Press release for immediate distribution

By popular demand

The GRUBB phenomenon

returns to the Festival!

Montreal, Thursday, December 8, 2011 - Organizers of the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, presented by TD in collaboration with Rio Tinto Alcan, are especially proud to present the return of Gypsy Roma Urban Balkan Beats (GRUBB) on June 28, 29 & 30 and July 2 & 3, 8 p.m., in a new venue, Théâtre du Nouveau Monde, as part of the 33rd edition of the Festival. This unprecedented humanitarian spectacle, featuring twenty young Roms, was undeniably one of the signature events of last summer’s Festival, selling out so many shows that we had to add two additional performances to the five nights already announced. Led by Serge Denoncourt, the show, created to support the cause of young Roms, was made possible thanks to the volunteer efforts of dancer and choreographer Nico Archambault, Italian master of metamorphosis Arturo Brachetti, video wizards Olivier Goulet and Gabriel Coutu‑Dumont, costume designer François Barbeau and musical director Françis Collard. The public and the press are unanimous: it’s a hit on every level! Tickets for the show go on sale Saturday, December 10 at noon.

Twenty Serbians between the ages of 13 and 17. 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.

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 http://www.rpoint.org.uk/ and http://rpointonline.blogspot.com/.

What they’re saying about GRUBB

« Renversant ! Ces jeunes Roms sont beaux et talentueux. Ils nous font danser, ils nous arrachent aussi quelques larmes. Je n’ai jamais vu un public réagir avec autant d’émotion. »

Tanya Lapointe, Radio-Canada Nouvelles

« Un spectacle inclassable, percutant et divertissant […] on a non seulement été fort impressionné par les grands talents de danseurs et par les voix justes des jeunes, mais on a l’impression, véritablement, d’avoir appris quelque chose. Et on a succombé, à notre tour, au charme fou de ces attachants adolescents. »

Jessica Edmont-Ferrat, Journal Métro

“This journey they take us on ranges from moving and poignant, to fun and insightful. This is a triumphant show in every way.”

Anna Asimakopulos, CBC

« Denoncourt nous offre un grand spectacle humanitaire avec GRUBB. Ces jeunes Roms incroyablement talentueux créent l’événement au Festival International de Jazz de Montréal »

Catherine Richer, 98,5 FM

« De belles têtes, de bons danseurs, et aussi des conteurs fiers qui sont venus nous parler de leur réalité contemporaine. […] GRUBB est aussi l’épanouissement de réels talents, l’explosion contagieuse de l’énergie et de la volonté de jeunes emblèmes d’une génération aux influences multiples. »

Sylvie St-Jacques, La Presse, 28 juin 2011

« Après seulement une chanson, le public savait qu’il passerait une magnifique soirée. »

Vanessa Guimond, Journal de Montréal, 28 juin 2011

« C’est assez phénoménal, le travail qu’ils [Denoncourt et les jeunes] ont réussi à accomplir ensemble. […] Mission accomplie pour Serge Denoncourt. »

Stéphane Leclair, C’est bien meilleur le matin, Première Chaîne radio de Radio-Canada

Tickets go on sale Saturday, December 10 at noon

Tickets for GRUBB go on sale Saturday, December 10 at noon and will be available from the Métropolis box office (59 Ste. Catherine St. E.), or from Admission and Ticketmaster (admission.com and ticketmaster.ca, 1 855 790‑1245), and at Théâtre du Nouveau Monde (84 Ste. Catherine W., www.tnm.qc.ca, 514 866-8668).

To get the jump on the crowd, sign up for the Spectra Newsletter and have the scoop on the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal emailed to your inbox. For further information, call the Info-Jazz Line at 514 871‑1881, toll-free at 1 85JAZZFEST, or visit montrealjazzfest.com.

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