Press release for immediate distribution

Friday, June 25


31st edition of the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal

Montreal gets jazzed up, starting today!

It’s a 31st edition that lives up to the reputation set by its legendary predecessors: the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal starts today, jam-packed with utterly exciting concerts and events! Starting at 11 a.m. 11 h, the streets of the Quartier des spectacles will be closed to vehicular traffic and will hum with music until July 6 - the new “Mardi Gras in July”, with New Orleans parade floats and a massive show on the TD stage on the la Place des Festivals! Tonight, we present an opening worth of the world’s largest jazz festival (according to Guinness) with the Opening Gala: Lionel Richie in concert and Cassandra Wilson and her musicians (sold out) in Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, Place des Arts and, under the stars, the whole city (and the rest of the world!) are invited to the Grand événement d’ouverture TD presented in collaboration with XM Radio Satellite, a free concert on the TD stage on the Place des Festivals kicking off at 9:30 p.m. starring the incandescent Brian Setzer Orchestra ! Also, over 40 concerts will be held today, free on our outdoor stages or in the many Festival venues.

Important notice on pedestrian traffic

In order to maximize their enjoyment of the Festival, fans are asked to avoid circulating on Ste. Catherine St. between St. Laurent Blvd. and Jeanne-Mance, with the street upended by all the ongoing construction and repairs. The De Maisonneuve Blvd. artery is a convenient and more pleasant alternative.

Opening gala concert of the Festival tonight at 7 p.m:

Lionel Richie in concert and Cassandra Wilson and her musicians

Early birds have snatched up all the tickets for this highly-anticipated opening soirée: a few remain available for the second and final evening with these artists, tomorrow at 7 p.m. in Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier in Place des Arts. Yes-there’s still time for those who want to dance All Night Long! Better yet, the evening has twice as much soul given the presence of Cassandra Wilson, quite simply one of the finest jazz singers of our era. Hurry!

Additional show by Bobby Bazini

June 28 at 7 p.m. in Club Soda

Tickets for the billets Bobby Bazini concert on July 2 in Club Soda sold at lightning speed! Festival programmers therefore jumped at the chance to add another show by new folk-blues sensation Bazini-who celebrated his 20th birthday just in time to collect a gold record for his debut album, Better in Time, and was heralded as the “new Quebec prodigy” by Paris Match-on June 28 at 7 p.m. in Club Soda. A few remaining tickets are available from ticketpro.ca, 514-790-1111, 1 800 908-9090, at the main Festival box office in Métropolis (59, Ste. Catherine St. E.) or at MontrealJazzFest.com.

Grand événement d’ouverture TD
presented in collaboration with XM Satellite Radio
The Brian Setzer Orchestra -TD stage, tonight at 9:30 p.m.

The 31st edition of the Festival International de Jazz opens with a bang tonight at 9:30 p.m. in the company of the very fiery Brian Setzer Orchestra at a free outdoor concert-which promises to be just as talked about as danced in! And with reason: his performance last year sent sparks flying at Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier. Mny dared to dream of a repeat experience under the stars. It’s actually been on our minds since 1994, but this time the Festival and its organizers gave in to popular demand and are now offering this grand opening show, a much-coveted gift! The spirited Brian Setzer Orchestra will be igniting the Place des Festivals and, just like his classic, he will Rock This Town! You guessed it: get there early! In a major premiere, the concert will be webcast live thanks to TD on MontrealJazzFest.TV. To watch the event, internet viewers will have to download the Silverlight plug-in.

Événement spécial Bell : Beast

Tuesday, June 29 at 9:30 p.m., TD stage, Place des Festivals

This Beast has two heads: Betty Bonifassi (the solid vocalist) and Jean-Phi Goncalves (multi-instrumentalist, DJ extraordinaire). Their “trip rock” rhythms flow with equal parts soul and guts from the singer, and polished beats and nasty grooves from the beatmaster, all of it delivered with a precise and judicious attention to detail. Returning to the Festival after their immensely successful appearance in 2008, this dynamic duo decorates their lair with visual and multimedia projections that take your breath away. A beauty of a Beast, that bites, stings… and dazzles. The Événement spécial Bell will be broadcast live and as an encore presentation on the web at enmusique.ca/beast, on the Sympatico.ca portal.

