Grand événement General Motors
recipient of the Spirit Award
from the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal
Montreal, Monday, June 29, 2009 - Kicking off 30th anniversary festivities of the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal in high style, we invite fans to flock to the Festival site, facing the General Motors stage on the Place des Festivals, for the opening concert starring American music giant Stevie Wonder. This living legend, with over 20 Grammy Awards to his credit and album sales in the uncountable millions, inaugurates the new edition of the Festival as well as the new Place des Festivals on Tuesday, June 30 at 9:30 p.m., during the Grand événement General Motors. It’s going to be a historic evening, soundtracked by a human jukebox of hits and classics, so the Festival will deploy giant screens and sound delays on other Festival stages and north of the Place des Festivals to relay-broadcast the massive event live.
Stevie Wonder, recipient of the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal Spirit Award
Stevie Wonder will also receive the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal Spirit Award. The award will be presented by president-founder Alain Simard and artistic director and Festival cofounder André Ménard. With this award, the Festival wishes to showcase quality and musical innovation, as well as the singer-songwriter/performer’s undeniable influence on the international pop music scene. The Montreal Jazz Festival Spirit Award is in bronze, and was inspired by a self-portrait that Miles Davis offered to the Festival in 1988.
Stevie Wonder, peerless icon of American black music and one of the greatest songwriters of the 20th century, 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. Join us on Tuesday, June 30, at 9:30 p.m. for this unforgettable concert, followed by a spectacular fireworks display celebrating the opening of both the 30th anniversary and the Place des Festivals!
Reminder: security arrangements
for the Grand Événement General Motors starring Stevie Wonder
This year, our Grands événements will be held on the brand-new Place des Festivals, located on Jeanne‑Mance Street between Ste. Catherine Street West and De Maisonneuve Blvd. The main General Motors stage has been set up as far south as possible (taking into account the physical constraints of the Place, the trees and the security aisle requested by the authorities) in order to face north, yet also be visible from De Maisonneuve Blvd., Président-Kennedy Ave. and the Jeanne-Mance St. side all the way to Sherbrooke St.
In view of Montreal’s tremendous response to the announcement of the Stevie Wonder mega-concert, we advise Festival fans to access the new site from the east, via Ontario St. East (Saint‑Laurent Metro) of the west via De Maisonneuve Blvd. (McGill Metro). Given its location, the Place des Festivals is also accessible by Jeanne‑Mance St., via Sherbrooke St.
For security reasons, folding chairs and lawn chairs will not be permitted on the site; strollers will be permitted, but are strongly discouraged. As always, bicycles and rollerblades will not be permitted on the site, (although they can be left in the TD Canada Trust bicycle parking lotlocated next to Saint-Laurent Metro), and cans and glass bottles are also forbidden. However, we advise Festival fans to bring a supply of water (in plastic bottles). Please note that it is forbidden to bring alcoholic beverages onto the site.
The Festival advises the public to travel to the concert from east to west and from north to south; the use of mass transit is strongly advised and, especially for the occasion, Montreal’s metro will close 30 minutes later than normal (thanks to the Société de transport de Montréal). Once on site, fans can always access the specially-security corridors, exclusively to exit the site during the performance. These “One Way” corridors can therefore be used to leave the site, but not to return. They lead directly to the Place‑des‑Arts Metro station, to Complexe Desjardins and to De Maisonneuve Blvd, east and westbound. Given these are, by definition, traffic corridors, pedestrians are not permitted to remain standing in them.
People in wheelchairs must contact Hector Poblete at 514-288-1424, local 4540, on the eve of the concert in order to reserve a space on the esplanade.
The 30th edition of the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal runs until July 12, 2008.
- 30 -