Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Festival International de Jazz de Montréal announces free outdoor programming

A 35th anniversary for the Festival: everyone is invited to the party!
Free outdoor program of the 35th edition of the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal

Thirty-five years—already! Well, for an occasion like this, it’ll be Party Time every day from June 26 to July 6 during the 35th edition of the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, presented by TD in collaboration with Rio Tinto Alcan! The 2014 free outdoor program offers concerts for every taste, in every possible genre related to or descended from jazz, from new discoveries to major names to festive events.

The Festival is a genuine engine for the social, economic, cultural and tourism development of Montreal, inviting the entire world to plunge into its oasis in the heart of the du Quartier des Spectacles, the perfect place to surrender to a musical celebration in complete security on a people-friendly site packed with free music and activities, with all of your worries left at home! With that magic formula, it’s no wonder that our event annually draws 2 million entries!

For this 35th edition, fans will note a plethora of new additions, especially on the outdoor site. The TD Stage, the main stage of the Festival, has had a beautiful makeover, with a new look and an even larger format! The Loto-Québec Stage has also been remodeled, and the Radio-Canada/CBC Stage relocates to the corner of De Maisonneuve and Jeanne-Mance while the Lounge Heineken faces the Maison du Festival Rio Tinto Alcan, corner of De Bleury and Ste. Catherine Streets. Meanwhile, parents will be happy to discover the new Rio Tinto Alcan Family Club, a brand new area offering menus and activities specially conceived for children, located “above” the Place des Arts marquee. Finally, the Bistro SAQ can now be found in the heart of the Place des Festivals, while the Grande Boutique returns to the southwest entrance to the site (Ste. Catherine and De Bleury Streets), next to the Lounge Heineken. Incidentally, all Festival souvenir boutiques (both on-site and online) will also be dressed to the nines with brand new clothing collection Griffé Jazz, signé Dubuc, created exclusively by major designer Philippe Dubuc specially for the 35th edition. But you’d better hurry, because there’ll be a very limited supply of these items!

Four major free outdoor Events

This year, the Festival presents 4 majorly massive free outdoor gatherings on the TD Stage on the Place des Festivals, each of them at 9:30 p.m. First, here’s THE great gift of this anniversary edition: Diana Krall, who goes mega with her first free outdoor concert, the TD Grand Event presented in collaboration with SiriusXM. It’s the utterly elegant way for the great Canadian jazzwoman to mark her 20-year love story with the Festival where she was born—artistically speaking! On Sunday, June 29, downtown Montreal falls in love anew!

The Festival launches this 35th edition on June 26 by calling on the French sensation who blew everyone away last year in Métropolis: Woodkid, who takes on the Bell Opening Event, promising us an incredible evening, unfurling his peerless cinematic pop, accompanied by 7 musicians. Next, mid-Festival, comes the Rendez-Vous Loto-Québec presented in collaboration with Sony Canada on July 1, part of the Festival’s traditional mission to unveil a genuine musical discovery: Vintage Trouble—a California quartet formed in 2010 and championed, among other things, for a lead singer who ranks as the most explosive onstage performer seen in ages! How great? The group has caused a commotion everywhere they’ve played, including having been chosen to open for both the Rolling Stones AND The Who and hitting most of the major American talk shows (Letterman, Leno, Conan…). Finally, on July 6, the Rio Tinto Alcan Special Closing Event presents a wild final bash with Deltron 3030, the premier trio in hip-hop (Dan The Automator, Del the Funky Homosapien and Kid Koala) who celebrate the occasion big-time with a super orchestra adding to the crazed ambience!

A brief look at the program, stage by stage

TD Stage
(Place des Festivals)

In addition to these major events, the Place des Festivals hosts the prestigious Performances TD series at 9 p.m. and 11 p.m. On June 27, Québec’s Bobby Bazini seduces with R&B accented with soul, blues and folk from his latest album, More Than Words Can Say. On July 4, Susie Arioli offers a special concert, featuring her own repertoire and the standards of the Great American Songbook, accompanied by 7 musicians and a horn section. The following evening, charismatic German DJ Shantel, a star of border-bounding musical gatherings, joins forces with the Bucovina Club Orkestar and powers up his latest album Anarchy + Romance, remixing the standards of Balkan music and sending the crowd into a dance frenzy.

The same stage hosts more action at 6 p.m. with the artists of the Gammes TD series. Considered one of the most brilliant stars in contemporary jazz, young singer, pianist and composer Laila Biali performs July 2. On July 3, Alberta combo Hutchinson Andrew Trio, winners of the 2013 TD Grand Jazz Award, make their 3rd visit to the Festival with the contemporary acoustic jazz of their latest album, Prairie Modern. And the 13-17-year-old future stars of our very own local blues scene burn up the stage July 5 after their intensive week of training in the Blues Camp.

