Press release for immediate distibution

L’Astral

A mind-boggling calendar

including the new Blue Wednesdays

The newest intimate venue at the Quartier des spectacles

Montreal, Monday, August 24, 2009 - This year, the 2009-2010 Jazz All-Year Round series presented by TD is taking right off with nearly 50 concerts already announced to date. In fact, today, the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal is adding some 15 jazz or blues performances-including an impressive array of local artists-to be staged mainly at L’Astral, the magnificent, fledgling hall that quickly garnered rave reviews from the music community (including both musicians and audiences) for the quality of its facilities and acoustics and the inviting spectator-friendly atmosphere. And you can bet your bottom dollar that the new Blue Wednesdays will only enhance the reputation of this new hall at the Maison du Festival Rio Tinto Alcan, already reputed to have a soul of its own… Tickets go on sale this Thursday, August 13.

Erik Mongrain - September 11, 8 p.m. - Known in the Montreal metro for his lap-tapping technique-guitar on the knees, played like a piano-Erik Mongrain is now performing in Germany and the United States, and has had the Japanese TV station NHK filming in his home! Equally at ease in standard guitarist stance, this incredibly talented self-taught performer, who blew away crowds at the 2007 Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, recorded the Fates album in 2006 with Serge Fiori. Hear just one piece, and you’ll be on your knees begging for more!

Steve Hill and The Majestiks - September 12, 8 p.m. - Guitarist Steve Hill and his new band The Majestiks will be presenting The Damage Done, a resolutely rock show with a hint of the blues he so loves. After a resounding success at this summer’s Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, this collaborator of Québec’s rock greats-Nanette Workman, Michel Pagliaro and Éric Lapointe-will be offering cuts from his newest album as well as surprises that are sure to shake the walls of L’Astral.

Thierry Crommen in duo: original versions of the harmonica - September 29, 8 p.m. - After a 12-year hiatus (he last appeared at the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal in 1997), Belgian harmonica player Thierry Crommen will be back at last with the sound of his unbridled swing, this time in a twosome. Born in 1958, early on he came under the influences of Toots Thielemans, Stevie Wonder and Charlie McCoy of this tradition. Crommen can rightfully take pride in his many years of collaboration with Michel Fugain (1988-1996), his well-noted soloist performance on the soundtrack of the film The Children of the Marsh, his teaching at the Stages Internationaux de Musique Acoustique de Virton since 1987, his co-authorship of a harmonica-playing method and his mastery of both the chromatic and diatonic harmonicas. Phew! No doubt about it, he’s got plenty of breath to blow!

Wax Tailor - October 9, 8 p.m. - Whether with the French Rap band La Formule in the 1990s, as a radio host, with his own Lab’Oratoire label at the turn of the new millennium, or through his Breakbeats Breaking the Wave compilations, Jean-Christophe Le Saoût-alias Wax Tailor-remains one of the flagship artists of the international electro-hip-hop scene, whose cinematic music breaks all boundaries between trip-hop, hip-hop orchestral and down tempo. This French songwriter, composer, producer and manager is finally gracing us with a visit, accompanied by his band on tour to promote his new album In the Mood for Life, scheduled for release this fall, and of which Say Yes is an excellent first track.

Julian Lage - October 16, 8 p.m. - This Frisco-born guitar prodigy left many in awe when he opened for the Maria Schneider Orchestra last June at the 30th anniversary edition of the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal. Having played with Carlos Santana, Pat Metheny, Kenny Werner and Gary Burton, he’ll be bringing us cuts from his first album, Sounding Point, which mixes some of his own compositions with choice classics, including Miles Davis’ All Blues.

Oliver Jones Trio - October 20, 8 p.m. - Oliver, Oliver, oh where would jazz be without the great Oliver? With his ultra-charming smile, masterful technique and hard swing, for years now he has treated us to the vision and sound of all the best that piano can offer. A jazz giant and one of the country’s most illustrious pianists, he will be back to sweep us off our feet once more-and, we hope, for a long time to come! Returning to L’Astral, which he honoured us by inaugurating this summer at the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, he will perform with Éric Lagacé (double bass) and Jim Doxas (drums).