Reminder: travel and safety at major events

This year, the main events will be held at the new Place des Festivals, located at Jeanne-Mance Street south of De Maisonneuve Boulevard. We advise festival-goers to access this new site from the east, by way of Ontario Street East (Saint-Laurent metro station), or from the west, using De Maisonneuve Boulevard West (McGill metro station). The Place des Festivals is also accessible by Jeanne-Mance Street via Saint-Catherine Street.

For security reasons, folding chairs and lawn chairs are not allowed on the site; strollers for children are tolerated, but their use is strongly discouraged. As always, bicycles, skateboards and rollerblades are prohibited on the site, as well as cans and glass bottles. However, we advise festival-goers to bring a supply of water (in reusable bottles). Please note that it is forbidden to bring alcoholic beverages on the site.

The Festival advises the public to travel to the concert from east to west and from north to south; the use of mass transit is strongly advised. Public transit is the best option. Once on site, festival-goers always have access to the specially-designed security corridors to exit the site during the performance. These one way corridors can only be used to leave the site, but not to return. They lead directly to the Place-des-Arts metro station, to Complexe Desjardins and to De Maisonneuve Boulevard East and West. Because these are, by definition, traffic corridors, pedestrians are not permitted to remain standing in them.

People in wheelchairs must contact Julie Chamberland at 514 288‑1424, ext. 4540, the day before the concert in order to reserve a space.

Flamenco rendez-vous at the TNM

Tonight at 8 p.m. the all new series El Duende Flamenco presented by Air France will be premiering at the Théâtre du Nouveau Monde. The concert series is all the more refreshing for liberating flamenco from its usual guitar-dancer paradigm, affording us an utterly current perspective on this genre so deeply rooted in tradition. We’ll welcome pianist Dorantes in a Trio (June 25 & 26), a young Sevillian who fires up plenty of emotion, enthroning himself behind his piano in a world where guitar is usually King; pianist Chano Dominguez, Flamenco View (June 27 & 28), offering a fiery and vibrant homage to Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue; singer Diego “El Cigala” (June 29 & 30) also nicknamed “the Sinatra of flamenco”; and guitarist Juan Carmona accompanied by his Quintet (July 2 & 3), a most worthy representative of the new generation of flamenco, drawing on musical traditions to interpret them with a surprising modernity.

The 4th edition of the Montreal Guitar Show from July 2 to 4: guitar eldorado

In the heart of the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, the 4th edition of the Montreal Guitar Show-the biggest guitar event of its kind in Canada- features a concert program and an exhibition venue worthy of its reputation: around 100 concerts spotlighting the six-string marvel, and more than 150 luthiers, musicians and specialists from around the world.

Every evening, the concerts in the Guitare Guitare series presented by the Hyatt Regency Montréal will spotlight the “guitarists of all guitarists,” who are sure to blow away even the most studied connoisseurs, such as: Jean‑Philippe Guy, Jean-Luc Thievent, Zeb Heintz, Tony McManus, Miodrag Zerdoner, Gareth Pearson, Roger Hudson, Marc Atkinson Trio, Ivan Garzon, Tony Cox, Ryan Leblanc and the Red Guitar Show with Bruce Forman.

Under the Guitarissimo The Gazette banner, phenomenal guitar virtuosos David Reinhardt, Matt Andersen, Sylvain Luc, Yamandu Costa, Andy McKee, Charlie Hunter, Bob Brozman and Monte Montgomery will each be serving up an unprecedented concert in the Cinquième Salle at Place des Arts. Not to mention the events grand finale: the Soirée CandyRat Records evening, to be held in the Théâtre Jean‑Duceppe at PdA. For more information, please visit montrealguitarshow.com or montrealjazzfest.com.

Festival planning, anywhere, anytime!

This year, the Festival goes mobile! Buying tickets, planning a show schedule and sharing favourites has never been easier thanks to the Festival’s new mobile application for iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad or Blackberry. And from now on, the Festival will be grouping all its video offerings such as concert excerpts, interviews and reports at the same address: www.MontrealJazzFest.TV. These two projects were made possible thanks to support from Bell.