Rio Tinto Alcan Stage (corner Ste. Catherine and Jeanne-Mance)

Located on Ste. Catherine St., the Rio Tinto Alcan Stage welcomes a range of very impressive artists. The Soirées jazzy Rio Tinto Alcan series, at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m., hosts Franco-Dominican Cyrille Aimée on June 29 (exclusively at 8 p.m.), bringing us the acoustic jazz, bossa nova and gypsy music of new album, It’s a Good Day. On July 3, Montreal’s Coral Egan, a Festival regular, charms us with her recent release, The Year He Drove Me Crazy. The members of Lake Street Dive make their Festival debut July 4, showcasing ultra-impressive instrumental technique and spontaneous energy.

Grande-Place Stage, Complexe Desjardins

With school vacations about to start, the entire family is invited to La Petite école du jazz, presented by Rio Tinto Alcan every day at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., from June 27 to July 6. Join Les Zélèves, a vocal harmony quintet led by Victor-Jacques Ménard, James Gelfand and his quartet, and Festival mascot Ste-Cat, who’ve prepared their traditionally wonderful jazz lesson for young and old alike. It’s a dynamic, interactive and fun-filled musical initiation! At 3 p.m. on June 28 and 29, and July 5, fans can keep the celebration rolling by joining in the Samajam Family Music Workshops, a playful percussion-packed workshop presented by Rio Tinto Alcan, principal partner in the Samajam stay-in-school program since 2011.

Loto-Québec Stage (Parterre, Maison symphonique de Montréal, corner De Montigny and Clark)

At 7 p.m., the Spectacles blues Loto-Québec series trains a brighter-than-ever spotlight on the blues! On July 2, the Katy Guillen & The Girls trio treats us to incandescent blues-rock that draws inspiration equally from Heartless Bastards and Jimi Hendrix. The following evening, Fred Lebel & the Hard Times Band uncork the convincing sound of their album Hard Times Band. Then, Jon Adessky & 3rd Degree fire up the stage to bring the series to a perfectly hot close.

At 9 p.m. and 11 p.m., the blues bash continues with the greatest names in the genre in the Soirées blues Loto-Québec series. Make way for the ultra-rock and essential, pure blues of Bad Boyz Boogie on June 28. On July 4, JJ Grey, accompanied by his band Mofro, unveils the R&B rhythms of This River. Rolling in from New Orleans, Little Freddie King (July 5)—cousin of Lightnin’ Hopkins and a colourful figure who stands as a pillar of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival—will have the entire crowd dancing to his most recent album, Chasing tha Blues.

Bell Stage (Clark North esplanade)

And things will be hot-hot-hot during the Tropiques Bell series at 8 p.m.! On July 2 and 3, young Zimbabwean crew Mokoomba unleash their dance-mad show, firing up the crowd with a blend of ethno-jazz, traditional Tonga rhythms, Sahara blues, hip-hop and salsa. Haiti’s Jean Jean Roosevelt takes up the baton July 4 with his latest album, Y a danger (2012), serving up a hot brew of Creole rhythms, reggae, R&B and Afrobeat. Next, 2013-2014 Radio-Canada Revelation in world music Mamselle Ruiz presents her new album (July 5), Miel de cactus, a crossroads of jazz, Mexican folk and Latin American rhythms.

The evening continues with the Groove Bell series at 10 p.m., with Boogat (June 27) and their ultra-festive sound, accompanied by a percussionist, drummer and trombonist and a repertoire crossing Latin groove with urban electronic music. On June 29, OY offers the joyous and fascinating musical blend of their latest album, No Problem Saloon, steeped in electronica, whirling percussion, heady melodies and captivating lyrics. Finally, on July 4 and 5, Swedish power trio Dirty Loops unveil an explosive and super-catchy new album, Loopified.

CBC/Radio-Canada Stage (Promenade des Artistes)

Night falls sweetly at 8 p.m. with the Brunantes CBC/Radio-Canada series. UK quartet Partisans—one of the most daring groups on the British jazz scene—roll in June 29 for their Festival debut with fresh material from their latest album. On July 5, Thomas Carbou unveils the 3rd installment of his Hekátê trilogy, released last September, accompanied by excellent saxophonist Erik Hove and drummer-composer-improviser Evan Tighe. The series closes July 6 with Stanley Péan inviting Festival fans to experience his exceedingly popular program Quand le jazz est là, accompanied by the Emie R Roussel Trio, Elizabeth Shepherd and other guests.

