Montreal Jazz festival 2017 wrapped up – This Saturday the 38th edition of the Montreal International Jazz Festival will have come to an end. The eleven days came and went so fast that one seems to have little time to notice it. So far, that is until the day I’m writing this piece, the weather hasn’t been bad, which has allowed Montrealers and visitors alike to enjoy these days and nights of music without a problem. The Jazz Fest started on June 28 with the traditional opening ceremony presided over by Jacques-André Dupont, President of the Festival, and the presence of federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau, representing Canadian Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly, and representatives from the provincial government and the City of Montreal.
As usual, the Jazz Festival showed once more its mass appeal. In a strict sense, it is not only about jazz, but about music in general, and also, it is the summer event par excellence. Children enjoy jumping on the giant piano keys, families can share special moments by sharing a meal and a few beers, and for tourists, it is a formidable occasion to have a memorable time. The Jazz Festival is one of the greatest in the world and certainly an asset for Montreal.
Since I’m writing this piece before the ending of the festival, I will only mention some few of the shows I have attended. First, I must admit my admiration for the Harlem Gospel Choir. The iconic group formed in 1986 delivered a performance of high quality. The choir’s rendition of Amazing Grace especially was at the same time moving and exhilarating. Of course, being a gospel ensemble, almost all the songs that they interpreted that night had a religious resonance, yet they can also be appreciated in their intrinsic musical and vocal quality as well.
Danilo Perez, a Panamanian pianist who has been at the festival on many occasions, came this time with two other musicians, Adam Cruz and Ben Street. The trio provided the audience with a selection of their own themes, all of them with a mixture of jazz and Latin rhythms, but in a more subdued tone.
The Still Dreaming project, another of the exciting shows, featured a quartet made up of saxophonist Joshua Redman, and Ron Miles, Scott Colley, and Brian Blade on trumpet, drums, and bass. Their presentation was a tribute to the legendary quartet Old and New Dreams.
The Montreal International Jazz Festival comes to an end this Saturday, July 8, with a major event featuring singer-rapper Anderson.Paak & The Free Nationals. It is a free concert starting at 9:30 p.m. at the TD Stage (Place des Festivals, corner of Jeanne Mance and Maisonneuve).
For detailed information about this Saturday’s concerts visit www.montrealjazzfest.com