Free outdoor program of the 36th edition of the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal
Montreal, Tuesday, June 2, 2015 — In less than 4 weeks, the 36th edition of the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, presented by TD in collaboration with Rio Tinto Alcan, will turn this city into the epicenter of jazz and its musical cousins, welcoming thousands of the world’s greatest artists in one super-concentrated 10-day musical celebration! Better yet, almost 2/3 of the concerts in the program will be presented completely free, allowing everyone the chance to enjoy his or her favourite artists and discover new talents, without spending a penny! This Festival is the largest example of this free-concert formula in the world, and it’s exclusive to Montreal! Festival fans will not only discover more than 600 concerts and free activities, but also a genuine festival experience, with an unparalleled microcosm of everything that inspires summertime passions, in a safe pedestrian environment closed to vehicle traffic, with something for everyone, including a pram loan service and bike parking, along with activities for children, parades and an astonishingly wide variety of food offerings.
Of course, the site has a wide array of new additions this year. First—and long-awaited!—we finally present the new Club Jazz Casino de Montréal, located on De Bleury St. below Ste. Catherine St., on what will henceforth be called Place SNC-Lavalin. Dive into the experience of a genuine outdoor jazz club, just like in New Orleans, birthplace of jazz and driving inspiration for this new location where jazz is king, the cocktails flow and live music rolls continuously from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. every evening! And of course, “jazz club” means delicious food and drinks as well! From crab cakes to the oyster bar, specialty cocktails and jambalaya, this oasis in the downtown core will transport you to the Crescent City faster than you can say “jazz”!
In yet more new additions, at the northern extremity of the site, on the Promenade des Artistes (De Maisonneuve Blvd.), fans can comfortably settle into the Terrasse Heineken for some jazz or, a little further east, near the CBC/Radio-Canada/Sony blues stage, get hooked on the new Texas Bill BBQ grill, prepared in the purest tradition of the Wild West! Fans will also fall for the Bistro Le porc du Québec (delicious porchetta!) and rum-based cocktails of Bar Bacardi (corner St. Urbain St. and Ste. Catherine St.), or plan out a future trip to Turkey at the Turkish Airlines tourism kiosk (Balmoral St., near the TD Stage). Also, the Place Confort TD boasts a reconceived space with a live show program and a relaxation zone. Finally, the Rio Tinto Alcan Family Club moves to the top of the stairs of the Place des Arts esplanade, next to the MAC, with an even more alluring space featuring a lawn and picnic tables. And speaking of the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal: in addition to presenting music in workshops in the Rio Tinto Alcan Family Club from July 2 to 5, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., it also invites all fans to visit its permanent exhibition free of charge!
Ready to kick off your summer? To help everyone stay patient until then (and allow you to plan out your personalized schedule), here’s a glimpse of what awaits us from June 26 to July 5, in the heart of Planet Jazz:
This 36th edition is dedicated to the King of the Blues (1925-2015)
The Grand Blues Evening in memory of B.B. King
July 5, 9 p.m. and 11 p.m., TD Stage
A regal figure of the blues, the late B.B. King will remain eternally stamped in the history of this Festival, to which he was deeply linked—in fact, an Award was created in his name last summer in order to annually recognize the exceptional talent of a blues artist. Organizers of this Festival passionately dedicate this 36th edition to him. The great B.B. will be foremost in our thoughts throughout the event, particularly via his presence among the 24 Legends of the Festival, the windows of the Maison du Festival Rio Tinto Alcan, which look out over thousands of music fans gathering to experience their favourite event. To pay tribute to his legacy, the crème de la crème of the Québécois blues scene gathers onstage in a grand evening anchored by incomparable harmonica wizard Guy Bélanger and his band, with an army of high-profile guests—Bob Walsh, Jordan Officer, Kim Richardson, Brian Tyler, Angel Forrest, Mike Goudreau, Jimmy James, Conor Gains, Jean Fernand Girard, Mathieu Holubowski…
Two major free outdoor events
Beirut — June 26, 9:30 p.m., TD Stage — To celebrate the opening of this 36th edition in fine fashion, here’s an unprecedented concert starring Beirut, who will open their latest tour right here with us. The group’s sound is a dizzying musical travelogue inspired by Eastern Europe and the Balkans, with pit-stops along the Mexican coast, in French culture and pop North American pop. It’s world music that invents an entirely new musical landscape where everyone feels perfectly at home. The sun never sets on Beirut’s musical empire!
