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Press release for immediate distribution

The free outdoor program of the 31st edition of the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal

31 years… and the celebration continues

with a record number of free performances!

Montreal, Monday, June 7, 2010 - Yes, the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, presented by TD in collaboration with Rio Tinto Alcan, celebrated its three-decade existence last year… but with this new fanfare of festivities, you might think the celebrations had never ended! Not only is this 31st edition of the Festival readier than ever to host high-profile guests, new sensations and indisputable legends from the wonderfully varied lands that make up Planet Jazz, but it’s also prepared an impressive free outdoor program of delightful diversity: from big bands that bring musical sunshine to our afternoons to mega-concerts that convene records crowd in the evenings, from the children’s park to the daily parade, the world’s largest and greatest jazz festival serves up nearly 800 concerts and 600 activities and diversions! Starting June 25, the heart of Montreal will beat to the rhythm of jazz, as well as blues and world music, and keep on pulsing until Tuesday, July 6 when, on what may be the most festive day of the summer, we throw a Mardi Gras special to get the entire city dancing! This year, in an effort to avoid disrupting the Fête nationale and ensure maximal use of the Place des Festivals, the Festival opens on a Friday and closes especially on a Tuesday, running for 12 days instead of 11! We have the distinct feeling that jazz fans won’t be complaining about that!

Speaking of changes, all those who’ve strolled along Ste. Catherine St. will have noticed that the Festival site is undergoing serious redevelopment. We remind Festival fans that this year, site access will be via the “main entrance” on De Maisonneuve Blvd. (in front of Saint-Laurent Metro), although Ste. Catherine St. will remain accessible to pedestrians.

In other, much more charming alterations, here come several new series, like a new, recharged and rebooted version of our popular jam sessions, now called the Super sessions, as well as the Musique au Balmoral series, right next door. But-thank goodness!-some things don’t change! This year, our wildly popular free outdoor mega-events return to unite the multitudes on the site, along with 30 diverse series offering 50 shows per day and musicians and entertainers keeping the site festive throughout its 12-day run!

Seven free outdoor happenings!

The Festival’s major free shows

This year, the Festival pulls out all the stops, inviting fans to no fewer than 7 major free outdoor events! First, on Friday, June 25 at 9:30 p.m., the tribes will gather for the opening show, the Grand événement d’ouverture TD, with former singer-guitarist of rockabilly trio the Stray Cats and his orchestra, the Brian Setzer Orchestra-an extraordinary high energy jazz Big Band, returning by popular demand after their massive success last year (Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier is still shakin’!) to present a huge concert under the stars. (We’re Gonna) Rock This Town-you better believe it. Rockabilly at its rockabilliest!

On Tuesday, June 29 at 9:30 p.m., make way for the “trip rock” and entrancing grooves of Beast in the Événement spécial Bell (Bell Special Event). This Beast with two heads-Betty Bonifassi on vocals, and Jean-Phi Goncalves on many instruments-returns to the Festival after their immense success here in 2008. With undeniable dance appeal, multimedia projections and breathtaking visuals, it’s an absolute beauty of a beast in a most dazzling show!

Next, prepare to be swept away by the ultra-festive music of Emir Kusturica & The No Smoking Orchestra on Monday, July 5 at 9:30 p.m. The Serbian filmmaker-actor-musician-composer-producer and his orchestra have released more than 10 albums, including their latest, a gypsy/electro/rock gem of a best-of collection. Get ready to celebrate and dance the night away with them on the Place des Festivals!

And for the final act, it’s nothing short of Mardi Gras in July with the biggest closing soirée we’ve had in years! On Tuesday, July 6 at 7 p.m., a parade featuring flamboyant costumes and genuine New Orleans parade floats leaves from the corner of Crescent and Ste. Catherine Streets, inviting us to join the journey to the Place des Festivals! At 8:30 p.m., the charismatic Zachary Richard, host of the evening, kicks off a hot’n’spicy show presented by Rio Tinto Alcan and starring Trombone Shorty and the legend of Louisiana R&B, pianist and singer Allen Toussaint. The Soirée Mardi Gras in Montréal promises an evening worthy of its beloved namesake, a memorable and unique return trip to the birthplace of jazz, New Orleans!

