HH and I went to the Montreal Jazz Festival several years ago and loved it. We have always wanted to return--Montreal is one of our favorite cities, Europe without the jet lag--but most of the jazz we want to see is indoors and ticketed so it gets pricey. I keep up with the program each year and get that achey I-wish-I-could-go feeling.
Montreal has long been a festival that features more than jazz; when we went, we saw Prince, which was kind of crazy b/c at that time he was still living in Minneapolis and we could see him right here, but we thought it would be fun to see him outside his hometown and it was. We spent the rest of the time running from venue to venue for jazz.
The press release for this year's festival (June 30-July 12) arrived in my emailbox this week. Here are the headlines:
30TH EDITION OF THE FESTIVAL INTERNATIONAL DE JAZZ DE MONTRÉAL ANNOUNCES MORE THAN 150 ARTISTS FOR THE INDOOR PROGRAM
* * * * *
Wealth of Performances Including Jeff Beck, Harlem Gospel Choir, Buddy Guy, Mos Def, Pink Martini, The Dears, The Orb, Burning Spear, Toots & The Maytals and Many More
* * *
Montréal to Host 650+ Concerts Over Two Weeks
I get that it's not just a jazz festival. But couldn't they include just one jazz concert in the headline? Don't Wynton Marsalis, Dave Brubeck, Maria Schneider, Wayne Shorter, Branford Marsalis, or Ornette Coleman--all of whom are listed on the schedule--merit a mention up top?
Not that MJF isn't still a great jazz festival. It is. Also featured this year: Chucho Valdes, Dave Holland, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Chris Potter, Eric Harland, Robert Glasper, Sophie Milman, Patricia Barber, John Pizzarelli, The Bad Plus, Russell Malone, Joshua Redman, Joe Lovano, Brian Blade, Larry Grenadier, Eliane Elias, Kenny Garrett, Kenny Werner, Wallace Roney, Bill Frisell, Lew Tabackin, Lewis Nash, Baptiste Trotignon, Al Jarreau, Mark Turner, Jeremy Pelt, Greg Hutchison, Matt Penman, Esperanza Spalding, Lee Konitz, Hiromi, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Bill Charlap, Houston Person, Greg Osby, Gerald Clayton, Lionel Loueke, Anat Cohen, Gary Burton, Pat Metheny, and (gasp) more.
Wish I could go. If you go, try to make time July 4 or July 11 for the International Fireworks Competition. Very serious fireworks that make the annual Target-sponsored Aquatennial show look like sparklers in your neighbor's backyard.
The MJF website, with complete program. Starting June 3, the complete history will also be online--30 years of programs.