Montreal Jazz Festival – The Montreal International Jazz Festival is presenting its 39th edition this year, a big event which promises to be even bigger next year, when it will stage its 40th edition. But this is 2018, and what the producers of this annual feast announced for the outdoor section of the event that starts next month is already quite attractive for both—lovers of jazz and all its genres, and lovers of popular music in general. Remember that the Jazz Fest always includes other kinds of music such as salsa, flamenco, and of course, rock.
Two major free outdoor concerts are part of the program, the first, on July 3 at 9:30 p.m. at the TD Stage in the Place des Festivals (Jeanne Mance and de Maisonneuve) will feature Jessie Reyez. She is an R&B Canadian revelation and the winner of the Juno Award for Breakthrough Artist of the Year. The other major free concert will be the closing one, on July 7 at 9:30 p.m. at the same TD Stage and will feature the rock band The War on Drugs. This American quartet also has impressive credentials: they won the Grammy Award for Best Rock Album for their hit “A Deeper Understanding.”
Some of the other artists that will be performing at the outdoor section of the Jazz Festival are Boulevards, “incarnating the funk revival in a direct lineage from Prince and Rick James” (June 29, Place des Festivals). Those who love Latin rhythms will be happy to see the return of the Spanish Harlem Orchestra with all that salsa (June 30, Place des Festivals). For those who will be looking for more diversity, Nomadic Massive (July 2, Place des Festivals) will perform a “unique rap-jazz fusion with lyrics in English, French, Créole, Spanish, and Arabic.” Bossa nova, that delicate and sensual rhythm from Brazil will come to the Jazz Fest via Greece, in the voice of Magda Giannikou and the instrumental accompaniment of her Magda Banda (June 28, Rio Tinto Stage, Ste. Catherine and Jeanne Mance).
From New Brunswick singer-songwriter David Myles will “unfold a sound often called folk-jazz” (July 5, Rio Tinto Stage). Hannah Williams & The Affirmations are presented as “the finest English jazz musicians of the Moment.” They should be delighting the audience at the Rio Tinto Stage, on July 6.
The World Stage, located at the corner of Clark and de Maisonneuve will offer a variety of musical styles and genres. (All of these concerts are at 8 p.m.) Elida Almeida from Cape Verde is one of those artists that should catch our attention, “On her second album, Kebrada, the artists declares her African allegiance through Cape Verdean rhythms laced with Latin accents” (June 28). One of my favourites, Florence K, will be presenting her new album “Estrellas” where the songs, written by Alex Cuba, reflect Afro-Cuban and Latin influences (June 30).
As usual, the Jazz Fest also provides ample space for families and children, in particular, La Petite École du jazz (the Little School of Jazz) offering the opportunity for kids to familiarize with jazz in a playful environment. This event designed for kids will run from June 28 to July 7 at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
Festival goers should also be aware that this event is also accompanied by numerous kiosks and makeshift bars and bistros where they can enjoy food and drinks in between shows.
The Montreal International Jazz Festival will be held from June 28 to July 7. For information about the schedule of all concerts, locations, and other pertinent details, visit www.montrealjazzfest.com