Press release for immediate distribution

On your marks, get set, go!

Tonight, we present the official opening of the 33rd edition of the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, which runs until Monday, July 7!

Bring the family to the Festival!

The festivities begin every day at 11 a.m. with an array of activities created specifically for the entire family! At 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. in the Grande-Place of Complexe Desjardins, La Petite école du jazz, presented by Rio Tinto Alcan, stars Ste-Cat, the famed feline Festival mascot, Victor-Jacques Ménard and his harmonic vocal quintet, and James Gelfand and his quartet, inviting kids of all ages to join in a dynamic and interactive musical initiation. Immediately after, at 3 p.m. on June 30, July 1 and July 7, families can keep the festivities going and stretch their legs to music at the Musique en famille avec les ateliers Samajam, a playful percussion workshop presented by Rio Tinto Alcan, principal partner in the Samajam stay-in-school project since 2011.

Afterwards, everyone can unleash their surplus of energy in the Parc musical Rio Tinto Alcan, where the little ones can enjoy such activities as building their own musical instrument out of aluminum, enjoying free face-painting, and playing on the giant piano. Nearby, parents can make use of the baby-changing tent, stroller parking, and unwind and refresh themselves in our bistros-terrasses and kiosks before stopping by the Festival Souvenir Boutiques, featuring clothes and accessories for children.

Next, the finest young jazz bands and the Blues Camp pros show off their burgeoning chops for Festival fans on the Rio Tinto Alcan stage in the series JazzFest des jeunes, presented by Rio Tinto Alcan at noon and 3 p.m. The action continues in the afternoon: high-energy musical entertainment, Dixieland-style, takes over the Place des Arts esplanade, the Place des Festivals or the Lounge Heineken. At 4 p.m., Les Envolées du Festival presents university groups on the CBC/Radio-Canada stage, just before fans roll into the Rencontres festives, at 5 p.m., featuring two bands playing their own separate sets at either end of the Place des Festivals, then meeting in the middle for a joyous “musical battle”-right in the midst of the crowd! Finally, don’t miss the Blues Camp presented by TD, created in 2007 for young local musicians aged 13 to 17, allowing youths from all backgrounds to benefit from a week-long high-level free musical training program, culminating in their own live performance on the TD Stage of the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal.

Enjoy 6 incredible concerts presented in the Guitarissimo SiriusXM series at the Cinquième Salle, PdA

Philip Catherine - June 29, 7 p.m. - Winner of a Django d’Or, this Belgian-born guitarist pulled off a musical tour de force in his career, having accompanied three major violinists from three successive generations: Stéphane Grappelli, Jean-Luc Ponty and Didier Lockwood. He was also one of the last guitarists to accompany legendary trumpeter Chet Baker. In his first visit to the Festival since 2004, this incomparably swingin’ artist offers a solo concert in the Guitarissimo series. Attention: grandmaster at work.

Pierre Bensusan - June 29, 9:30 p.m. - Guitarist Pierre Bensusan belongs to a select club of contemporary French musicians enjoying global renown. With each successive album, his musical universe has expanded in scope, drawing inspiration from a number of cultures. This six-string sage, unquestionably one of the most eloquent world, jazz and folk musicians of our time, fuses sounds covering a vast geographical and temporal range into an immediately identifiable whole we simply call the “Bensusan sound.” His first visit since 2008 is nothing short of a musical event.

Larry Coryell - June 30, 7 p.m. - Considered one of the inventors of jazz-rock fusion, a style he’s worked in since 1966 as a founder of The Free Spirits, brilliant Texas guitarist Larry Coryell is a musician with no time for boundaries. Versatile and curious, he’s worked with the likes of Gary Burton, Paco de Lucía and John McLaughlin, and taken on works by composers Stravinsky and Ravel. After his 2010 Jazz All-Year Round concert, he returns to perform as part of the Guitarissimo series.

Matt Schofield - June 30, 9:30 p.m. - It’s a third Festival visit for this supremely heralded British singer and six-string virtuoso-he left the competition in the dust in 2007 and 2010. Considered one of the best R&B and blues guitarists of his generation, Schofield freely draws inspiration from the Kings (B.B. and Albert) and does them proud. He’s back with his winning format, the trio, and his most recent release, Anything But Time, hailed as 2011 Blues Album of the Year by MOJO magazine.