The Rendez-vous series invites everyone to a very varied roster of shows at 10 p.m., including Jazz Street Boyz, combining two devotees of vintage festive jazz who generate pure danceable pleasure: Jérôme Dupuis-Cloutier (trumpet) and Dominic Desjardins (banjo and vocals). Rob Mosher’s Polebridge vaults in on July 3 with a country-folkified music that sounds as though Schuman or Prokofiev were playing it. After her magnificent tribute to Dinah Washington, one of her primary jazz influences, Jaclyn Guillou makes her Festival debut July 4 with a new album, The Lover’s Walk.

Lounge Heineken (corner Ste. Catherine and De Bleury)

Directly across from the Maison du Festival Rio Tinto Alcan, the Lounge Heinekenseries brews up plenty of Happy Hour musical surprises, both at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. Enjoy a cocktail while savouring the warm voice of Venyse Rowe, and the ’50s and ’60s influences of Waiting Games on June 27 and 28. On July 3, the Ibrahim Electric trio shakes up a cocktail of jazz, funk, punk and Afrobeat guaranteed to rock the lounge. And on July 5 and 6, Wagons, originally from Australia, bring the Downundah approach to a country-rock sound conjuring images of the U.S. south.
L’Astral (Maison du Festival Rio Tinto Alcan, 305 Ste. Catherine St. W.)

L’Astral will be hopping every night from midnight with its Open House series. From June 26 to 29, the Jazz Amnesty 1.8 Sound System pumps out jazz fueled by swing, blues, funk, electronica and bebop. The party continues from June 30 to July 2 with Speakeasy Electro Swing, fusing the music of the first Great Depression with the technology of the second. On July 3 and 4, Balkan Gypsy Party ignite the dancing masses with their ultrafestive, irresistibly unifying ambience. The series blazes to a close July 5 and 6 with the DJs of Canicule Tropicale, who have shaken up the finest Caribbean, African and Latin-American dancefloors with undeniable hot, hot, hot rhythms!

Bistro Le Balmoral (Maison du Festival Rio Tinto Alcan, 305 Ste. Catherine St. W.)

Festival fans—double up on your musical pleasure with two free concerts rather than one, every night at 10 p.m. and midnight in the Musique au Balmoral series.Andréa Blaze opens the series from June 26 to 28, charming jazz fans with her new album, En attendant l’hiver, and a voice of rare finesse. From June 29 to July 1, the suave Miss Mellow invites us on a gentle voyage of discovery spotlighting the history of jazz and its influences. Kathryn Samman arrives July 2 and 3 with songs from the pop and jazz repertoire. Still building his growing reputation as one of the greatest gypsy jazzmen in Québec, Denis Chang closes the series Django-tastically from July 4 to 6.

Savoy du Métropolis (59 Ste. Catherine St. E.)

The Savoy dancefloor is the place to be for all nighthawks as of midnight during the Nightcap Heineken series presented by SiriusXM. The 5 members of Misteur Valaire set the tone with their Qualité Motel project June 26 and 27, firing up their fab blend of ’80s music and kitsch. Next, June 28 and 29 and also July 3, comes Morph-tet, born from the ashes of Kobayashi and led by saxophonist Franco Proietti. Montreal jazz duo Beat Market follow on June 30 and also July 1 and 2 with the musical time-travel of their retro-futurist disco-pop. Trio aRTIST oF tHE yEAR close out the festivities July 5 and 6 with electro-rock, funk and postmodern disco grooves that will have the dancefloor packed for the duration!

Hyatt Regency Montréal, Salon Inspiration (1255 Jeanne-Mance St.)

Now a deeply entrenched Festival tradition, the Jam Sessions welcome all true jazz devotees to the intimate confines of the Hyatt. This year, the Jams welcome back a genuine musical pro: winner of the 2011 Galaxie Rising Star Award, John Roney, one of the most brilliant young pianists on the Canadian scene. From June 26 to July 5, kicking off at 11 p.m., he and his Trio take charge of the night, showcasing music of creativity and passion… and no doubt welcoming a number of unexpected top-flight guests looking to sit in!

Concerts beginning at noon!

Rio Tinto Alcan Stage (corner Ste. Catherine and Jeanne-Mance Streets), Place des Festivals and the Lounge Heineken (Ste. Catherine St., between De Bleury and Balmoral Streets)

Every day during the Festival, the festivities kick off at noon! The finest of our high school and college jazz combos will be out to impress fans during the JazzFest des jeunes series, presented by Rio Tinto Alcan at noon and 3 p.m. The action rolls on through the afternoons with Dixie and brass bands parading through the Place des Festivals, on the Place des Arts esplanade and on Ste. Catherine St. (at 1 p.m., 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.), and in the Lounge Heineken (in front of the stage) at 4 p.m. At 1 p.m. (and with an encore at 5 p.m. on the Grande-Place in Complexe Desjardins), Les Envolées du Festival presents university combos in the Lounge Heineken, while the Rencontres festives kick off at 5 p.m. on the Place des Festivals, in which two groups play at opposite ends of the site before meeting in the middle for a battle of the bands right in the crowd. This year, the musical face-off features 5 equally rollicking orchestras: Streenix, Swing Tonique Jazz Band, Roma Carnivale, Gypsy Kumbia Orchestra and Orkestra Severni duel it out in friendly rivalries fueled by brass, energy and high spirits!