The Festival’s special free events

This year’s grands événements will be bolstered by three special free outdoor events on the Place des Festivals to make this 31st edition the most festive yet. First, imagine Lulu Hughes, one of Quebec’s most powerhouse female voices, surrounded by 19 hand-picked musicians, the Montreal All City Big Band, and you’ll have an idea of what awaits the crowd in the Événement spécial set for Monday, June 28 at 9 p.m. After her smash success at the Festival in 2007, the “tornade blonde” and her orchestra return with the greatest in blues, funk and jazz hits. On Saturday, July 3 at 9 p.m., Dan Bigras and his Big Band present a collection of his favourite “bar tunes” just begging to be played live: Hit the Road Jack, Fever, Just a Gigolo… as BIG as it gets! Finally, on Sunday, July 4 at 9 p.m., The Lost Fingers-crowd-pleasers here since 2008-bring us Lost in the 80’s, along with their latest album and the perfect show to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Django Reinhardt’s birth!

Jazz on every stage…

TD stage (Place des Festivals)

Once again this year, in addition to its Grands événements and Événements spéciaux (Special Events), the main Festival stage hosts our most prestigious series, Les Performances TD, presented at 9 p.m., and again at 11 p.m. Among the impressive artists performing, welcome the most soulful of Brit singers, longtime Van Morrison collaborator James Hunter (June 26) with his latest, The Hard Way. The following day, Jazz Mafia Presents Brass, Bows and Beats: A Hip Hop Symphony (June 27) promises a unique experience, assembling forty virtuoso musicians onstage in a visionary and absolutely astounding collective out to bound across the genre boundaries as never before. On June 30, funky brass band Slavic Soul Party! invites the entire world to Partytown, Eastern European style! Next, José James BlackMagic Band (July 1) follows with the jazziest hip hop tracks and coolest grooves. But wait: programmers have stashed away a Surprise Show on July 2, and don’t bother asking us for details-they haven’t told us, cross our hearts!

On the same TD stage, a little earlier in the evening at 6 p.m., the Gammes TD series hosts artists including Rémi-Jean Leblanc, a young double bassist celebrated by the local music community, performing with his Ensemble (June 26); the full-bodied jazz fusion of the Carl Naud Quintet (June 28) and their Ascenseur, released in 2009; and Amanda Tosoff (July 3), winner of the Grand Jazz Award at the 30th edition of the Festival, who charmed fans and organizers last year.

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

At 8 p.m. and 10 p.m., the Soirées jazzy Rio Tinto Alcan series presents artists including pianist and singer Anne Bisson (June 29), returning to the Festival with a 2nd jazz-pop album, Blue Mind, 15 years after her debut release. The next day, Wop Pow Wow (June 30) unleash funk, hip hop, gypsy swing, jazz, and world as re-imagined by Montreal musician Angelo Finaldi, while pop vocal quintet Chic Gamine (July 1) follow with a 2nd album delivering gospel, soul, R&B, doo-wop, Brazilian forro and French chanson, sung in four languages!

Grande‑Place stage, Complexe Desjardins

Calling all kids-jazz class is back in session! Les Zélèves, a vocal harmony quintet led by Victor-Jacques Ménard, join James Gelfand and his quartet, and Festival mascot, Ste-Cat, with their 2010 curriculum of cool… for the entire family! For a 22nd consecutive year-but with an all-new show!-La Petite école du jazz, presented by Rio Tinto Alcan every day at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., from June 25 to July 5, offers a dynamic, interactive and fun-filled musical initiation young and old music fans alike!

Loto‑Québec stage (Parterre of the future symphony hall, corner St. Urbain St. and De Maisonneuve Blvd.)

At 7 p.m., the Spectacles blues Loto-Québec series showcases guitarist Popa Chubby (June 27), a blues powerhouse, and his latest album, The Fight Is On. The next day, Jo Hell and The Red Rooster (June 28) rocket out of the depths with their first Festival show since 2005, while young Israeli-American guitarist Guy King, a rising star who’s played the most prestigious blues stages worldwide, shows us just why on June 29.