Kelly Joe Phelps - July 1, 7 p.m. - Sublime folk-blues singer/guitarist Kelly Joe Phelps is a Festival favourite we’re happy to welcome back after a 5-year absence. Gifted with great natural musicality, a brilliant improviser, and an artist of remarkable depth and authenticity, he’ll roll out songs from the 8 albums that have won him critical acclaim and the unswerving affection of a faithful and fervent audience.

Steve Hill vs. Paul Deslauriers - July 1, 9:30 p.m. - To close out the Guitarissimo series on an inspired note, here’s an uncommon bonus for six-string fanatics. Onstage, the 2 guitar virtuosi step into the ring for friendly battle, accompanied by two 2 comrades-in-arms of their choosing. Playing randomly-selected themes, they’ll pit talent against talent, trade riff for riff and surpass themselves creatively, while fretboard fans cheer them on. A wonderful closing gift for all true guitar fiends!

Circulation and security on the site

From June 28 to July 7, the Festival site will be closed to automobile traffic everyday from 6 p.m. to 3 a.m., until Sunday, July 8 at 6 a.m. To plan your visit to the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal and for all information on street closures, accessing the site by car, on bike or on foot: montrealjazzfest.com, Access to the site tab.

TD Grand Opening Event

Rufus Wainwright

Tonight, 9:30 p.m., TD Stage

This year’s Festival kicks off with a bang, starring an artist we’ve always hoped to present in a major outdoor performance in his hometown: Rufus Wainwright finally makes his first visit to the Festival, after years of invitations and requests from organizers. The first native Montrealer to launch the Festival with a free concert, he’ll treat us to the Montreal showcase of his brand new album, Out of the Game. It’s sure to be a landmark show!

Sold-out concerts

All tickets for the following concerts have already been sold:

♫ James Taylor (June 28, 7:30 p.m. - Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, PdA)

♫ Melody Gardot (June 29, 7:30 p.m. - Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, PdA)

♫ Moriarty (June 29 and 30 juin, 7 p.m. - Savoy du Métropolis)

♫ An evening with Esperanza Spalding and her Radio Music Society (June 29, 8:30 p.m. - Métropolis)

♫ Eliane Elias Brasileira Quartet (June 30, 6 p.m. - Club Soda)

♫ CéU (June 30, 10 p.m. - Club Soda)

♫ Patrick Watson. Opening act: Loney Dear (July 4, 7:30 p.m. - Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, PdA)

♫ Tord Gustavsen Ensemble with Tore Brunborg, Mats Eilertsen and Jarle Vespestad (July 4, 6 p.m. - Gesù - Centre de créativité)

♫ Seal (July 6, 7:30 p.m. - Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier)

♫ Norah Jones. Opening act: Jim Campilongo Trio (July 7, 7:30 p.m. - Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, PdA)

♫ Molly Johnson (July 7, 9 p.m. - L’Astral)

Indoor concerts: pick up your tickets now

Although many concerts are sold out, tickets remain available for the following:

Rafael Zaldivar Trio with Greg Osby - June 28, 6 p.m., L’Astral - Renowned for his talents as an improviser and composer, this native of Cuba is without a doubt THE new Montreal piano jazz sensation. His debut album, Life Directions, released in 2010, introduced us to an alloy of cultures, sounds and styles shifting from Cuban traditions to contemporary rhythms. After a sparkling performance in the Balmoral this past November, Rafael Zaldivar heads to the Festival in a trio with special guest Greg Osby, the American saxophonist known for his fabulous improvisational skills, fluidity and power.

Gypsy Roma Urban Balkan Beats (GRUBB) - June 27-30 and July 2-3, 8 p.m., Théâtre du Nouveau Monde - Back by popular demand, and after the immense critical and popular success they ignited at the Festival, welcome the return of GRUBB and their rom-mania! The humanitarian artistic event led by Serge Denoncourt gives voice to the voiceless; the Roms. It’s a completely new kind of hip hop, blending with traditional Roma music; a musical first! Those volunteering their efforts in this humanitarian adventure include dancer and choreographer Nico Archambault, Italian actor, director and master of metamorphosis Arturo Brachetti, video whizzes Olivier Goulet and Gabriel Coutu-Dumont, costume designer François Barbeau and composer Francis Collard.

