Press release for immediate distribution

The 32nd edition of the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal presents


Gypsy Roma Urban Balkan Beats,

the North American première of a humanitarian musical show

Tickets now on sale

Montreal, Monday, April 11, 2011 - Twenty-two Serbians between the ages of 13 and 17 in America for the first time. A melody. Slow, bewitching, with a slight Arabic flavour. The voice of a young boy from this century, yet identical to a voice one might have heard a thousand years ago. Percussion suffused with Gypsy rhythms. A dance whose origins disappear in the mists of time.Then, culture shock. The 21st century. World beat. Rap and hip-hop, anchored in and emerging from the age-old Roma tradition. Something never before seen or heard, a completely new form of hip-hop melding with traditional Roma music. A decor made of trinkets and bric-a-brac, of old and timeworn objects, a gathering place for this group of young people. An image of the Gypsy world which is disintegrating to make way for a contemporary reality that struggles to survive in our modern-day society.

The Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, presented by TD in collaboration with Rio Tinto Alcan, is thrilled to present Serge Denoncourt’s latest show, Gypsy Roma Urban Balkan Beats (GRUBB). An invitation to join the party, GRUBB takes on the challenge of giving voice - a modern, young voice - to a people who are never heard, the Roma. Artists who are among the best in their field (who, in addition to the acclaimed director, include dancer and choreographer Nico Archambault (winner of So You Think You Can Dance Canada 2008), Italian actor, director and master of metamorphosis Arturo Brachetti, video whiz kids Olivier Goulet et Gabriel Coutu‑Dumont, multidisciplinary costume designer François Barbeau…) voluntarily take part in this humanitarian adventure that combines genres and uses dance, theatre, photography, rap and traditional Roma melodies to create an unprecedented artistic event. A collage, a patchwork, a series of tableaux, GRUBB explores the existence of young Roma today through music, movement and theatrical performance… and proves itself to be a realistic reflection of their daily existence. From June 27 to July 2, 8 p.m., at Salle Pierre‑Mercure of Centre Pierre‑Péladeau. Tickets for this show are already on sale.

A humanitarian show

First and foremost a humanitarian project which aims to promote the education of young Roma and to facilitate their access to the job market, GRUBB is spear-headed by the British organization R Point. Led by an international creative team that includes several Quebecers, this show is intended to be a showcase, an incursion into the world, the life, the reality of Roma children and teens living in Serbia today. For three years these young Roma have been writing, recounting, singing and dancing the story of their lives, under the guidance of professional artists of international renown in their respective fields. Through workshops and master classes organized by R Point, these teenagers are encouraged to use their art by learning to express and educate themselves, by reclaiming their traditions, their history and their pride.

Direction: Serge Denoncourt (Canada). Set design: Michael Curry (United States). Lighting: Patrick Woodroffe (United Kingdom). Music: Francis Collard (Canada). Video design: Olivier Goulet and Gabriel Coutu‑Dumont (Canada). Costumes: François Barbeau (Canada). Script consultant: Menno Meyjes (The Netherlands). Magic consultant: Arturo Brachetti (Italy). Choreography: Nico Archambault (Canada), Wynn Holmes (Canada) and Natalie Meyjes (United States).

For more information about R Point, please go to and

Tickets now on sale

Tickets are now on sale for Gypsy Roma Urban Balkan Beats. They are available from the Salle Pierre-Mercure box office of Centre Pierre‑Péladeau (300, Maisonneuve Blvd. E., 514 987‑6919), at Métropolis (59, Ste. Catherine St. E.), or from Admission (, 1 855 790‑1245).

The 32nd edition of the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal will take place from June 25 to July 4, 2011. The complete indoor concert programming will be announced on April 26, while programming for the free outdoor concerts will be made public in early June. For the full scoop on the program, sign up for the Spectra Newsletter ( For additional information, call the Bell Info-Jazz Line at 514 871‑1881, toll-free at 1 85JAZZFEST, or visit

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Journalists using twitter are invited to connect via the following references: #jazzmtl or @FestivalJazzMtl

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