Julie Lamontagne - October 22, 8 p.m. - One of our best homegrown pianists, keyboardists and composers, performing to packed halls at this summer’s Festival, accompanied by her trio and New York saxophonist Donny McCaslin, Julie Lamontagne has followed a fascinating career path. Riding the wave of her highly successful debut jazz album Facing the Truth, released in 2005, Julie returned with a second album entitled Now What on the Justin Time label. She regularly accompanies numerous artists from the Québec scene, such as Isabelle Boulay and Bruno Pelletier, and is the official pianist for Monique Giroux’s daily radio program on Radio-Canada’s Espace musique.

Jason Lang - October 29, 8 p.m. - Son of Canadian folk legend Penny Lang and the renowned Dave Van Ronk, Jason Lang has successfully created his own unique style somewhere between folk and pop. He has worked with numerous artists, from Roch Voisine to Isabelle Boulay, not to mention France D’Amour, the McGarrigle sisters, Amanda Marshall, Richard Séguin and Denise Murray-with whom he has often won the highest accolades for Canadian country. He has seven albums and three Félix Awards to his credit.

That 1 Guy & The Magic Pipe Present: Moustaches and Laserbeams - November 11, 8 p.m. (Tickets for this concert will go on sale Friday, August 28) - Here’s a riddle for you… It’s influenced by Dr. Seuss, Frank Zappa and Stanley Kubrick. It’s been described in The Spokesman as “Home Depot meets Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.” It’s done with MIDI triggers, a double bass string, a hefty plumber’s pipe and an electric cowboy boot that billows smoke during the climax of his live shows. And above all, it caused a great furor at both last year’s and this year’s Festival International de Jazz de Montréal! Cat got your tongue? The answer is… That 1 Guy, alias Mike Silverman, and his Inspector-Gadget-type instrument, the Magic Pipe!

Michael Kaeshammer - November 28, 8 p.m. - His stunning virtuosity and irresistible charisma earned him the opening place for Holly Cole in 2007 and, a few months later, he took Club Soda by storm. His last album, Days Like These, gave way in May to Lovelight, adding a 6th opus to the already awesome repertoire of one of the top emerging pianists. A rising star in English Canada, pianist and singer Michael Kaeshammer without a doubt knows all the ins and outs of the boogie-woogie, as he showed us with such brio at the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal this summer!

Blue Wednesdays

Starting on September 9, it’s a blues date at L’Astral

Apart from the blues concerts already announced (Matt Andersen: September 16, Ronnie Baker Brooks: September 23, and Duke Robillard: November 4 ), six other shows will add even more magic to the new Blue Wednesdays of the Jazz All-Year Round series, also in L’Astral’s intimate setting.

Les Stars du blues with Jim Zeller, Carl Tremblay, Jimmy James, Bob Harrisson, Jean Millaire and many others - September 9, 8 p.m. - What could be better than an all-star concert to mark the official launch of what will now be known as the Blue Wednesdays? Collaborations, blues classics, energetic voices, unrivalled instrumentalists: a show where everyone will have the time of their lives, and where scores of music lovers, especially blues junkies, will be doing what they do best.

Bob Harrisson - October 7, 8 p.m. - In 2007, Quebecer Bob Harrisson celebrated the 50th year of his chock-full artistic career: singer and guitarist, drummer for Willie Nelson, member of the progressive rock group Dillinger-for which the famous band Rush once opened!-former member of Offenbach, founder of the Bob Harrisson Blues Band, cabaret director, producer, and the list goes on! His raw vocals and intense melodies are inimitable on the Québec blues scene, as witnessed once again at this summer’s Festival International de Jazz de Montréal.

JW-Jones Blues Band - October 21, 8 p.m. - In 2006, this Canadian literally knocked festival-goers who took in his concert at the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal off their feet. The Globe and Mail ranked him among the country’s top blues guitarists, and one of his fabulous discs, jam-packed with grand cru Chicago blues, won an award at Toronto’s Maple Blues Awards. Alongside Jeff Asselin and Mike St-Jean (drums), Jesse Whiteley (organ and bass) and Martin Régimbald (bass), and with five albums to his credit, the young crooner JW-Jones is poised to meet all challenges and take the planet, one country at a time.

