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Montreal Jazz Festival turns 40

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With tributes to founders Alain Simard and André Ménard, the current Director General of the Montreal International Jazz Festival, Jacques-André Dupont, initiated the press conference to unveil the lineup for this year’s outdoor events. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the festival. Dupont also took the occasion to reiterate concerns by the Jazz Festival and others held in the Quartier des spectacle, regarding the loss of revenues by their food booths due to the competition of new restaurants in the area. These revenues, he said, are essential to pay for the free concerts offered by the festival every year and although he expressed the desire that a long-term solution to the problem be found, in the meantime he was happy to announce that Tourisme Montréal has decided to become an essential partner in regard to this important segment of the festival.

As usual, the outdoor concerts will be held at various stages set around the Place des Arts, the most important being the one at the Place des Festivals (corner of Jeanne Mance and De Maisonneuve Blvd.). For the first time this year, however, a satellite stage placed in Verdun will offer a total of 40 free concerts in that neighbourhood (near metro de l’Eglise).

The Rio Tinto Grand Event on June 27 at 9:30 p.m. (at Jeanne Mance between President Kennedy and De Maisonneuve) will feature Quebec singer Charlotte Cardin. The TD Grand Event on July 2 at 9:30 p.m. (Place des Festivals) will present Australian artist Nick Murphy (formerly known as Chet Faker), and the Grand Closing Event, on July 6 at 9:30 p.m., also at the Place des Festivals will have Canadian performer Matt Holubowski on stage.

Among the many artists featured on the outdoor concerts at the Place des Festivals we could mention Turkish saxophonist Ilhan Ersahi (June 28), French saxophonist Thomas de Pourquery (June 29), Ontario singer Laila Biali (June 30), Steve Amirault, E.ast C.oast Orchestra a pianist and singer-songwriter from Nova Scotia (July 1), Ontario’s Alex Pangman (July 3), SHPIK the 2018 winner of the TD Jazz Grand Prix (July 4), and the Blues Camp graduates, a selection of 13-to-17-year-old musicians who represent an excellent future for jazz.

The Jazz Fest has always been open to other musical expressions, and following that tradition there will be artists such as Forest Boys (June 30, corner of Clark and De Maisonneuve), The Haitian party of Vox Sambou and guests (June 27, corner of Clark and De Maisonneuve), and for admirers of Latin music, Rafael and Energia Dominicana (June 28, corner of Clark and De Maisonneuve), and the charming Mexican singer and guitarist Mamselle Ruiz (July 3, corner of Clark and De Maisonneuve). All these shows at 6 and 10 p.m. as part of the Canadian Multiculturalism Day. Also from Puerto Rico, the band Plena Libre, playing the distinctive musical styles of that Caribbean island (July 3, Place des Festivals at 9:30 p.m.).

One of the numbers not to be missed is that of the Urban Science Brass Band, which will be crisscrossing the site of the festival every day starting at 5 p.m. The group presents unique interpretations of hip-hop.

For detailed information about the shows visit

By: Sergio Martinez – info@mtltimes.ca

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