Montreal Jazz Festival – The warm days of summer still seem to be far away on this colder than usual Montreal spring, but there are already some indications of what summer will bring us at least from the Montreal Jazz Festival: we now know what the Montreal Jazz Festival will be presenting this year in its many indoor concerts. And the offering is impressive: for one thing, a Nobel Prize winner will be part of the event. Literature laureate Bob Dylan and His Band will be part of the lineup; his concert will be on June 30, at 8 p.m. at the Bell Centre.
Of course, as one always has to point out, our now famous Jazz Festival is not restricted to jazz. Or perhaps one should say that the term jazz, in this case, is somehow stretched to include many types of music that share with traditional jazz some common characteristics: urban in origin, somehow connected to black culture, and having some broad popular appeal. Thus, tango, flamenco, and all the variances of rock, country, and folk may also be included.
As an example of this diversity, I should mention the presence of one of Canada’s and the world’s greatest exponents of country-rock, Serena Ryder who will be performing on July 8, at 9 p.m. at Metropolis.
However, jazz is naturally at the heart of the event, among the main attractions this year, Uzeb R3UNION,” after a 25-year absence it’s the return of Quebec’s most legendary fusion jazz group!” This group’s concert will take place on June 29, at 7:30 p.m. at the Wilfrid Pelletier Theatre in the Place des Arts.
The celebrated John Pizzarelli Quartet will offer three concerts: the first with Catherine Catherine Russell (July 3), then with Jessica Molaskey taking on songs by Paul McCartney and Joni Mitchell (July 4), and finally with Daniel Jobim taking on songs by Antonio Carlos Jobim (July 5), all these concerts at 6 p.m. at the Gesù.
The now legendary Battle of the Bands will feature The Cab Calloway Orchestra vs. the Xavier Cugat Orchestra, July 7 at 7 p.m. at the Maison symphonique de Montréal.
For another kind of wonderful expression of music originated in the black culture, two great choral groups. The Harlem Gospel Choir will be performing on June 30 at 8 p.m. at the Maisonneuve Theatre of the Place des Arts, and the Montreal Jubilation Choir is performing from its first studio album, “Glory Train,” on July 2 at 7 p.m. at the Maison symphonique.
Thos who enjoy the fusion of flamenco, rock and salsa, the Gipsy Kings will be back on July 1 at 8 p.m. at the Maisonneuve Theatre. Also in the Latino style, one has to mention Arturo Sandoval and Jane Bunnet with her Cuban group Maqueque (July 5, 8 p.m., Maisonneuve Theatre), Rodrigo Amarante and rhythms from Brazil with elements of alternative rock (July 6, 6 p.m. at Club Soda), and the Cuban pianist Roberto Fonseca (July 2, 8.p., Monument National)
Young local talents will also be present: innovative pianist Jean-Michel Blais and guests will be giving his Minimalismes on June 29, at 7 p.m. at the Cinquième Salle; and Gabrielle Shonk will offer two concerts on July 5 and 6 at the Savoy du Metropolis at 7 p.m., part of the Intimes Series.
And for those who love a good musical on screen, a special presentation featuring the screening of La La Land accompanied by the Orchestre Metropolitaine will be presented at the Wilfrid Pelletier Theatre on July 2 at 7:30 p.m.
The 38th edition of the Montreal International Jazz Festival runs from June 28 to July 8. For detailed information including complete schedule, show descriptions, ticket prices and venues visit montrealjazzfest.com
The lineup of outdoor (free) concerts will be announced in a few weeks.