Jack Bruce, Cindy Blackman, John Medeski and Vernon Reid, Spectrum Road - June 28, 9:30 p.m., Théâtre Maisonneuve, PdA - This aptly-named All Star Band of virtuosi is, in fact, a very young group: born in 2008 in Tokyo, they took their first steps in the U.S. with a 2011 tour and dropped a debut album last spring. The “young pups”-Vernon Reid (guitar), John Medeski (keyboards) and Cindy Blackman (drums)-joined former Cream member (with Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker), Jack Bruce (bass and vocals) to form the group as a testament to their admiration for Tony Williams, perhaps the greatest drummer in history, and his group Lifetime, a revolutionary icon of the 1970s. Welcome a group of rare quality, making an exclusive visit to our Festival.

World Kora Trio - Eric Longsworth, Chérif Soumano, Jean-Luc Di FrayaJune 28, 10:30 p.m., Gesù Centre de créativité - Created in a summit meeting between cellist Eric Longsworth (making an eagerly-awaited 5th visit), kora player Chérif Soumano and singer-percussionist Jean Luc Di Fraya, the World Kora Trio take a most creative polycultural approach to world music. Moved by a common desire for discovery and musical give-and-take, these three musicians from different backgrounds forge a single musical sensibility to create a fine and moving music, gliding between tradition and modernity. A lovely and skillful demonstration of world music, guided by a spirit of exploration.

David Sánchez, Nick Payton, Stefon Harris, Ninety Miles - June 29, 6 p.m., Club Soda - The first is a star saxophonist who started out with Dizzy Gillespie. The second is a renowned trumpeter influenced by the immortal Miles Davis. The third is a celebrated vibraphonist we’ve enjoyed with the SF Jazz Collective. Together, they are a super trio of young talents (accompanied by a 4-piece rhythm section) reunited for Cuban groove/post-bop/jazz project Ninety Miles, the onstage version of an album conceived in Cuba by Sánchez and Harris with Christian Scott, replaced here by Payton.

Pierrick Pédron - June 29, 9 p.m., L’Astral - Breton Pierrick Pédron makes his Festival debut, preceded by a chorus of acclaim. A devotee of bop, open to rock and steeped in musical harmony, this saxophonist is considered one of the most brilliant young tenors on the European jazz scene. With several solid albums already to his credit, he recently released Cheerleaders, an ambitious orchestral jazz opus performed with a brass band and produced by Ludovic Bource, composer of the music for Oscar winner The Artist. In three words: substantive, eclectic, brilliant.

Jorane and l’Orchestre I Musici de Montréal - June 30, 7 p.m., Maison symphonique de Montréal - For all those who may have missed it the first time-or those eager to experience it all again-here’s the sublime opportunity to fall under a musical spell: an enchanted encounter between Jorane and l’Orchestre I Musici de Montréal, led by Jean-Marie Zeitouni, who floored critics this past winter during MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE. This time out, the Maison symphonique de Montréal hosts the union of one of the most talented artists in Québécois music with the elite players of I Musici, promising a heavenly evening of exalted music.

Tangerine Dream - June 30, 7:30 p.m., Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, PdA - Now this truly merits the term “special event”: 45 years after their formation, this legendary German group takes the stage in a Festival premiere! Widely considered the pioneers of electronic music, Tangerine Dream has gone through an infinite and mysterious amount of line-up shifts over the decades, with the sole true constant being founding guitarist Edgar Froese…and the band’s resounding success! With their exceptional longevity, voluminous discography-27 million sold worldwide-and impressive array of soundtracks for film and TV, this iconic band’s Festival show is a Dream come true!

