Montreal Jazz Festival has planty of Jazz and Rock Legends to take the stage 2015
By: Stuart Nulman – mtltimes.ca
After discovering the 150 shows that will make the indoor show line-up of the 36th edition of the Montreal International Jazz Festival, I have to give a lot of credit to programmers extraordinaire Andre Menard and Laurent Saulnier and their team for their diverse musical ears that allow performers who are not necessarily jazz or blues musicians to take the jazz fest stage every summer.
For me, every time the jazz fest unveils their line-up, I always look for the rock music legends that they manage to sign up for the festival. It gives me the chance to catch these rock music trailblazers (many of them have performed their craft for more than 40 or 50 years) on a concert stage that I wouldn’t get the chance to catch any other time or opportunity.
In the past jazz fests that I covered for my column, I have had the good fortune to catch such rock music legends like Smokey Robinson, George Benson, Lionel Ritchie, Ginger Baker, Elvis Costello, and the double act of Lyle Lovett and Chris Isaak.
And when it comes to rock legends, this year’s jazz festival is no exception. Two shows that I hope to see at this year’s fest – which runs from June 26 to July 5 – are the Steve Miller Band (June 26) and Huey Lewis and the News (July 1), whom both will be performing as part of the flagship Evenements Speciaux TD series at Salle Wilfrid Pelletier of Place des Arts. Also part of that series are John Mayall, who will be joined onstage by Taj Mahal and James Cotton (June 27) and Erykah Badu (June 29). Legendary guitarist Al Di Meola will bring his popular 70s album “Elegant Gypsy” to life in a concert on June 26 as part of the Les Grands Concerts Rio Tinto Alcan series. On the heels of Elvis Costello’s fantastic acoustic show last year, Canadian rocker Colin James will go the acoustic route for three nights (June 25, 26 and 27) at the Theatre Nouveau Monde. And following in the footsteps of the successful musical salute to the films of Quentin Tarantino last year, director Baz Luhrman (“Moulin Rouge”, “The Great Gatsby”) will get the same musical tribute treatment with “For the Record: Baz Luhrman in Concert at the Theatre du Nouveau Monde on June 29 and 30, and July 2-5.
And while we’re on the subject of musical legends, Montreal jazz institution Vic Vogel – who holds the record for the most appearances at the jazz festival – will celebrate his 80th birthday with a special farewell concert on June 30 at Theatre Maisonneuve of Place des Arts.
Tickets for the 36th edition of the jazz festival, where you can catch your share of music legends – and newcomers – are now on sale. For more information, go to:
or call 514-871-1881.