The Soirées blues Loto‑Québec series, at 9 p.m. and 11 p.m., showcases a roster of artists whose reputations are assured. Among them, blues tornado Jim Zeller returns with his show, Circus, with Joe Jammer from Chicago (June 26), a year after he celebrated his 25-year career with us in 2009; Stratocaster master Coco Montoya (June 29) rocks his latest, Dirty Deal; while Ana Popovic and her fierce voice (July 5) lay down the electric funk, slide guitar, jazzy instrumentation, and blues groove of Blind for Love.

Bell stage (Clark St. parking lot)

In the Tropiques Bell series at 8 p.m., the warm southern sun banishes every non-summer impulse! Party along with Tomas Jensen’s Latino-rock project Hombre (June 26), a tough, energetic Latin rock-electronica served up hot on Hay que subir ! Syrian star Omar Souleyman (June 28), now winning over Western audiences with his hyper-danceable electro/folk-pop, reveals why he’s the darling of devotees of avant-garde world music, including Björk, while Colombian group La-33 (June 30 & July 1) lights up the night with alternative salsa straight from the streets of Bogota, and Haitian musical institution L’Orchestre Septentrional d’Haïti (July 4 & 5), originally formed in 1948, testifies to the country’s musical evolution-from merengue and Haitian folklore to yéyé and rock.

At 10 p.m., the Groove Bell series lives up to its name with rhythm-mad outfits including Montreal ska kings The Planet Smashers (June 27), who’ve been ranking and skanking audiences to two-tone heaven since 1994-invited here to celebrate 15 years of Stomp Records! The following day, get ready for the engaged-and engaging-hip hop of The Narcicyst (June 28): the Montreal rapper, writer and actor and member of Canadian Muslim collective Euphrates lights up the cultural references of Illuminarcy, his latest album. A few days later, Random Recipe (July 2) serve up a zany rap, beatbox, guitar, folk and hip hop, while Franco-American group Naïve New Beaters (July 4), consisting of David Boring (mustachioed singer), Martin Luther BB King (guitar) and Eurobélix (machines), serve up their hooky “ridicurock,” an ironic, guitar-powered pop-electro-rap.

Festival stage (Complexe Desjardins entrance)

Les Rendez‑vous, presented once again this year at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. throughout the Festival, is another not-to-be-missed series returning this year. French tenor saxophonist Jean-Christophe Béney (June 25, solely at 7 p.m.) awaits fans with The Link, released in 2010, a 5th album equal to his reputation: elegant, refined, alluring jazz. Next up, the Rafaël Zaldivar Trio (July 1), with world-jazz from the Cuban pianist who set the Festival on fire last year: he’s been called THE new Montreal jazz piano sensation! The following day, take the furious piano of young prodigy Aron Ottignon, just 25, surround him with tribal rhythms, powerful bass, and frenzied percussion and steel drums, and you’ve got Aronas (July 2), a frenetic, jubilant and crowd-moving musical cocktail, soon to be experienced on a 2nd album. On July 3, all herald gifted young Cuban Latin jazzman Harold Lopez-Nussa and his Trio, with his onstage presence reminiscent of Glenn Gould and a mixed repertoire of marvelously rendered compositions and standards.

CBC / Radio-Canada stage (Parc des Festivals, corner De Bleury St. and De Maisonneuve Blvd.)

Then, as the day gives way to dusk, the Brunantes series, at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m., illuminates the CBC / Radio-Canada stage, welcoming artists including Parc-X Trio (June 27)-in competition for the TD Grand Jazz Award and the Galaxie Rising Star Award-, cooking up their stew of jazz, world music, classical and popular music, in the very image of Parc-Extension, Montreal’s most multi-cultural neighbourhood. On July 1, alto saxophonist Grace Kelly, just 17 and considered a rising star to watch by par Downbeat, serenades the evening. The Terry Clarke Trio with Don Thompson and Phil Dwyer (July 5) spotlights (respectively), the Juno winners for Jazz Album of the Year, the winner of the 2010 Oscar Peterson Award and an excellent alto saxophonist.