Meshell Ndegeocello. Opening act: Parc X TrioJuly 1, 10 p.m., Club Soda - Gifted singer, extraordinary bassist and inspired singer-songwriter, Meshell Ndegeocello has it all. No surprise, then, that artists as celebrated as the Rolling Stones, Santana, Madonna and Pat Metheny have called upon her services. With her last Festival stop dating all the way back to 2007, the American maverick returns with Weather, a 9th album that gets poppier and more intimate, packed with brilliant original compositions accented by a solid cover of Chelsea Hotel by Leonard Cohen. The Parc X trio (2010 TD Grand Jazz Award), bursting with the experimental and multicultural flavours of the Montreal quartier that gave them their name, open the evening with a savoury serving of their blend of jazz, world music, classical and pop.

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

Tomorrow, June 29

Patrizio - 8 p.m. and 10 p.m., Rio Tinto Alcan Stage - With his baritone voice, effortless charm and repertoire of traditional Italian songs, he’s already won over innumerable fans et sold over one million albums. On his debut CD, Patrizio, he’s bolstered his repertoire with originals and exquisite interpretations of eternal American classics by the likes of Frank Sinatra. An evening of elegance and emotion!

Vincent Gagnon - 10 p.m., CBC/Radio-Canada Stage - An artist at the crossroads of jazz and impressionist music, Vincent Gagnon is one of the most sought-after pianists on the Québec jazz scene. Renowned for the finesse of his play as an accompanist, this musician now steps out to illustrate his inspired flair as bandleader. Winner of the Radio-Canada Galaxie Rising Star Award in 2009, he brings us his recently released 2nd album, Himalaya.

Saturday, June 30

The Record Company - June 30 and July 1, 5 p.m. and 7 p.m., Lounge Heineken - This primitivist blues-rock combo from the City of Angels gives the impression of having awakened after a 50-year slumber: you’ll give your head a shake at the echo you hear of those young English upstarts (Rolling Stones, the Yardbirds, the Animals…) who spent their early days venerating blues legends Muddy Waters and John Lee Hooker. Surfing the wave of boffo concerts at the 2012 South by Southwest Festival, the band rolls in for two evenings in the Lounge Heineken.

Jamiah On Fire & The Red Machine - June 30 and July 1, 7 p.m., Loto-Québec Stage - Singer/guitarist Jamiah “On Fire” Rogers is 17, drummer Jalon is 13 and bassist Kenyonte is all of 11… and together, they’re already a genuine blues phenomenon! Winners of the 2010 Chicago Blues Challenge Youth Award, they take on titanic songs by Buddy Guy and Jimi Hendrix and roll out their own originals, with masterful guitar riffs and vocals that announce the arrival of the next generation of true bluesmen!

Parc X Trio - 8 p.m., CBC/Radio-Canada stage - Originality and stage presence are the trademarks of Alex Lefaivre, Gabriel Vinuela‑Pelletier and Mark Nelson, but it’s the compositions of this piano-double bass-drums trio, blending jazz, world music, classical and popular, that have won over Festival fans. The TD Grand Jazz Award jury previously noted “a special something” about them in 2009, but decided to wait until the trio reached maturity before presenting them with the prize in 2010. They’re back with the songs from their 2nd album, Cent questions sans réponse, launched last year right here at the Festival!

Ian Kelly - 9 p.m. and 11 p.m., TD Stage - Ian Kelly sure has made tracks since his debut with Jim Bob and the Flying Chickens! Surfing a wave of popularity that shows no sign of breaking, the charming Montreal singer-songwriter-raised in French, sings in English-stops by the Place des Festivals with a 3rd highly polished pop-folk album, Diamonds & Plastic, orchestrated by pianist Jon Day. The future is now for this homegrown performer!

Plaster - 10 p.m., Bell Stage - Montreal trio Plaster return to shake the walls after taking a sabbatical for a few years. In their previous shows at the Festival in 2005 and 2006, keyboardist Alex MacMahon, bassist François Plante and drummer Jean-Phi Goncalves blew us away with a groovy electro-jazz that recalls the brilliant Medeski Martin & Wood. As boisterous as ever and even more rockin’, the trio presents their latest, Let It All Out.