The Barr Brothers — June 29, 9:30 p.m., TD Stage — The Montreal quartet—brothers Brad and Andrew Barr, harpist Sarah Page and multi-instrumentalist Andrés Vial—promises an unforgettably magical musical moment unveiling songs from their latest album, the fantastic Sleeping Operator. It’s a warm, enveloping sound, poised between Americana folk tinged with Delta blues and rock with African inflections, charged with a purely modernist instinct. Prepare for sheer musical transport, a hypnotic and explosive Montreal Festival experience!
A glimpse of the program, stage by stage
TD Stage (Place des Festivals)
In addition to the Grands événements, the Place des Festivals welcomes:
Performances TD series, 9 p.m. and 11 p.m.
The Franklin Electric — June 27— The Montreal group makes its major-league Festival entrance, with a syncopated folk music that is utterly irresistible.
Orchestre national de jazz de Montréal — July 1— The ONJ finally launches its 1st album! With Ingrid Jensen and Karen Young, conducted by Christine Jensen.
Adam Cohen — July 4 — Adam Cohen presents his spellbinding, fluid new album in a free outdoor concert. A gift to the city!
Gammes TD series, 6 p.m.
Jane Bunnett and Maqueque — June 29 — The excellent Canadian saxophonist and flautist assembles 5 gifted young Cuban musicians ready to bring the house down. Jubilant!
Pram Trio — July 3 — Winners of last year’s TD Grand Jazz Award, these 3 Toronto musicians combine elements of traditional jazz with contemporary styles.
Guy Nadon — July 5 — Our favourite standard-bearer of the local jazz scene returns for a 32nd victory lap at the Festival, more passionate and creative than ever.
Rio Tinto Alcan Stage (corner Ste. Catherine and Jeanne-Mance)
Soirées jazzy Rio Tinto Alcan series, 8 p.m. and 10 p.m.
Sonny Knight & The Lakers — June 30 (exclusively at 8 p.m.) — At 66, Sonny Knight just released his debut album… a raw soul/funk explosion!
Marie-Christine — July 2 — Haitian-born Montreal singer-pianist is back with her irresistible charm and Caribbean soul-funk groove.
Ginkgoa — July 4 and 5 — She’s a New Yorker, he’s a Parisian; together, using the same producer as Caravan Palace, they create a super-energetic music where pop, swing and electronic beats meet to get feet moving!
Club Jazz Casino de Montréal (Place SNC-Lavalin, on De Bleury St., below Ste. Catherine St.)
Apéros Casino de Montréal series, 5 p.m.
Ariel Pocock — July 1 — Gifted with a distinctive talent that has already brought her international recognition, American jazz pianist and singer Ariel Pocock presents her debut album. A breath of fresh air and originality!
Oran Etkin — July 3 — The perfect balance between jazz and world music: this internationally renowned Israeli multi-instrumentalist unveils another definition of jazz with his new album.
Brunantes Casino de Montréal series, 7 p.m.
Moutin Factory Quintet — June 29 — Twin brothers François and Louis Moutin (double bassist and drummer, respectively) assemble the finest musicians in French jazz for a solid groove project!
MJF6 — July 2 — Saxophonist Marie-Josée Frigon gathers her longtime friends—Tony Albino (drums), Jean-François Gagnon (trumpet), Pierre Grimard (keyboards) Jean François Beaudet (guitar) and Jean-Bertrand Carbou (bass)—for a project that pitches between soaring jazz and daring grooves.
Mathieu Désy Contrebasse & marées — July 4 — The composer and double bass virtuoso presents a first release of original compositions performed with skill, sensitivity and refinement.
Escales nocturnes Casino de Montréal series, 9 p.m.
The Brooks — June 26 and 27 — A musical potion that shakes things up and gets everyone dancing and smiling, conceived by the group behind the Soul Therapy evenings. Undeniable!
Troker — June 30 and July 1 — Six Mexican experimental jazz musicians fuse rock, funk, hip-hop, dubstep and even powerhouse metal riffs with savage joy and an explosive energy.
The Souljazz Orchestra — July 4 and 5 — This colourful orchestra blends jazz, funk, Afro, Latin and soul with skill and enthusiasm. And they’re back on the outdoor site: magical!
Complexe Desjardins’ Grande-Place
The Little School of Jazz presented by Rio Tinto Alcan every day, 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., June 26 to July 5.
Les Zélèves, a vocal harmony quintet led by Victor-Jacques Ménard, alongside James Gelfand and his quartet, and Festival mascot Ste-Cat, happily welcome young and old to their jazz lessons, a dynamic, interactive and fun-filled musical initiation!