Angel Forrest, Le blues de l’ange - October 28, 8 p.m. - A true blues devotee with a whisky voice, a beguiling vocal style and unmatchable charisma, Angel Forrest has been winning over crowds for more than 20 years. Often likened to Janis Joplin and Amanda Marshall, she opened for Dennis DeYoung in 2006. This singer with the passionate vocals, a born performer, has captivated Québec audiences with her unique personality and vibrant interpretations. Ask anyone who heard her at the Festival last year!

David Gogo - November 25, 8 p.m. - After turning in a solid performance at the 2005 Festival and again in 2007 (at the Montreal Guitar Show), Canadian guitarist David Gogo, who has twice won the prestigious Maple Blues Guitarist of the Year Award, is back again for the new Blue Wednesdays. In addition to his blues-rock songs that have already won our praise, this time we’ll hear tracks from his 10th album, Different Views, recorded in his native Nanaimo and newly released last July.

Coco Montoya - December 2, 8 p.m. - Californian Coco Montoya has not paid us a visit since 1996! And when you know that he was the gifted protégé of legendary bluesman Albert Collins, that he has played with the likes of Eric Clapton, John Mayall and the legendary Bluesbreakers band, and that with his debut album, Gotta Mind To Travel, in 1995, he won accolades on the American blues scene, then the return of this superb guitarist-singer with the gravelly voice after a 13-year absence comes as damn-good news-especially in the intimate L’Astral setting! Among other things, he will be treating us to a Dirty Deal that we won’t be able to refuse: his latest hits, recorded in 2007.

Please note that excellent tickets remain available for these other concerts
in the
Jazz All-Year Round series:

L’Astral


Erik Truffaz - September 3, 8 p.m.

Matt Andersen - September 16, 8 p.m.

Yaron Herman Trio - September 17, 8 p.m.

Harry Manx Solo -September 18 and 19, 8 p.m.

Hypnotic Brass Ensemble - September 22, 8 p.m.

Ronnie Baker Brooks - September 23, 8 p.m.

McCoy Tyner Trio - September 24, 25 and 26, 8 p.m.

Allan Holdsworth Trio - September 30 and October 1, 8 p.m.

Tierney Sutton Band - October 6, 8 p.m.

The Sociopaths with Charles Papasoff, Coral Egan and Matt Herskowitz - October 8, 8 p.m.

Kurt Rosenwinkel Standards “Trio”with Ben Street & Rodney Green - October 10, 8 p.m.

Afro-Cuban All Stars - October 30, 8 p.m.

Duke Robillard - November 4, 8 p.m.

Steve Amirault Trio - November 5, 8 p.m.

Suzanne Vega - November 7 and 8, 8 p.m.

Susie Arioli - November 12 and 13, 8 p.m.

Sara Tavares - November 17, 8 p.m.

Cowboy Junkies (opening act: Lee Harvey Oswald Band) - November 18 and 19, 8 p.m.

Carol Welsman - November 20 and 21, 8 p.m.

Alex Cuba - November 27, 8 p.m.

A Special Evening with John Pizzarelli and Coral Egan - December 3 and 4, 8 p.m.


Métropolis


Keb’ Mo’ Band - October 15, 8 p.m.

The Derek Trucks Band - November 7, 8 p.m.

John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers - November 22, 8 p.m.

Théâtre Outremont

Paco Peña - October 23, 8 p.m.

A non-profit organization, the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal is pursuing its mission of disseminating and developing jazz and its musical cousins for the tenth year in a row, by reinvesting its surpluses in the presentation of special concerts at its Jazz All-Year Round series. With support from public partners, specifically, the Société de développement des entreprises culturelles (SODEC) and Canadian Heritage, it can thus offer Montrealers and visitors to the city the chance to experience the rhythms of jazz all-year round! The Festival also recognizes the support of Bell, partner in the series, as well as the Hyatt Regency Montréal, official hotel of the Jazz All-Year Round series.

Tickets go on sale on Thursday

Tickets for these new concerts in the 2009-2010 autumn/winter program of the Jazz All-Year Round series will be on sale on Thursday. They will be available at L’Astral (305, Ste. Catherine St. W.), at Métropolis (59 Ste. Catherine St. E.), through Ticketpro-ticketpro.ca, 514-908‑9090 or 1‑866-908‑9090. For more information, call the Bell Info‑Jazz Line at 514-871‑1881, toll-free at 1-888-515‑0515 or visit montrealjazzfest.com.

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