Sunday, July 1

Los Gaiteros de San Jacinto - 8 p.m., Bell Stage - Since the 1930s, Los Gaiteros de San Jacinto have welcomed successive generations of musicians devoted to keeping the flame of Colombian cumbia alive, armed with their namesake gaïta (long Indian flute). Proud inheritors of a time-honoured folk music fusing indigenous Colombian, Spanish and African rhythms and heritage, the Gaiteros extend a bridge between the purest tradition and today’s music.

Bradleyboy Mac Arthur - 9 p.m. and 11 p.m., Loto-Québec Stage - Bradleyboy Mac Arthur yanks the blues right out onto the dancefloor. His guiding principle? Rhythm, powered by guitar, banjo, harmonica and, yes, the instruments that he makes himself, in the pursuit of a sound utterly his own-like the suitcase bass drum that thumps out an irresistible beat. The result is the primitive, gutbucket blues that dominates his latest album, Salt Gun, and won him the title at the 2011 Toronto Blues Society Talent Search.

Boogat - 10 p.m., Bell Stage - Firmly established at the epicentre of the Quebec hip hop scene, Boogat is an elite artisan of Montreal nightlife. A veteran beatmaster behind an explosive blend of hip hop, rap, world music, dancehall, cumbia and dubstep, this Latino-Quebec songwriter and producer has the rhythms to rock your evening. Get ready to boogie!

Late-night rendezvous in the Bistro Le Balmoral

Late-night jazzophiles will find their fix at 10 p.m. and midnight in the free concerts of the Musique au Balmoral series, while satisfying their cravings with the delectable offerings on the Bistro menu. From June 28 to 30, guitarist Lou Boustani and his trio offer an intimate late-night rendezvous. On July 1 and 2, Montreal pianist, singer and composer Steve Amirault takes the stage in a solo piano format. On July 3 and 4, veteran singer-guitarist Dale Boyle returns solo to present his compositions digging into country, blues, rock and folk roots, followed by series closer and 8-string guitar specialist Thomas Carbou, July 5 to 7.

Fiery-and free!-evenings in L’Astral and Savoy

Starting at midnight, our nighthawks can choose between the fiery evenings offered by the Open House series in L’Astral, and the unhinged party soirees in the Savoy du Métropolis! In L’Astral, fans can jam to the hottest franco-anglo duo on the Montreal reggae-dub scene, Ghostbeard & Poirier (June 28 to July 1), DJs Andy Williams and sweet dady luv with their Jazz Amnesty Sound System, aimed at fans of jazz in all its forms (July 2 to 4), and three nights of the Canicule Tropicale, conceived by spinners Philippe Noël, Don Pedro et DJ Kobal, July 5 to 7. Meanwhile, the Nightcap Heineken series in the Savoy unleashes the four eccentric lunatics of aRTIST oF tHE yEAR (June 28, 29 and 30), incredible caliente collective Heavy Soundz (July 1 to 4) and Kalmunity, commandeering a concept fusing improv, slam, R&B, hip-hop, funk and reggae (July 5 to 7), shaking the dancefloor to its foundations!

Changes to the program

The Musique au MAC series, scheduled in the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal at 8 p.m, has been relocated to the Théâtre de Quat’sous, 100 Des Pins Ave. E,. at 8:30 p.m.:

  • Cascadeur, from June 28 to 30
  • ChapelierFou, July 2 and 3
  • Mesparrow, July 4 and 5
  • MisjaFitzgeraldMichel, A Portrait of Nick Drake, July 6 and 7

Danny Brown’s concert, scheduled June 29 at 11 p.m. in SAT is cancelled. Ticket holders for this concert can obtain refunds at the sales point only (SAT, 1195 St. Lawrence Blvd.)

Mark McKnight’s concert, scheduled for CBC/Radio-Canada stage on June 30 at 8 p.m. is cancelled. It will be replaced by Parc X Trio.

Purity Ring will open for Dirty Projectors (July 7, 10 p.m., Club Soda).

On July 7 juillet, the Music Is My Sanctuary 5th Year Anniversary evening, scheduled in SAT at 10 p.m., is relocated to Metropolis (free admission).

Music Is My Sanctuary - For 5 years now, the Music Is My Sanctuary site, with DJ Lexis on the decks, has been dedicated to seeking out future classics and forgotten treasures from all rhythmic horizons. The eclectic DJ, real name Alexis Charpentier, regales listeners with carefully sought-out hip hop, jazz, electronica, reggae, house, soul and funk pieces destined for the pantheon of cherished musical gems. Montreal dynamic duo Scott C and DJ Andy Williams, aka The Goods, and legendary Berlin collective Jazzanova, with a highly expected DJ set, provide more hot beats

The new Facebook contest: J’aime le Festival de Jazz

By becoming a fan of the event’s official Facebook page, internet users can join the fun every day by visiting the grand J’aime le Festival de Jazz Contest on Facebook. A grand total of $40,000 in prizes will be up for grabs. 1st prize: grand prize of $15,000 in cash offered by TD; 2nd prize: a wine cellar, valued at $4,500 offered by the SAQ; 3rd prize: a gift card in Fairmont Hotels valued at $3,000, offered by Rio Tinto Alcan; 4th prize: an automatic coffeemaker valued at $3,000, offered by Jura; 5th prize: a collection of 50 blues CDs valued at $1,000, offered by Loto-Québec; 6th prize: a gift card valued at $500, offered by Archambault; 7th prize: an XM radio with a one-year subscription valued at $500, offered by SiriusXM. The drawing will take place July 9, 2012 at noon. Fans can participate every day by visiting the Festival’s Facebook page. Dozens of instant prizes, with a total value of $10,000, will be offered by TD and La Presse in the Tente des amis, on the outdoor Festival site.

Catch the Festival, day by day

Fans can experience the Festival live on social networks Facebook (facebook.com/festival.jazz.montreal) and Twitter (twitter.com/#!/MtlJazzFestival), where they can access daily program reminders and updates, and all the latest news.

All questions answered: Info-Jazz La Presse


- 30 -

Don’t miss these official press events!

Dates are subject to change; please consult our events sector press team for info.


12:30 a.m.        Press conference for the TD Grand Opening Event with Rufus Wainwright

Salle Stevie Wonder, Maison du Festival Rio Tinto Alcan

5 p.m.                          Vernissage at the Galerie Lounge TD with Richard Séguin

Galerie Lounge TD, Espace culturel Georges-Émile-Lapalme, Place des Arts

7 p.m.              Indoor opening concert-Richard Galliano, From Bach to Piazzolla

Maison symphonique de Montréal (1600, St. Urbain St.)

Invitation only

7:30 p.m. Opening cocktail of the 33rd edition of the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal

Salon urbain, Place des Arts (175, St. Catherine St. W.)

Invitation only

9:30 p.m.         TD Grand Opening Event with Rufus Wainwright

TD Stage, Place des Festivals

Friday, June 29

11 a.m.            Presentation of the 2012 Bruce Lundvall Award to Michael Cuscuna

Salle Stevie Wonder, Maison du Festival Rio Tinto Alcan

Saturday, June 30

3 p.m.              Welcome cocktail for the international media

Salle Stevie Wonder, Maison du Festival Rio Tinto Alcan

Monday, July 2

1 p.m.                          Presentation of the 2012 Miles Davis Award to Ron Carter

Salle Stevie Wonder, Maison du Festival Rio Tinto Alcan

2:30 p.m.                     Media rehearsal of The Devil’s music:The Life and Blues of Bessie Smith

Cinquième Salle, PdA

6 p.m.                          Presentation of the 2012 Miles Davis Award to Ron Carter in front of audience

Club Soda (1225 St. Lawrence Bvd.)

The pressroom-the heart of the Festival

Again this year, the Festival press room is located in the Maison du Festival Rio Tinto Alcan, 305 Ste. Catherine St. W. on the 2nd floor. Open from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. from June 27 to July 7 (closed on Sunday, July 8) and from noon to 3 p.m. on July 9. It’s the meeting point for artists, agents, record label representatives and accredited media. Our entire press and communications team is happy to welcome you! Media representatives please note that the press room can now be reached at 514 288‑5299.

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