CBC/Radio-Canada/Sony Stage (Maison symphonique parterre, corner De Montigny St. and Clark St.)
Spectacles blues CBC/Radio-Canada series, 7 p.m.
Whisky Legs — June 26 — This group is steeped in a mind-blowing, visceral and resolutely ’60s universe where groove, soul and blues-rock rule, with a true rebel spirit and spectacular energy.
Paul DesLauriers Band & Friends — July 1, also at 9 p.m. and 11 p.m. — The guitar virtuoso and exceptional vocalist offers us big-time blues with two other pillars of the Québec scene: Greg Morency and Sam Harrisson.
Conor Gains Band — July 4 — A little guitar genius, back with his band and a new blues CD hopped up with pop, rock, Cajun, soul and boogie-woogie.
Soirées blues series, presented by Sony, 9 p.m. and 11 p.m.
The Wanton Bishops — June 27 — Bound by friendship and a cavernous, hardcore blues-rock with a glorious garage sound, Lebanese duo Nader and Eddy land with their fierce, massive musical energy!
Jordan Officer, I’m Free — June 30 — This Montreal swing alchemist is one of our finest purveyors of the blue note, returning with his irresistible sound.
The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band — July 4 — An unconventional family trio unleashes a diabolical, rustic country-blues steeped in hillbilly tradition and powered by punk rock energy!
Bell Stage (Clark North esplanade)
Tropiques Bell series, 8 p.m.
Las Cafeteras — June 27 — Alternative Latino music with a deep social conscience from these children of immigrants, born in the streets of Los Angeles, fusing spoken word, ska, folk, zapateado, Afro-Caribbean and Amerindian musics.
Face-T — July 2 — The emblematic figure on the reggae-dancehall scene lands with fresh, colourful musical flavours, seasoned with electronic rhythms.
Jungle By Night — July 4, also at 10 p.m. — Nine young Amsterdam musicians with a an unconditional love for Afrobeat, music they passionately fuse with Ethiopian music and jazz, funk and rock… The future of Afrobeat!
Groove Bell series, 10 p.m.
Heartstreets — June 26 — Two lovely, talented young Montrealers entwine their fluid, fluttering voices in a unique urban beats sound that nods to the ’90s. This duo is making more and more noise locally!
Jazzmatik — June 27 — Just for the Festival, former Muzion member Dramatik reinterprets his classics accompanied by a brass band and demonstrates how jazz and hip-hop are one. Do not miss this!
Emmanuel Jal — July 2 and 3 — A child soldier who became an actor, playing alongside Reese Witherspoon in The Good Lie, Jal is a committed peace activist and a global hip-hop icon!
Lounge Heineken (corner Ste. Catherine St. and De Bleury St.)
Lounge Heineken series, 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Hell’s Kitchen — June 26 and 27 — Visceral, fascinating music straight from the gut, served up by a Swiss trio that whips up the blues like they just rolled out of Mississippi.
Andre Papanicolaou — June 30 — Influenced by the folk-rock stylings of Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young, he delivers a luminous, soaring new album, shimmering with catchy melodies.
Sondre Lerche — July 2 and 3 — This Norwegian singer ranks among the most gifted of his generation, rolling in with his 7th album.
L’Astral (Maison du Festival Rio Tinto Alcan, 305 Ste. Catherine St. W.)
Open House series, midnight, presented by Bacardi
Speakeasy Electro Swing — June 26 to 30, midnight, L’Astral — Born on the semi-sly in a Montreal loft five years back, the monthly Speakeasy Electro Swing evenings are now an essential feature among true dance fans, marring the music of the first Great Depression to the technology of the second… and making it all swing like the devil!
DJ Melodrastik — July 2 to 4, midnight, L’Astral — Inexorably drawn to dramatic melodies, poignant swells and cascades and aggressive ambience, DJ Melodrastik relentlessly mixes breakbeats, electro, house and swing. This beauty on the beat loves bass and knows exactly how to get her crowd grooving!
Montreal Swing Riot presents the Lindy Hop Jam with the Gordon Webster Band — July 5 (also at 9 p.m.) — An evening of swing dance and jazz pairing up and cutting a rug, reviving the Roaring Twenties!
Bistro Le Balmoral (Maison du Festival Rio Tinto Alcan, 305 Ste. Catherine St. W.)
Musique au Balmoral series, 10 p.m. and midnight
Trio Jean Félix Mailloux — June 26 and 27 — A lovely evening in the company of composer Jean Félix Mailloux, who explores pieces by Erik Satie and others.