Artists to discover on our free outdoor stages:
Festival programmers suggest…


♫ Burkina Electric-8 p.m.-Bell stage - The New York Times called the music of Burkina Electric “an irresistible blend of West African and electronic music.” Their debut album, Paspanga and their U.S. tour brought crowds to their feet-now it’s our turn!

♫ Le Grand événement d’ouverture TD Brian Setzer Orchestra presented in collaboration with XM Satellite Radio-9 :30 p.m.-TD stage, Place des Festivals - We’d been wishing for a big outdoor Brian Setzer concert for a long time, and now it’s real! He and his Orchestra will be igniting the Place des Festivals and, just like his classic, he will Rock This Town! You guessed it: get there early!

Shad-10 p.m.-Bell stage - “One of the greatest Canadian hip hop albums of all time,” declared Exclaim! of The Old Prince, the 2nd release by Shad. The remarkable MC-guitarist brings us a live band, featuring raps colored with humour, spirit and deeply-sourced clarity.

Tomorrow, June 26

Shane Murphy-5 p.m. and 7 p.m.-Pub Heineken - In true Fighting Irish style, Shane Murphy brings complete mastery to the guitar, laying down a visceral, red-blooded blues-folk. He returns to the Festival for the first time since 2006, having since been awarded (Lys Blues Award for best emerging blues artist) recorded (Street Money Miracle) and musically superhardened!

Ensemble Rémi-Jean Leblanc-6 p.m.-TD stage - According to La Presse, He is “the most stout-hearted young bassist to emerge from the Montreal jazz scene.” And his career is already bejeweled with his major collaborations with players like Chet Doxas and Yannick Rieu. A revelation!

James Hunter-6 p.m.-TD stage - We’re ready to welcome this most soulful of British singers with open arms again this year, because his new show, The Hard Way, is the genuine article! With a gritty, bompin’ sound that seems to shoot straight outta the ’50s, James Hunter delivers a rockin’ R&B that works overtime. He is simply superb!

Sunday, June 27

Parc -X Trio-8 p.m.-CBC / Radio-Canada stage - In 2009, Festival fans adored their stew of piano/double-bass/drums instrumental pieces composed in the very image of Montreal’s most multi-ethnic neighbourhood. And here they are again, back by popular demand! Nominated for the TD Grand Jazz Award and the Galaxie Rising Star Award.

Jazz Mafia presents Brass, Bows and Beats: A Hip Hop Symphony-9 p.m.-TD stage - The cream of musicians from the San Francisco bay area bomp into the Place des Festivals for a grand evening: it’s a hip hop symphony! With 40-odd virtuosi onstage this visionary collective is a unique experience, and one day, you’ll be able to say: I was there!

Monday, June 28

Rotor Jambreks-5 p.m. and 7 p.m.-Pub Heineken - Rotor is a one-man operation, run by a kind of antihero straight out of a comic book who jams out guitar, drums and vocals all at once. And Rotor achieves lift-off! You can enjoy the album (Start the Rotor), but this natural-born performer deserves to be experienced live!

Omar Soleyman-8 p.m.-Bell stage - Souleyman is a genuine star in his native Syria, not to mention the entire Middle East. And he’s now winning over Western audiences with his hyper-danceable, an electro/folk-pop blend of Dabka and Choubi with traditional Mawwal vocals. Captivating!

The Narcicyst-10 p.m.-Bell stage - His hip hop is a harmonious blend of Western and Middle Eastern cultural references. Illuminarcy, Narci’s most recent album (featuring the hit P.H.A.T.W.A.) turns the rare feat of raising consciousness while making people think and dance-all at the same time!

Tuesday, June 29

Anne Bisson-8 p.m.-Rio Tinto Alcan stage - In another lifetime, Anne Bisson took on the role of Cristal in Starmania in the ’80s before releasing a debut solo album 1995-and performing it here at the Festival. Over 15 years later, the pianist and singer returns with a 2nd jazz-pop album, Blue Mind.

Événement special Bell, Beast-9:30 p.m.-TD stage- This Beast has two heads: Betty Bonifassi and Jean-Phi Goncalves return to the Festival after their immensely successful appearance in 2008, this dynamic duo decorates their lair with visual and multimedia projections that take your breath away. A concert that promises to be more than memorable!