L’Astral (Maison du Festival Rio Tinto Alcan, 305 Ste. Catherine St. W.)

The famed Festival jam sessions have also been rebooted with a new v. 2.0! Moved to magnificent live venue L’Astral, where even more fans can attend, they’ll also feature a special guest every evening (including Ben Charest, Kim Richardson and Chet Doxas); one visit and you’ll understand why we’re renamed them the Super sessions! Heading up the musical festivities nightly at 11:30 p.m., daring and extremely creative pianist and keyboardist Dan Thouin assembles double bassist Adrian Vedady and drummer John Fraboni for high-voltage evenings of improv! The Friends of the Festival Card offers free priority access to the Super sessions. Capacity is limited.

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

The new Musique au Balmoral series, presented every evening at 9 p.m., summons Festival fans for free 30-minute concerts by Quebec guitarist Stéphane Tellier (June 25 to 27), who figures among the finest gypsy jazz guitarists of his generation, songwriter and virtuoso guitarist Isaac Neto (June 28 to 30), performing solo to better showcase the beautiful future of Brazilian music, Bharath and his Rhythm Four (July 1 to 3) and their ’50s-style Chicago and Arkansas blues, winners of the Toronto Blues Society Talent Search 2007, and a Quebec gypsy jazz summit starring Denis Chang (July 4 and 6), who made a tremendous impression here in 2009.

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

Once again this year, nighthawks will want to flock to the Nightcap Heineken series, beginning at midnight. Coyote Bill (June 25 to 28) kick butt with their stampede of styles: from funk to reggae, country to Afrobeat and jazz, everything hits the blender as long as it moves! Next up, PAPAGROOVE Lab (June 29 to July 2) take up the challenge to keep fans dancing into the heart of the night with a project specially conceived for the Festival: a funk groove with rock intensity, soul passion and jazz verve, all of it deeply rooted in Afrobeat. Finally, Elektrik Jam (July 3 to 5), a collective formed by members of Elektrik Bones and led by François Chauvette and Pilou, are here to party at the Festival, inviting a slew of pals to jam the night away!

And here’s another summertime gift from programmers: the closing party with Soul Rebels Brass Band (July 6, exclusively in L’Astral), without a doubt THE groovingest band in New Orleans! Thanks to their style-marrying Mardi Gras funk to rock and reggae, accented with hip hop and the traditions of their hometown-this 8-piece rhythm-octopus is sure to conquer the dancefloor!

The music starts at noon!

Rio Tinto Alcan stage (corner Ste. Catherine and Jeanne-Mance Sts.), CBC / Radio-Canada stage (corner De Maisonneuve Blvd. and Balmoral St.), and Festival stage (entrance to complexe Desjardins).

Every day of the Festival, excluding July 6, the festivities kick off at noon! The finest jazz bands from high schools and cegeps show off their burgeoning chops for Festival fans on the Rio Tinto Alcan stage in the series that sports the name of our new collaborators, JazzFest des jeunes (also at 3 p.m.). Follow that with Les Après-midi on the CBC / Radio-Canada stage, swinging out Dixie band style at 1 p.m.; the Pub Heineken series, the ideal moment to kick back Big Easy-style, also in a Dixieland ambience, to linger over lunchtime at 1 p.m. (June 25 to 27 and July 3 to 5); and the cocktail hour at 4 p.m. (every day from June 25 to July 5). You an even enjoy musical entertainment while strolling on the steps of PdA, at 1 p.m., 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. The afternoon winds to a perfect close at 4 p.m. with Les Envolées du Festival, presenting university combos, while the Festival stage bomps to the oomph of jazz orchestras one more time before the Parade du Festival at 5 p.m.

