Even though the 2011 Montreal International Jazz Festival doesn’t kick off until June 25, there’s reason to pay attention now: tickets for Robert Plant, Peter Frampton, Sade and several other actual jazz musicians go on sale March 12…
The Montreal Jazz Fest, the world’s largest jazz festival, is entering its 32nd year. As always, audiences will have to wait until early April to hear the full line-up, but we’ve already got some great shows worthy of your attention. Most of these tickets go on sale at noon on March 12 (let’s call it “high noon” for drama’s sake) and I can guarantee that many will sell out quickly, so act fast. Surf on over to the website or Admission.com to get in the mix.
Top of the buy-now list is Robert Plant, playing Place des Arts on June 24. Plant, previously with a small rock outfit called Led Zeppelin, hits the stage with an all-star cast of characters called Band of Joy (the name of an early band he shared with Led Zep drummer John Bonham). Honestly, I give these tickets half the afternoon at most. And keep another browser tab open for the man pictured above, Peter Frampton, who plays PDA on June 30. Frampton has played with Humble Pie and The Herd and recorded some great albums and participated in countless collaborations, but he will always be known for Frampton Comes Alive, one of the best-selling live albums of all time. Thankfully for the Montreal audience, that’s exactly what he’s planning on performing.
Personally, the show I’m most excited for is the first Jazz Fest appearance of Sade, on June 30 at the Bell Centre. The smooth, classy soul, jazz and pop artist, who has basically never released a bad album, came (quietly) storming back into the public consciousness with 2010’s incredible Soldier of Love. Already enough of a powerhouse ticket, opening up the show is multi-Grammy winning R&B artist John Legend. Seriously, what a night that will be.
There are also some actual Jazz musicians whose show tickets you might want to get started on picking up now too. Check out the incredible team of pianist Brad Mehldau and saxophonist Joshua Redman on June 26 or, on the same night, the legendary jazz fuzion conglomerate Return to Forever IV, which features the holy-cow stacked line-up of legends that includes Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke, Lenny White and more. You might also want to add the violinist Regina Carter, who might just deliver one of the sleeper hit sets of the fest, to your shopping list.
Check out the full schedule of what’s been announced so far (including Youssou N’Dour!), but if you can’t wait that long to see some great music in Montreal, check out the eclectic Jazz All Year Round series, which includes concerts from Shad, Bruce Cockburn, Femi Kuti, Salif Keita and so much more.