saguenay (July 5) and Québec-Montreal (July 6).
Invitation TD series, 6 p.m., Gesù — Centre de créativité presented in collaboration with The Gazette
In keeping with a tradition of offering collections of unique concerts matching high-calibre musicians, the prestigious Invitation TD series opens with three evenings of the Guitar Bazaar headed up by bushwacking bluesman Harry Manx. The Canadian multi-instrumentalist first welcomes elemental guitar virtuoso Charlie Hunter and his hybrid 7- and 8-string guitars (June 26). Next (June 27), guitarist Kevin Breit accompanies him in a shared repertoire featuring 3 albums of folk-blues inspired and delightful folk-blues on banjo, Mohan Veena, electric sitar and mandolin. For his 3rd rendezvous (June 28), Manx pairs with another definitive figure in world music: guitarist and sonic explorer Dave Lindley. Brilliant young American trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire holds serve in the following 3 nights of the series. On June 29, sparks will fly when he takes the stage with famed jazz guitarist Bill Frisell. On June 30, the star trumpeter brings in his quintet and a repertoire including a brilliant 2nd album, the imagined savior is far easier to paint, on Blue Note. Next, Ambrose Akinmusire “crosses swords” with another young talent renowned for his impressive improvisational sense and mad virtuosity: pianist Tigran (July 1). The pianist then takes over the series July 2, kicking off in a duet with another virtuoso pianist, Brad Mehldau. Tigran next steps forward in a quintet presenting Shadow Theater (July 3), a new album savvily blending jazz, Armenian folklore, rock and pop. The final three evenings of the series belong to Piedmont troubadour Gianmaria Testa solo (July 4 to 6), with the charming singer-songwriter taking the stage alone with his guitar to present re-readings of his most moving compositions.
TD Jazz d’ici La Presse+ series, 6 p.m., L’Astral
presented in collaboration with ICI Musique
THE voice of jazz presents her latest album in a quintet, accompanied by strings in a concert entitled Ranee Lee Quintet with a string quartet and special guests (June 26). She’ll be followed by intense and brilliant harmonica player Guy Bélanger, here to host his Jazz Experience with guests (June 27). The following evening (June 28), Polish-Canadian trumpeter and composer Jacques Kuba Séguin unveils his Litania Projekt, blending neoclassical and North European jazz influences. Then, who better than the man who holds the record for Festival visits, Vic Vogel (June 29), back in one of his favourite formats: the Jazz Big band, a tradition he just happens to have helped revive in La Belle Province. He’ll be followed June 30 by composer, arranger, pianist and organist Vincent Réhel, who invites his longstanding collaborator, Diane Tell, to share the stage. July 1 is the perfect opportunity to celebrate an absolutely singular anniversary: 80 Birthdays, 70 Years of Music starring immortal Roi du Drum Guy Nadon in a septet, ready for his 31st (!) turn at the Festival. Rafael Zaldivar then commands his Afro Cuban Revival (July 2), rolling in a quintet concert that promises to be caliente. On July 3, the Jérôme Beaulieu Trio, winners of the 2013-2014 Révélation Jazz Radio-Canada, deliver a concert featuring a projectionist and his surprising visuals. He’ll pass the baton to saxophonist, composer and arranger Jean-Pierre Zanella (July 4), winner of the 2011 Oscar Peterson Award, here in a quartet with brilliant American guitarist Mike Moreno. Misses Satchmo strut in July 5 with a cabaret-styled jazzy-swing cocktail rewiring the legendary repertoire of Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong. The series closes (July 6) with trumpeter and bandleader Ron Di Lauro and Kind of Blue, a lovely tribute to the legendary Miles Davis album.
