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Montréal’s Best Jazz and Blues Clubs, Events and Festivals

During her Sin City era, Montréal was home to some of the hottest jazz clubs on the planet and a wide-open scene fuelled by Prohibition. Gamblers, racketeers and the world’s greatest entertainers all came to Montréal at a time when the city’s most renowned musical export was jazz icon Oscar Peterson. His protégé was another jazz legend, Oliver Jones, who first performed at the fabled Café St-Michel at the age of 10 in 1944. “It was across the street from Rockhead’s Paradise, which was the first black-owned club in all of Canada,” says Jones. “The St-Michel was a little rougher. Rockhead never let anything get out of hand although there was always pressure from authorities to close him down. But I remember playing in the St-Michel and saw a lot of what I wasn’t supposed to see – girly girls and strippers. But the people there, there was always someone looking out for me.” Today, Montréal still has a thriving jazz and blues scene with concerts in nightclubs by popular local musicians, as well as superstar headliners at the city’s jazz and blues festivals. Here is a sampling of some of the best Montréal has to offer: Montréal boasts a… / Read More →

Guide to the 2014 Montreal International Jazz Festival

The 35th edition of the Montreal International Jazz Festival lights up the city with hundreds of live music concerts, June 26 to July 6. Let our festival guide lead the way through some of the fest’s top-billing sweet sounds and an array of dining, shopping, late-night entertainment, and family-friendly options too…

Memorable musical gifts to take home from the Jazz Fest

Every year for 35 years, the Montreal International Jazz Festival has stood out as an annual highlight for Montrealers and visitors alike, from memorable music performances to quiet nights walking the cobblestone streets of Old Montreal, a saxophone sounding in the distance. