Press release for immediate distribution

Grand événement General Motors, Tuesday, June 30 at 9:30 p.m.

Stevie Wonder

opens the Place des festivals with a concert

inaugurating the 30th edition of the Festival

Montreal, Monday, May 11, 2009 - The Festival International de Jazz de Montréal is extremely proud to offer our loyal fans another gorgeous gift as part of this 30th anniversary: a very special free outdoor concert by American music giant Stevie Wonder, in his first-ever visit to the Festival. Alain Simard has dreamt of the show for years, the programming team has regularly discussed it, and it’s finally a reality! There’s a palpable excitement in the air as we all eagerly await this Grand événement General Motors that’s guaranteed to enter the history books! Stevie Wonder will literally launch the Festival’s 30th anniversary celebrations when he opens the brand-new Place des Festivals this Tuesday, June 30 at 9:30 p.m. on the General Motors stage.

Opening of highly-anticipated Place des festivals

The Grand événement General Motors with Stevie Wonder opens this 30th edition of the Festival with the first musical celebration in the Place des festivals, but its full-fledged official inauguration will come in September, once it is completed with hundreds of fountains designed by Michel Lemieux. This plaza is the first in a three-phase development of the overall plan for the Quartier des spectacles-prepared by architects Daoust Lestage and urban designer Clément Demers-which will ultimately include three magnificent public spaces. This extraordinary project for Montreal will likewise ensure the future of the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, which would otherwise have lost over 50% of the surface area of its outdoor site.

Stevie Wonder, star of the free outdoor Grand événement General Motors

Stevie Wonder, peerless icon of American black music, is the ideal choice to illuminate an event as illustrious as the Festival’s 30th anniversary. A virtual human jukebox, his concerts celebrate his songbook with a string of hits that have defined our lives and live forever in our memories: My Cherie Amour, Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours, Superstition, You Are The Sunshine Of My Life, Isn’t She Lovely, Living For The City, Don’t You Worry ‘Bout A Thing, Sir Duke, I Wish, Pastime Paradise, Master Blaster, Part Time Lover and dozens of others. Twenty years have already passed since Stevie Wonder was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame… and over 45 since his first hit in 1962, when the pop world knew him as “Little Stevie Wonder”! Just as brilliant today-ask to see his twentysomething Grammy Awards-and just as adored (we’ve long since stopped counting the millions of albums sold…), the prodigious African-American singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist from Michigan ranks among those rare artists whose extraordinary public appeal remains as constant and passionate, decade after decade.

For this very special evening, giant screens will be deployed on other stages throughout the Festival site, transmitting the exceptional event live to what promises to be a monumental public gathering!

This musical gift to Montrealers is exclusively made possible thanks to the support of our three levels of government, particularly Industry Canada, as part of the effort to boost tourism to the city and contribute to the enhancement of its international profile.

The 30th edition of the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal will run from June 30 to July 12, 2009.

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