Coco Montoya-11 p.m.-Loto-Québec stage - Nicknamed the Master of the Stratocaster, Montoya is a former protégé of blues legends Albert Collins and John Mayall, he’s left a vivid impression with Festival fans on more than one occasion. And with Dirty Deal, he proves he’s more than living up to his reputation!

Sold-out concerts

♫ Bobby Bazini (July 2, 7 p.m.-Club Soda)

♫ Bobby McFerrin (June 30, 6 p.m.-Théâtre Maisonneuve, Place des Arts)

♫ Boz Scaggs (June 25, 6 p.m.-Théâtre Maisonneuve, PdA)

♫ Émilie Clepper (tonight, 7 p.m.-Savoy du Métropolis)

♫ Eric Burdon and The Animals (June 27, 8 :30 p.m.-Métropolis, standing room only)

♫ Gretchen Parlato Band (July 2 and 3, 7 p.m.-Savoy du Métropolis)

♫ Opening Gala : Lionel Richie in concert, Cassandra Wilson and her musiciens (Tonight, 7 p.m. - Salle Wilfrid‑Pelletier, PdA)

♫ MAnu Katché Quartet (June 28, 6 p.m.-Gesù - Centre de créativité)

♫ MAnu Katché, Sylvain Luc and Richard Bona (June 30, 6 p.m. - Gesù - Centre de créativité)

♫ Meaghan Smith (June 27 and 28, 7 p.m.-Savoy du Métropolis)

♫ Nikki Yanofsky (June 27, 6 p.m. - Théâtre Maisonneuve, PdA)

♫ Paolo Fresu and Omar Sosa (Tonight, 6 p.m.-Gesù - Centre de créativité)

♫ Paolo Fresu and Ralph Towner (June 26, 6 p.m.-Gesù - Centre de créativité)

♫ Paolo Fresu, Nils Petter Molvaer and MAnu Katché (June 27, 6 p.m.-Gesù - Centre de créativité)

♫ Robert Glasper and Terence Blanchard (July 2, 6 p.m.-Gesù - Centre de créativité)

♫ Steve Miller Band and The Doobie Brothers (July 5, 7 p.m.-Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, PdA)

♫ Tigran Hamasyan (July 2 and 3, 7 p.m.-Chapelle historique du Bon-Pasteur)

Indoor concerts: pick up your tickets now

En Voix Rio Tinto Alcan series (Théâtre Maisonneuve, Place des Arts)

Special Evening with John Zorn’s Masada Marathon with Jamie Saft, Erik Friedlander, Joey Baron, Greg Cohen, Marc Ribot, Cyro Baptista and many more (July 1, 6 p.m.)

Richard Bona, The Ten Shades of Blue (July 2, 6 p.m.)

Battle of the Bands with The Harry James Orchestra and The Artie Shaw Orchestra (July 4, 2 p.m. and 6 p.m.)

TD Jazz d’ici La Presse series (L’Astral, Maison du Festival Rio Tinto Alcan-6 p.m.)

Jean Derome et les Dangereux Zhoms, To Continue (June 26)

Guy Nadon Septet (June 27)

Concerts intimes Planète Jazz series (Savoy du Métropolis-19 h)

Émilie Clepper (June 26)

Les Couleurs SAQ series (Club Soda-7 p.m.)

Ben Sidran, Dylan Different (June 27)

Bobby Bazini-additional performance (June 28)

John Forté (June 30)

Les Événements spéciaux TD series (Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, Place des Arts)

An Evening with Sonny Rollins (June 27, 7:30 p.m.)

Smokey Robinson, opening act: Nadja (June 28, 7 p.m.)

Musique au MAC series (Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal-8 p.m.)

Basia Bulat (June 25 to 27)

Lewis Furey (June 28, 30 and July 1)

Jazz Beat TD series (Théâtre Jean-Duceppe, PdA-8 p.m.)

Bitches Brew Revisited with Vernon Reid, Graham Haynes, DJ Logic, Melvin Gibbs, James Hurt, JT Lewis, Adam Rudolph, Antoine Rooney (25 juin)

Mike Stern Band with Alain Caron, Bob Franceschini and Lionel Cordew (June 27)

El Duende Flamenco series (Théâtre du Nouveau Monde-8 p.m.)

