A peek at the 32nd edition…
and it already feels like summer!
Robert Plant, Regina Carter, Youssou N’Dour, Brad Mehldau and Joshua Redman, Peter Frampton, Caravan Palace, Ana Moura,Return to Forever IV with Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke,Lenny White, Jean‑Luc Ponty…
Tickets on sale this Saturday at noon
Montreal, Tuesday, March 8, 2011 - Welcome to a slate of new concerts added to the 32nd edition program-and yes, the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal is sending a summery breeze blowing over Montreal in early March. If you ask us, it’s impossible not to imagine we’re right in the middle of a fabulous Montreal summer with this roster of concerts by major musical names and genuine legends! Once again, it’s clear that the world’s largest jazz festival, presented by TD in collaboration with Rio Tinto Alcan, has set its sights higher than high, marrying remarkable quality to incredible variety: an embarrassment of riches offering the finest in jazz (of course) along with all its splendid related musical genres. Tickets for concerts in this edition, from June 25 to July 4, go on sale this Saturday, March 12 at noon.
A heavyweight pre-opening concert!
Robert Plant, Band of Joy, June 24, 7 p.m., Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, PdA (Événements spéciaux TD series) - Nostalgists, keep moving, because there’s no looking back here. Yes, Band of Joy was the name of one of Robert Plant’s very first bands-accompanied by a certain tub-thumper of note named John Bonham-but that’s where the flashback ends. Flashback? Perhaps to an era when this particular British singer cut his chops singing songs by previous legends, and above all expressed the freedom of a 17-year-old with his own legendary future ahead of him. Because Band of Joy is an expression of freedom, the singer’s own songs, and his versions of songs by others (Los Lobos, Low, trad songs…). However, can we truly speak of “other people’s” songs when the unique voice and incredible interpretive skills of this former Led Zeppelin singer give them such wonderfully renewed life? An extraordinary pre-opening concert by an absolute legend who plays Montreal far too seldom.
And the hits keep coming
Brad Mehldau and Joshua Redman, June 26, 9:30 p.m., Théâtre Maisonneuve, PdA (Grands concerts series) - We’ll say it straight out: this is likely to be the duo of the summer! Two musical prodigies familiar to Festival fans, sometimes even in multiple moments per edition-Mehldau (winner of our 2006 Miles Davis Award), an artist in full flight who soared in three different series in 2008, and Redman, who blazed through three evenings in the famed Invitation series a year later, during the Festival’s 30th anniversary. It’s a remarkable musical summit, but also a reunion, since the American pianist was once part of the saxophonist’s first “permanent” group, in the mid-’90s, with Christian McBride and Brian Blade. A reunion of two immense musical minds in perfect communion.
Return to Forever IV featuring Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke, Lenny White, Frank Gambale and Jean‑Luc Ponty, June 26, 8 p.m., Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, PdA (Événements spéciaux TD series) - This is one of those returns that’s been building anticipation for months: by popular demand, the legendary group that blazed the jazz-rock path in the 1970s. RTF, which gave one of the highlight concerts of the 2008 festival, is now a quintet: French violinist and Mahavishnu Orchestra alum Jean-Luc Ponty and the fiery-fingered Australian guitarist Frank Gambale join RTF’s classic rhythm section, Chick Corea (piano), Stanley Clarke (bass) and Lenny White (drums), playing Return to Forever’s classic repertoire as well as highlights from each member’s solo career, and new material written specially for this lineup.
Regina Carter, June 30, 7 p.m., Gesù - Centre de créativité (Jazz Beat series) - This lovely and versatile Detroit violinist has kept the Festival waiting with bated breath for 10 years. A classically trained jazzwoman, she’s played with Aretha Franklin, Lauryn Hill, Billy Joel and Wynton Marsalis, and finally returns to the Festival, with a new album to boot: Reverse Thread, a celebration of African folk. Featuring her violin, of course, as well as kora and accordion, the pieces transport African traditional music into the modern era. Prepare to fall under her spell.
Peter Frampton Comes Alive, June 30, 7 p.m., Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, PdA, (Événements spéciaux TD series) - No, it’s not his recent Thank You Mr. Churchill tour, rather a recreation of the 1976 concert that produced Frampton Comes Alive, a double album that would become one of the biggest-selling live releases of all time. The English guitarist with the “singing” axe-thanks to his signature talkbox-returns with a blockbuster three-hour concert to revive sweet memories of Show Me The Way, Do You Feel Like We Do? and Baby I Love Your Way, hits that dominated radio during the 1970s. An utterly unexpected and heaven-sent trip back to a golden era!
