A quick look at Montreal’s Jazz Fest line-up reveals that there’s a whole more going on than all that jazz. The fest has always featured line-ups of musicians from all corners of the world, playing every type of music under the sun. This year is no exception.
I’ve gone through the line-up and picked out a couple shows of note…
Alpha Blondy: “The Ivory Coast’s Bob Marley”, Alpha Blondy puts on an incredible live show- I’ve seen it and I’m not exaggerating. He’s joined by Oumou Sangare, the Malian songstress who returns to North America for the first time in 15 years. (July 8th @ Metropolis) Alpha Blondy Oumou Sangare
Mos Def: This is going to be very cool: the lyrically dexterous hip hop heavyweight Mos Def joins forces with envelope-pushing jazz pianist Robert Glasper for an evening unlike anything you’ve ever heard. (July 10 @ PdA) Mos Def Robert Glasper
Estelle: The UK’s Estelle plays a brand of R&B inflected with reggae, jazz, soul and awesomeness. Show up early to catch Canada’s excellent and enthralling Divine Brown. (July 10 @ Metropolis) Estelle Divine Brown
Femi Kuti: If you’ve never experienced the incredible and intoxicating hip-shaking and power of Afro-beat, then this is the night for you. Femi, son of the legendary Fela Kuti, returns to Montreal with a new album and stage show. He stares the stage with the amazing King Sunny Ade. All you need to know about Ade: he’s known as the “Minister of Enjoyment”. (July 5 @ Metropolis) Sunny Ade Femi Kuti
The Dodos: Though only two members, this San Francisco-based group makes beautiful and sometimes strange music that makes the blogs go crazy. They open for Beirut, who play a big rambling mix of indie rock and traditional folk music- a captivating everything-and-the-kitchen-sink approach to entertainment. (July 11 @ Metropolis) The Dodos Beirut
Kool and the Gang photo by Silvia Mautner