Andréa Blaze — June 28 and 29 — Jazz, Brazilian influences and R&B are perfectly blended in music that makes for a marvelous late evening dinner-show!
Chris y Miguel — June 30 and July 1 — Flamenco and virtuosity enhanced by their communication and friendship. A true musical pleasure!
Miss Mellow — July 2 and 3 — A gentle voyage through the history of jazz and its influences.
Olivier Babaz — July 4 and 5 — Jazz, folk, rock and world music meet in the hands of the excellent French double bassist and composer, who lands here with his latest album.
Savoy du Métropolis (59 Ste. Catherine St. E.)
Nightcap Heineken series presented by SiriusXM, midnight
Urban Science, #LECYPHER —June 26 to 28 — This colourful crew brings fiery beats and a brilliantly celebratory atmosphere. Groovy and crazy-wild!
CherfunK — June 29, June 30 and July 1 — Alexis Martin, François Richard, Rémy Malo, Luc Lemire and Serge Arsenault juggle languages, styles and plenty of guests—Alexandre Désilets and Coco Thompson (every evening), as well as Tomas Jensen and Conde Artifex (June 29) and Boogat (June 30 and July 1)—who assemble in on massive musical fraternity.
Busty and the Bass — July 2 — This electrifying McGill University electro-funk-soul-jazz-hip-hop brass band just won the CBC nationwide Rock Your Campus contest!
The concerts kick off at noon!
The JazzFest des jeunes series, presented by Rio Tinto Alcan at noon and 3 p.m., welcomes the very best in high school and college jazz bands to the Rio Tinto Alcan Stage. At 1 p.m. (and again at 5 p.m. in the Complexe Desjardins’ Grande-Place), Les Envolées du Festival presents university combos in the Lounge Heineken. Finally, throughout the duration of the Festival, West Trainz—a parade with 5 musicians riding on a wagon train outfitted with instrument-sculptures!—transports us on a revealing, poetic and, above all, danceable voyage!
The Blues Camp: 10th anniversary!
The Blues Camp presented by TD is already celebrating its 10th edition! Ten years of making dreams come true for blues fans ages 13 to 17 by offering them a week-long musical day camp—absolutely free! From June 28 to July 4, the Camp will welcome some 50 teens and give them the opportunity to devote themselves to their musical passion, surrounded by renowned professionals from the music milieu de. And then, on July 4 at 6 p.m. on the TD Stage, we’ll all witness as they unveil their burgeoning talents!
Bell presents the Contest: Music Changes Lives
The Festival International de Jazz de Montréal and Bell invite all up-and-coming guitarists to come showcase their talent, and earn the chance to win a guitar from the private collection of the Festival (valued at over $3000)! Information and registration: www.montrealjazzfest.com/guitarcontest. Members of the public can even vote for their favourite guitarist at the Boîte Bell on the Place des Festivals!
Galerie Lounge TD: a piece by Janine Carreau and Pierre Gauvreau
The Galerie Lounge TD, located for the Festival period in the exhibition hall in l’Espace culturel Georges-Émile-Lapalme, Place des Arts, showcases a wealth of artistic treasures with jazz as their common thematic passion. Throughout this 36th edition, the Festival and the Galerie Lounge TD are proud to present the moving silkscreen Trente ans plus tard, mon amour !, created from a work by Janine Carreau and Pierre Gauvreau, available in a limited edition of numbered and signed copies. Fans can also purchase a limited-edition silkscreen of Électron libre, the latest creation by our artist in residence for over 25 years, Yves Archambault.
Thanks to our partners
We sincerely thank our principal sponsor and official presenter, TD, as well as Rio Tinto Alcan, co-presenter of the Festival, for their continued support. Thanks also to Bell, Casino de Montréal, the Société des Alcools du Québec, Heineken, Sony and all of our suppliers and collaborators. We thank the Government of Québec—Ministère du Tourisme, Secrétariat à la région métropolitaine, ministère de la Culture et des Communications/SODEC—the Government of Canada—Heritage Canada, Economic Development Canada, Musicaction—as well as the Ville de Montréal and Tourisme Montréal. Thanks also to our media partners and the entire Festival team.
Stay connected at all times with everything you love, whether it’s before, during or after the event. Video excerpts, artist information, access to archives from previous editions of the Festival, a video channel—in other words, an essential online destination for all music fans. A tourist service is also available. For information, particularly on à la carte tourism packages: montrealjazzfest.com/forfaits.