A free concert in Métropolis

On June 29 at 10 p.m., join us for a free concert added to the Métropolis program:Jimi Hendrix Guitar Extravaganza with Steve Hill and Paul Deslauriers. Two virtuosos lean into an evening of guitar-slinging guaranteed to take you to six-string 7th heaven! Steve Hill, the most brilliant guitar hero on the Montréal scene, and accomplished bluesman Paul Deslauriers lay down their fiery riffs, contagious energy and immense talent in service to the immortal Jimi Hendrix, accompanied by a handful of super surprise guests. And it’s all free, so… get ready to be Experienced!

Festival boutiques and restos

The Festival site has everything you need to satisfy your hunger and quench your thirst. Need a bite to eat? Feed your cravings at the grillades, hot-dog carts or friteries. For something a little more exotic, try the Italian specialties of La Porchetta or the Mexican flavours of the Mexican kiosk. Got a sweet tooth? Indulge it at the Mangues en fleur kiosk, the waffle kiosk or with Häagen-Dazs ice cream products. The new Rio Tinto Alcan Family Club offers its very own menu specially conceived for the little ones. Thirsty grown-ups can head to a number of beverage oases, from the relaxed ambience of the Lounge Heineken to the friendly Jazz Bars Heineken or Bistro Express SAQ, the welcoming terrasses of Bar Terrasse or Bistros SAQ, the plethora of port cocktails at the Porto Cabral Kiosk, or coffee drinks at the Café Jura. Thirsty visitors will also want to discover the new Tia Maria cocktail bar, as well as the refreshments offered by the TD kiosk. Finally, check out Terrasse Élixirs, the enlarged Balmoral terrasse and its mouth-watering bistro menu, located right on the Place des Festivals, with plenty of room for Festival fans to dine in the sunshine right in the heart of the action. The Festival Souvenir Boutiques will also feature prominently right on the site, offering all sorts of products directly linked to the Festival, from t-shirts bearing the Ste-Cat logo to a debut album by a hot new artist, posters, pencils, and even the exclusive new clothing collection, Griffé Jazz, signé Dubuc.

Galerie Lounge TD: presenting Jimi Hendrix!

The Galerie Lounge TD, located in the Espace culturel Georges-Émile-Lapalme exhibition hall in Place des Arts, is a treasure trove of works by artists united by their passion for jazz. This year, to mark the 35th anniversary of the Festival, organizers and the Galerie Lounge TD are very proud to offer Drifter’s Escape, a silkscreen taken from an original work by one of the most significant musicians of the 20th century, Jimi Hendrix, available for the entire Festival duration in a limited print run of only 125 copies. Also, fans can purchase a limited-run silkscreen of Saxophoenix, the most recent creation by Yves Archambault, our artist in residence for over 25 years.

Thanks to our partners

A festival of this scale—the largest of its genre in the world with its massive range of free concerts—could not endure and grow so brilliantly without the support of its precious public and private partners. We warmly thank our principal sponsor and official presenter, TD, as well as Rio Tinto Alcan, co-presenter of Festival, for their renewed support. Thanks also to Bell, Loto-Québec, the Société des Alcools du Québec, Heineken and all our loyal longtime suppliers and collaborators. We thank the Government of Canada, Gouvernement du Québec and their different ministries and organisms, as well as the Ville de Montréal and Tourisme Montréal. Thanks also to our media partners and the entire Festival team.

The Info-Jazz La Presse+ line: answering all your questions

The free Official Info-Jazz Program (200,000 copies available) and the Info-Jazz pamphlet—the complete pocket sized schedule, with 500,000 copies available—contain all the details about the event and can be picked up at L’Astral, the Métropolis, in Place des Arts and, over the next few days, from all participating concert halls, as well as SAQ and Renaud-Bray branches in Greater Montreal, from Montreal tourist information centres as well as most downtown hotels, and major book and music stores. Both programs and pamphlets will be available at the three Info-Jazz La Presse+ kiosks.

You can visit the Info-Jazz Internet site at montrealjazzfest.com or call the Info-Jazz La Presse+ line (514 871-1881 or, toll-free, 1 85JAZZFEST). A tourist serviceis also available to help you organize your stay at this year’s Festival, by offering a number of à la carte packages (montrealjazzfest.com/packages-travel).

The 35th edition of the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal will run from Thursday, June 26 to Sunday, July 6, 2014.

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