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Montréal’s Best Reggae and World Beat Clubs, Events and Festivals

Montréal has a thriving world beat music scene with concerts in nightclubs by popular local musicians augmented by music festivals with superstar headliners from around the world. Here is a sampling of some of the best the city has to offer: The iconic Club Balattou (4372 Saint-Laurent Blvd.) was opened in 1985 by showbiz legend Lamine Toure. A who’s who has played in this small and intimate venue over the years—many making their North American debuts—including Papa Wemba, Baaba Maal, Salif Keita, Youssou N’Dour and Angélique Kidjo. Congolese entertainer Dally Kimoko even wrote a song about the famed nightclub, called Balattou à Montréal. Open Tuesday to Sunday from 9 p.m. to closing. Info: 514-845-5447 or http://balattou.com/. A block away is another Montréal institution, Les Bobards (4328 Saint-Laurent Blvd.), which boasts live entertainment by the city’s best local world beat performers, music from Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa. Reggae, ska, salsa, compa—you name it, you will hear it here. Also daily Happy Hours. Info: 514-987-1174 or http://lesbobards.qc.ca/. Montréal’s Festival International Nuits d’Afrique has been showcasing entertainers from across Africa and the African diaspora each July since 1987. Some of the hundreds of headliners over the years include music legends Miriam… / Read More →

Montréal Ignites with Summer Festival Fun

Sunny days, high-energy nights and strikingly illuminated festival stages make the summer season bright in Montréal. The city ignites with a sparkling line-up of entertainment in July and August – get ready to laugh, dance, groove and be dazzled at these big festivals and more this summer. The one-and-only Montréal International Jazz Festival officially ignites the height of summer festival season June 26-July 5. Incredible talent graces historic night clubs and Place des Arts stages while downtown’s Quartier des Spectacles bustles with unmissable free outdoor shows, including the grand finale on July 5: a stylish, bluesy tribute to the late, great B.B. King. More music lights up the town as Festival International Nuits d’Afrique welcomes traditional and ground-breaking musicians from Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America and right here at home, July 7-19. Discover your new favourite indie, electronic and hip hop artists at MEG Montréal, July 23-August 2, and take a ride on the late-night MEG party boat. Osheaga Music and Arts Festival crams the biggest names and the brightest emerging artists in indie-pop, rock, hip hop and electronic music into three amazing days on Île Sainte-Hélène, July 31-August 2 – this year see Florence + The Machine, Kendrick Lamar,… / Read More →

Your 2015 Montréal summer festival guide

With every major summer festival and event in Montréal comes the impetus for a holiday getaway in our great city. The F1 Grand Prix du Canada, MONTRÉAL COMPLÈTEMENT CiRQUE, the Jazz Festival and Osheaga, for example, are but drops in a whole bucket of fun awaiting all ages and tastes in the coming weeks and months. Blue Metropolis Montréal International Literary Festival (April 20-26) The theme at Blue Met this year is “The Power of Words,” and this large-scale celebration of reading and writing across cultures once again brings in a raft of heavy hitter authors and literary-minded figures for readings, discussions and other special events. ELEKTRA (May 13-17) ELEKTRA is a yearly digital arts festival showcasing new creations in electronic music, video, cinema, performance, design, gaming and interactive installation in combination with the innovative use of new technologies, and, in particular, those of the digital kind. Festival TransAmériques (FTA) (May 21 to June 4) The Festival TransAmériques (FTA) celebrates new works in contemporary dance and theatre. Showcasing both established and emerging artists, choreographers, writers and directors, this ninth edition of the FTA also aims to foster dialogue through a stimulating range of workshops, debates and roundtable discussions. Chromatic (May… / Read More →

Festival International Nuits d’Afrique brings the Sahara to Montreal

Things are getting balmy for this edition of Festival International Nuits d’Afrique de Montréal! For its 27th edition, from July 9 to 21, the music festival is celebrating the Montreal sun with an homage to the Sahara, from Mauritania to the Sudan passing by Morocco and Chad. Our fair city will be welcoming over 500 artists from over 30 countries for 90 shows and events…