Le Club series, 9 p.m., L’Astral
presented in collaboration with Galaxie and CIBL101,5 Radio-Montréal
Spellbinding young singer Cécile McLorin Salvant opens this series (June 26 and 27) with a debut visit to the Festival and songs from her excellent album WomanChild. On June 28, Israeli pianist Shai Maestro approaches the jazz trio with a refreshing verve and inventiveness. The following night (June 29), excellent French pianist Baptiste Trotignon and talented American saxophonist Mark Turner share the creative chemistry behind Dusk Is A Quiet Place, a gem of voluptuous melodies and airy rhythms. Indefatigable saxophonist Yannick Rieu (June 30), a jewel of the local jazz scene, treats us to a special tribute to John Coltrane’s immortal A Love Supreme, released 50 years ago. Then, discover Tennessee native Valerie June (July 1), the missing link between Dolly Parton and Billie Holiday, whose moving semi-electric country-blues at once evokes the solitude of the cotton fields and the majesty of a Southern gospel choir. On July 2, meet Mehliana, the duo of brilliant pianist Brad Mehldau and drummer Mark Guiliana, whose debut album is a power-packed concentration of electric, intense and sustained jazz magic, carried by Mark’s rhythmic virtuosity and Brad’s inspired melodic lines on Fender Rhodes and synthesizers. In his first headline gig here, bassist, soloist and skilled composer and bassist Charnett Moffett (July 3) presents his recent album solo, The Bridge. The next night (July 4), a star rises: Kris Bowers, pianist and keyboardist, making a first visit to the Festival with a jazz repertoire torqued by neo-soul and funk. Renowned Montreal pianist François Bourassa (July 5), winner of the 2007 Oscar Peterson Award, celebrates 30 years of Festival performances accompanied by several musician friends. The series ends with the Festival debut of pianist and percussionist Bachar Mar-Khalifé (July 6), spinning out a musical kaleidoscope of traditional Arab music, electronica, contemporary music, poetry and jazz.
Jazz dans la nuitseries, 10:30 p.m., Gesù — Centre de créativité
presented in collaboration with ICI Musique and CBCMusic.ca
Brilliant trumpeter Roy Hargrove (June 26) does the honours opening the Jazz dans la nuit series, landing with his “regular” quintet for a rare Festival appearance. Next (June 27), Rudresh Mahanthappa, an alto saxophonist with a revolutionary artistic perspective, shares his most recent project, Gamak, accompanied by Rez Abbasi (guitar), François Moutin (bass) and Dan Weiss (drums). They’ll make way for a super trio formed by renowned American pianistMarc Copland, bass virtuoso Gary Peacock and drummer Joey Baron, unveiling their new project Now This (June 28). One of the most highly appreciated drummers of his generation, Jeff Ballard (June 29) brings in a trio to showcase a first album recorded as a bandleader, Time’s Tales, with masterful Benin guitarist Lionel Loueke and Puerto Rican saxophonist Miguel Zenón. Hammond B-3 organ wizard Dr. Lonnie Smith opens up his Octet June 30, a major jazzman celebrating a half-century career. On July 1, ace double bassist Christian McBride heads in for a trio performance of his acoustic jazz album Out Here. On July 2, legendary Jamaican pianist Monty Alexander orchestrates groovy, jubilant jazz and revamped reggae with his Harlem-Kingston Express. Young virtuoso alto saxophonist and composer Grace Kelly (July 3) returns in a quartet with Grace, an album of sacred music perfectly conceived for the Gesù. Bassist Felix Pastorius (July 4) made his rep as a member of the Yellowjackets. Thirty-two years after his father, late lamented musical genius Jaco Pastorius, the son makes his own very special Festival debut. Detroit violinist Regina Carter is in July 5, shaking up a Southern Comfort cocktail coloured by blues, gospel country, R&B and a pinch of jazz. Brilliant Canadian saxophonist and composer Christine Jensen and her Jazz Orchestra (July 6) close out the series with Juno-winning album Habitat.
Musique au MAC series, 8 p.m., Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal
Iconoclastic Québec collective L’orchestre d’hommes-orchestres (June 27 to July 1) launches this series with Cabaret Brise-Jour — the music of Kurt Weill, blending theatre, poetry and music in an utterly unhinged spectacle. Then, visionary artist Chassol (July 2 and 3) presents a North American premiere of his new Caribbean creation: Big Sun. The series continues with another musical adventurer: DJ-composer Poirier, unveiling the “chamber electronica” of his latest project, Boundary (July 4). And for a perfect closer, Montreal combo Esmerine (July 5 and 6) performs Dalmak, released in 2013 after an artist residency in Istanbul, embracing world music and unspooling an ultra-trippy Turko-modern groove.