Festival boutiques and restos

Got a craving for a snack or a gastronomical experience with musical ambience “on the house”? Whatever your tastes and budget, the Festival site has something satisfying to offer. Hungry jazz fans and gourmets alike can tantalize their tastebuds at the Resto louisianais, the Resto mexicain, the Friterie, the Crêperie, the Barbecue and Ice cream stand, and of course our many conveniently located hot dog carts. Meanwhile, the Pub Heineken is perfectly designed for kicking back, where cocktails are enhanced by sets at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. by Hellbound Hepcats (June 25), Rotor Jambreks (June 28) Uncle Monk (July 2) and Colin Moore (July 4). Also worthy of special mention, the Jazz Bars Heineken, the Porto Cabral kiosk, the café Jura and the Terrasse Amarula offer tams-tams and a pleasing environment for all. Fans of fine wines and cheeses will head for the Bistro SAQ while those with a thirst for a refreshing summer cocktail will love the Bistro Express SAQ. And for the more jazzistically-inclined “musicovores,” the Festival souvenir boutiques and Tente disquaire (record shop) offer an extensive array of official Festival products, including t-shirts bearing the Ste-Cat logo, debut albums by everyone from legends to newly-discovered artists, posters, caps, etc. Finally, don’t miss Le Balmoral, the Festival bistro in the heart of the Maison du Festival Rio Tinto Alcan, with its terrasse Côtes du Rhône set right out on the Place des Festivals! With a décor and ambience designed to charm the Fest vets and newbies alike and a delicious menu at once refined and accessible, it’s already become a hit with fans, and the rest of Montreal!

Please remember that all sales on the site are managed by the Festival, a non-profit corporation, and that all proceeds serve exclusively to finance shows and free concerts. Thirty-six percent of the Festival revenue derives from public spending on items such as the tickets, the Friends of the Festival Card and on products from the Galerie du Festival or the bistros.

Miles in the Galerie Lounge TD

Every year, the Galerie Lounge TD unveils a treasure trove of artworks by artists from every sphere, all of whom share a passion for jazz. And for this 31st edition of the Festival-an echo of the We Want Miles exhibition, the major North American retrospective on jazz legend Miles Davis, presented in the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts through August 29-what better gift for Festival fans than the silkscreen taken from an artwork by the great Miles Davis, Chariot of Gods ! Fans can also acquire numbered and signed silkscreens of the Festival poster, Vénus et Chronos by Yves Archambault, our artist in residence for over two decades.

Thank you to our partners

Special thanks go out to all of our public and private partners, who make this great musical celebration possible. First, we would like to bring attention to the important input from the private sector: TD, main sponsor and official presenter of the Festival; Rio Tinto Alcan, official co-presenter; as well as Bell Canada, Loto‑Québec, the SAQ, Heineken, Amarula, XM Satellite Radio, CBC, principal media partner, and Meyer Sound, the Festival’s official sound systems supplier. We also thank the Government of Canada for their unprecedented contribution, the gouvernement du Québec for their constant support, Ville de Montréal, for their continuous collaboration, as well as their different Departments and Agencies: Industry Canada, Canada Economic Development, Canadian Heritage, the ministère du Tourisme, the ministère des Affaires municipales, des Régions et de l’Occupation du territoire, the ministère de la Culture, des Communications et de la Condition feminine, the Société de développement des entreprises culturelles (SODEC), the Consulat général de France, Cultures France, the Centre national des variétés, as well as Tourisme Montréal. Thanks above all to the entire Festival team, who are so deeply committed to offering you the most beautiful musical celebration there is.

The Bell Info‑Jazz Line: answering all your questions

The free Official Bell Info-Jazz Program (printed in 200,000 copies) and the Info-Jazz Bell pamphlet-the complete pocket sized schedule of which we printed 500,000 copies-contain all the details about the event and can be picked up at the Métropolis, in Place des Arts and, over the next few days, in all the participating concert halls, as well as in most downtown hotels and major book and music stores. Both programs and pamphlets will be available at the seven Bell Info-Jazz Kiosks.

You can visit the Bell Info-Jazz Internet Site at (montrealjazzfest.com) or call the Bell Info-Jazz Line (514 871‑1881 or, toll-free, 1 888 515‑0515). A tourist service is 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).

The 31st edition of the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal will run from June 25 to July 6, 2010.

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