Youssou N’Dour, June 26, 8:30 p.m., Métropolis (Rythmes Bell series) - He last visited us for the 25th anniversary of the Festival-featuring both his own concert and his performance the following night in the outdoor megashow that celebrated both the Festival and Cirque du Soleil. Considered the most well-known African musician in the world (BBC) and even the African artist of the century (Folk Roots Magazine), he makes a long-awaited and astonishing return with a new album. With Dakar-Kingston, N’Dour temporarily steps away from Senegalian m’balax, his musical trademark, to plunge into the reggae universe… with the same brilliant results.
Caravan Palace, July 3, 8:30 p.m., Métropolis (Rythmes Bell series) - This eccentric Parisian sextet draws a powerful response wherever they unleash their contagious and jubilant electro gypsy jazz swing (oof!), a sound that just says “Partytime!” After all, who can forget the incredible surprise they unwrapped for Fest fans during last year’s massive free outdoor show? It was nothing less than one of the biggest bashes in Festival history-and given that history, that’s saying a mouthful! By popular demand, Caravan Palace returns to unveil pieces from a new album due this year, a release eagerly awaited by all fans of genuinely irresistible party music.
Ana Moura, July 4, 6 p.m., Théâtre Maisonneuve, PdA (En voix Rio Tinto Alcan series) - It only took a first visit to Montreal, closing out the MONTREAL HIGH LIGHTS Festival in 2010, to know without a doubt that we’d be welcoming this artist back again soon. This multi-platinum Portuguese singer, widely considered to be among the world’s finest fado performers (her 2007 Amália Rodrigues Award is proof), has an incredible voice-she barely needs a mic!-and a gutsy soulfulness born for saudade, the famed Portuguese music of nostalgic longing. Revered by Prince, she heads to Montreal with her new CD, Leva-me Aos Fados (Take Me to the Fados).
… as well as these previously-announced concerts
… in this 32nd edition of the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal (tickets already on sale, details at montrealjazzfest.com): Diana Krall; Sade (opening act: John Legend); Sing the Truth! Angélique Kidjo, Dianne Reeves and Lizz Wright continue the legacies of Miriam Makeba, Abbey Lincoln and Odetta; Paco de Lucia; Milton Nascimento; Battle of the Bands with the Glenn Miller Orchestra and the Artie Shaw Orchestra; George Wein’s 85th Anniversary Celebration with the Newport All Stars: Randy Brecker, Anat Cohen, Lew Tabackin, Howard Alden, Lewis Nash and Peter Washington; Pink Martini; Madeleine Peyroux; Holly Cole.
… in the Jazz All Year Round series (tickets already on sale, details at montrealjazzfest.com): in L’Astral- Brandi Disterheft; Shad; Guy Bélanger; Maurane (opening act: Sophie Beaudet); Bruce Cockburn (opening act: Jenny Scheinman); Gaëtan Roussel; Femi Kuti & The Positive Force (opening act: The Power Dam Initiative); Charlie Hunter; Bob Walsh; Sophie Hunger; Ibrahim Maalouf; The Dave Liebman Group; Bryan Lee and in Métropolis-Buddy Guy (opening act: Steve Rowe); Johnny Clegg; Salif Keita; Yael Naim (opening act: Emily Clepper).
Tickets go on sale this Saturday, March 12, at noon
Tickets for the 32nd edition of the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal go on sale Saturday, March 12 at noon and will be available from Métropolis (59 Ste. Catherine St. E.), or from Admission and Tickemaster (admission.com and ticketmaster.com, 1 855 790‑1245), excluding those concerts presented at Place des Arts (514 842‑2112, laplacedesarts.com) and Club Soda (514 286-1010, www.clubsoda.ca).
The complete indoor concert program for the 32nd edition of the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal will be announced on April 26, while the program for the free, outdoor concerts will be made public in June. To get the jump on the crowd, sign up for the Spectra Newsletter (infolettrespectra.ca)and have the scoop on the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal emailed to your inbox. For further information, call the Bell Info-Jazz Line at 514 871‑1881, toll-free at 1 85JAZZFEST, or visit montrealjazzfest.com.
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