Concerts intimes series, 7 p.m., Savoy du Métropolis
Emma Frank (June 26) opens the festivities with a quartet of jazzy-folk musicians here to accompany that magnificent voice and songs of her first release, For Being Apart. The Jordan Officer Trio (June 27 to 29) takes hold of the stage with I’m Free, a blues compendium showcasing the stunning talent of the winner of the 2010 Félix for Album of the Year—Jazz creation. Trio Dear Criminals (June 30, July 1 and 2) steals in with their dark-hued, sensual and seductive electro-folk, (in collaboration with CISM 89.3 FM). Next comes another trio: the three jazz-loving California horn/reed players of Moonchild (July 3 and 4), with their new album, Please Rewind, somewhere between jazz and neo-soul, Erykha Badu and D’Angelo. The series closes with the “folk noir” of Toronto band Scarlett Jane (July 5 and 6), armed with a universally lauded debut album, Stranger.
Nuits Heineken series, 11 p.m., Club Soda
presented in collaboration with CISM 89,3 FM and NIGHTLIFE.CA
The series opens with Montreal’s once and future coolest alt-pop duo Gogh Van Go (June 26), inviting festival fans to an emotional evening marking the 20th anniversary of the release of their first album. The party rolls on with Hercules & Love Affair + Andy Butler (DJ set)(June 27), an odyssey into the roots of disco-house recently immortalized on The Feast of the Broken Heart. Singer-guitarist Cody ChesnuTT (June 28) brings his own rootsy move, Landing on a Hundred, an album of classic R&B evoking the spirit of Marvin Gaye circa early ’70s. He passes the torch to Brit troubadour Will Holland, alias Quantic (June 29), and his new albumMagnetica, an energetic marriage of cumbia, jazz, funk and salsa. The following night (June 30), Swedish/Montreal duo Thus Owls unfurl a soaring 3rd album,Turning Rocks, a fascinating fusion of ambience and rock. The series continues with the return of alternative hip-hop group LATYRX (Lateef & Lyrics Born) (July 1) after a 16-year absence, with the aptly-named The Second Album. Next, the brilliant pop Midas Kevin Barnes leads of Montreal (July 2), from Georgia in the U.S., as they command the stage with songs from recent album Lousy with Sylvanbriar. Thomas Azier (July 3), a young Dutchman based in Berlin, brings a debut album, Hylas, offering a lesson in icy synth-pop grooves warmed by an extremely expressive voice. Then make way for American rapper and producer Oddisee (July 4) master of a reflective and intelligent hip-hop as evidenced on his 2 most recent efforts: The Beauty In All and Tangible Dream. Passionate, daring young avant-garde jazz group Badbadnotgood (July 5) prove just as brilliant in the post-rock mode, and with the covers of contemporary hip-hop hits on their new album. Finally, Betty Bonifassi (July 6) does the closing honours with Chants d’esclaves, chants d’espoir, a tribute to black songs from the ‘20s—songs from prisons, forced labour camps, railroad hollers and field calls.
The Croisière Jazz, 6:30 p.m., Bateau-Mouche,
Jacques-Cartier Quay, Old Port of Montreal
Recognized as a guitar virtuoso, adoptive Montrealer Paulo Ramos is wreathed in the heady sensuality of his native land: gentle, transporting rhythms, a warm voice, the daydreamy sun-burnished hedonism of the beaches of Brazil. In other words, a cruise with this songwriter, singer, guitarist and percussionist is the perfect opportunity to float away on the sunny rhythms he masterfully lays down. As an added bonus: tracks from his upcoming album, due just in time for the Festival. From June 26 to July 4 (no performance June 28). Boarding at 6:15 p.m. at Jacques-Cartier Quay on the Old-Port of Montréal, returning at 10:30 p.m. Reservations required: 514 849-9952, 1 800 361-9952 or at bateaumouche.ca.
