Rhythms for all tastes at the Jazz Fest free concerts
By: Sergio Martinez – mtltimes.ca
Once more the streets around Place des Arts will vibrate with the contagious rhythms of jazz and many other related genres. The International Jazz Festival announced the lineup for the outdoor, free concerts this past Tuesday and—as usual—the list is impressive. The festival will feature three major events this year: the opening concert on June 29 at 9:30 p.m. with Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings. Jamie Cullum will be on July 4 at 9:30 p.m. The closing event on Saturday, July 9 at 9:30 p.m. promises to be memorable with West Trainz in what has been termed “A great multimedia concert.”
The three major events take place at the Place des Festivals (De Maisonneuve and Jeanne Mance), on that stage too will be Montreal’s Jireh Gospel Choir displaying their varied repertoire that goes from Negro spirituals to hip-hop (July 3, 9 p.m.). On July 1, at the same place, another big surprise for this year’s edition, Igor Butman and the Moscow Jazz Orchestra. A classical string quartet meets a jazz quartet making up the Lofi Octet (July 3, 9 p.m.). And on July 6 at 9 p.m. Colin Hunter teams up with the Montreal All City Big Band
At the Rio Tinto Stage (Ste. Catherine and Jeanne-Mance St.) at 8 p.m. we highlight the presence of New Orleans’ Jon Cleary & The Absolute Monster Gentlemen (June 29), the New York-based group The Hot Sardines (June 30), Quebec rocker France d’Amour (July 2), and Guadeloupe native Malika Tirolien demonstrating her approach to Afro-Caribbean jazz (July 3).
Some other interesting novelties this year are: virtuoso jazz violinist Lisanne Tremblay with her show “Violinization” (June 30, 5 p.m., Club Jazz Casino de Montréal, Place SNC-Lavalin, Bleury St. below Ste. Catherine); Laila Biali, a rising star in Canadian jazz (July 6, 5 p.m. Club Jazz Casino de Montréal, Place SNC-Lavalin, Bleury St. below Ste. Catherine). For those who like Latino-style dance Rafael Zaldivar and percussionist Mélissa Lavergne will feature their Afro-Cuban Revival (July 7, 7 p.m., Club Jazz Casino de Montréal, Place SNC-Lavalin, Bleury St. below Ste. Catherine). For those who also like the tropical rhythms, the Orchestre Tropicana d’Haiti will be performing on July 1 at 8 p.m. at the Turkish Airlines/CBC-Radio Canada Stage (Clark and de Montigny). Two other unusual shows from Mexico are the ones featuring Quique Escamilla with his “socially-conscious message with Ranchera, Huapango, rock, reggae, ska, pop. Jazz, Cumbia, and Bolero” (July 6, 8 p.m.), and Mariachi Flor de Toloache, a mariachi ensemble made up exclusively of women (July 1 and 2, at the Hyundai Stage, de Maisonneuve and Jeanne Mance at 8 and 10 p.m.).
As usual, the area around Place des Arts will feature not only music, but also kiosks where visitors may taste different kinds of food, an enlarged Musical Park especially designed for children of all ages, and Comfort Zones where people can directly go sit down to relax for a while.
The Montreal International Jazz Festival takes place between June 29 and July 9. For the complete list of performers on both the indoor and outdoor concerts, prices and schedules for the ticketed concerts, and description of the artists visit montrealjazzfest.com