Montreal Jazz Festival Preview
Just as Montreal is known for its festivals over the summer, The Montreal International Jazz Fest is known for being the largest. For the next 10 days, there will be over 1,000 concerts at indoor venues in the Quartier des Spectacles and on 10 free outdoor stages. Here's quick peek at some of the best shows worth checking out:
Opening and Closing shows: These shows draw the largest crowds and this year are represented by Montreal's finest. Rufus Wainwright will be taking us on a classic pop journey with his recent album Out of the Game and from his collection of hits as he opens up Jazz Festival June 28 with a free outdoor show. As well, Montreal's Chromeo will be closing the festival July 7th with a techno dance party, so find room in the crowd to dance all night. Both shows are at 9:30pm at Scene TD de la Place des Festivals. Come early to get a good spot on the stairs if the giant crowds overwhelms you.
Polaris represent: Many artists who have been nominated or won the Polaris prize have indoor shows at the Jazz festival. 2007 winner Patrick Watson will be taking his Adventures in Your Own Backyard and other melodic adventures over at Salle Wilfrid Pelletier July 4th with Loney Dear. 2011 Polaris finalist Colin Stetson will be at the Gesu (1200 Bleury) with his experimental saxophone sounds on June 29th at 10:30pm. Also from the class of 2011, Timber Timbre will take their mix of folk, blues and pop to Theatre Maisonneuve July 6th at 9:30pm. Recent longlistersThe Barr Brothers will be at Metropolis July 1st with opening act Alex Murdoch for an evening of folk rock and blues.
Jazz festival after Dark: Legendary LA band Fishbone will be at the SAT (1201 St Laurent) for a late night funk jazz session. As well, the Savoy du Metropolis will be hosting free shows at 11:59pm all week long, starting with electro rock aRTIST oF tHE yEAR (June 28-30), Latin hip hop collective Heavy Soundz (July 1-4) and the Afro-beat funk poetic sounds of Kalmunity (July 5-7).
Carnival and Gospel in the Heineken Lounge: If you missed Irreverend James and the Critical Mass Choir open up the Fringe festival, you get another chance at to catch their gospel-soul-indie fusion at Jazz fest on July 4-5 at the Heineken Lounge stage (Ste Catherine & Bleury). As well, folk rock cabaret The Unsettlers bring their whiskey swinging carnival sounds to the same stage on June 29th. Both will be playing at 5pm and 7pm.
A weekend on the Bell Stage: The first weekend of Jazz fest will be for dancing over at the Bell stage (Ste Catherine & Clark). Montreal's Plaster returns after a 5-year hiatus and will be bringing their electro jazz to the night air on June 30th at 10pm. Boogat will be hitting the stage July 1st at 10pm with his hop/rap/dub step sounds.
Let Your Backbone Slide: For fans of old school Canadian hip hop/rap, Maestro Fresh Wes will be breaking out a set of classics and new tunes over at the Bell stage on July 6th. A legend in around these parts, it's his first time at the Jazz festival.