And don’t forget Les Soirées jazz Upstairs presented at 7 p.m. and 9:45 p.m. in Upstairs Jazz Bar & Grill (1254 MacKay St.), with Kevin Breit & da da-da da-da (June 25), The Heath Brothers (June 26 and 27), the Fred Hersch Trio (June 28 and 29), Sheila Jordan & The Hanky Panky Trio (June 30), the Bob Mover Quartet with Bob Cranshaw, Joe Cohn and Steve Williams (July 1), Ben Sidran & The Don’t Cry For No Hipster Band (July 2 and 3), the Guillaume Martineau Quintet with Chad Lefkowitz-Brown (July 4) and the Peter Bernstein Quartet with Jimmy Cobb, Harold Mabern and John Webber (July 5 and 6).
Finally, the Le Dièse Onze au Festival series will be presented every evening at 9:30 p.m. in Dièse Onze (4115-A Saint-Denis St.), with the Greg Amirault Trio with guest Kevin Dean (June 26), the Yves Léveillé Quartet (June 27), the Kim Richardson Quartet, Tribute to Billie Holiday (June 28), the Marianne Trudel Trio, Trifolia (June 29), Lundi Latin Jazz Ensemble (June 30), Alex Bellegarde Jam Session with guest Samuel Blais (July 1), The Brooks with guest Alan Prater (July 2), Joel Miller & Honeycomb (July 3), the Alex Côté Quintet, Tribute to the Adderley Brothers (July 4) and the Steve Amirault Trio (July 5).
The Festival goes mobile
Here’s a major new addition for this 35th edition: the mobile site (mobile.montrealjazzfest.com) will present the 2014 program, allowing fans to create their own personalized schedules. The Festival is also present on Facebook (facebook.com/montrealjazzfest), Twitter (@FestivalJazzMtl), Instagram (@FestivalJazzMtl) and YouTube (youtube.com/user/montjazzfest), and fans can follow and experience the action everywhere with our mobile application for iPhone and Android. We also remind you that, thanks to Bell, true fans can experience the Festival all year ’round. The montrealjazzfest.com site will keep everyone connected to the music they love at all times, before during and after the event. Video excerpts, artist bios, access to archives of previous Festival editions, a video station (montrealjazzfest.TV)… in other words, an essential web destination for every music fan.
Tickets go on sale this Saturday, April 26 at noon
Exclusive pre-sale for Spectra Newsletter subscribers: starts tomorrow!
- · Place des Arts and Maison symphonique de Montréal: 175 Ste. Catherine Street West; 514 842-2112, 1 866 842‑2112 or laplacedesarts.com
- · Métropolis and Savoy: 59 Ste. Catherine Street East; ticketmaster.ca, admission.com or 1 855 790-1245 — metropolismontreal.ca
- · L’Astral (Maison du Festival Rio Tinto Alcan): 305 Ste. Catherine Street West; ticketmaster.ca, admission.com or 1 855 790-1245 — sallelastral.com
- · Club Soda: 1225 St. Lawrence Boulevard; 514 286-1010 or clubsoda.ca
- · Gesù — Centre de créativité: 1200 De Bleury Street; 514 861-4036; admission.com or 1 855 790-1245 — legesu.com
- · Théâtre du Nouveau Monde: 84 Ste. Catherine Street West; 514 866-8668 ortnm.qc.ca
- · Bateau-Mouche au Vieux-Port de Montréal: 55 St. Paul Street West; 514 849-9952 or 1 800 361-9952 — bateaumouche.ca
- · Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal: 185 Ste. Catherine Street West; ticketmaster.ca, admission.com or 1 855 790-1245 — macm.org
- · Centre Bell: 1909 Ave des Canadiens-de-Montréal, 514 790-2525 / 1 877 668-8269 or evenko.com
Get the jump on the crowd with the Infolettre Spectra and have the scoop on everything about the Festival emailed right to your inbox. All the latest news, exclusive pre-sales, discounts… and it’s all free when you subscribe by visiting infolettrespectra.ca.
Info-Jazz: indispensible information tools
You can pick up the official free brochure Info-Jazz Indoor Concert Schedule right now in concert venues, in most CD and bookstores, in public spaces, major downtown businesses, Montreal tourist information centres, and, end of April, in SAQ locations in Greater Montreal SAQ locations in Greater Montreal. You can also call the Info-Jazz La Presse+ Line at 514-871-1881or, toll free, at 1 85JAZZFEST, or visit montrealjazzfest.com.
Complete programming for free outdoor concerts and activities at the 35th edition of the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal will be announced this coming June 3.