Dorantes Trio (June 25 and 26)

Chano Dominguez, Flamenco View (June 27 and 28)

Diego “ El Cigala ” (June 29 and 30)

Juan Carmona Quintet (July 2 and 3)

Rythmes Bell series (Métropolis-8 :30 p.m.)

Plants and Animals, opening act: The Besnard Lakes (June 25)

Spank Rock, Kid Koala Presents The Slew Live: 6 Turntables Meets the Ex-Wolfmother Rhythm Section et DJ Food (June 26)

The Fabulous Thunderbirds and Taj Mahal & The Trio (June 28)

Le Club series (L’Astral, Maison du Festival Rio Tinto Alcan)

Yosvany Terry Quartet (June 25, 9:30 p.m.)

Ibrahim Maalouf (June 26, 9 p.m.)

Youn Sun Nah (June 27, 9 p.m.)

Susanna and Her Magical Orchestra (June 28, 9 p.m.)

Les Grands concerts series (Théâtre Maisonneuve, PdA-9:30 p.m.)

David Sanborn Trio with Joey Defrancesco(June 25)

Victor Wooten (June 26)

Roy Hargrove Big Band with special guest Roberta Gambarini (June 28)

Jazz dans la nuit serie (Gésu-Centre de créativité-10:30 p.m.)

Vijay Iyer (June 25)

Daniel Mille with Alfio Origlio, Jérôme Regard, Julien Alour et Andy Barron (June 27)

Les Nuits Heineken series (Club Soda-midnight)

Think About Life (June 25)

Emilie Simon (June 26)

WhoMadeWho (June 27)

Karnival v.3 / Poirier with Face-T et KODE 9 (June 28)

Concert cancellation

The Popa Chubby concert scheduled to be held on June 27 at 7 p.m.on the Loto-Québec is cancelled.

Jazz time starts at lunchtime!

Every day, the Festival site opens by welcoming families to La Petite école du jazz (The Little School of Jazz) presented by Rio Tinto Alcan, this year featuring a new show at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. in the Grande-Place du Complexe Desjardins. Featuring Ste-Cat, the famed feline Festival mascot, Victor-Jacques Ménard and his vocal quintet as well as James Gelfand and his quartet, La Petite école du jazz invites children of all ages to a dynamic and interactive musical initiation. Afterwards, everyone can unleash their surplus energy in the Parc musical Rio Tinto Alcan, where the little ones can play while awaiting the finale to their jazz afternoon: the Parade du Festival, starting at 5 p.m.

Of course, the Festival site will be bursting with young homegrown talent displayed by the best bands from our local high schools, Cegeps and universities in the JazzFest des jeunes series at noon and 3 p.m. At 1 p.m. and 2 p.m., enjoy New Orleans-style ambience courtesy of the Dixiebands of the Les Après-Midi series on the CBC / Radio-Canada stage. And for those who prefer to extend lunchtime right through to the cocktail hour (after all, it’s summertime!) the Pub Heineken (June 25 to 27 and July 3 to 5 at 1 p.m. and 2 p.m.) features its own Dixieland ambience tout. Les Envolées du Festival at 4 p.m. take over the Festival stage to close out your afternoon in style.

Music that adds the perfect flavour to a gourmet meal

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.

Seriously amped-up soirées in the L’Astral Super sessions

The famed Festival jam sessions have 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.

Whether you eat like a bird or you’re hungry as a wolf: the Festival has flavour!

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. 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.

Concerts broadcast in the media

Some concerts from the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal will be taped for broadcast on the web or on the radio:

♫ Le Grand événement d’ouverture TD presented in collaboration with XM Satellite Radio, The Brian Setzer Orchestra (tonight, 9:30 p.m.-TD stage, Place des Festivals) will be broadcast live on MontrealJazzFest.TV.

♫ The Événement spécial Bell : Beast (June 29, 9 :30p.m.-TD stage, Place des Festivals) will be broadcast live (and as an encore presentation) on enmusique.ca/beast.

♫  Ron Di Lauro, Porgy & Bess (June 30, 8 p.m.- Théâtre Jean-Duceppe will be taped by Radio-Canada.

Being a know-it-all is easy with Info-Jazz Bell!


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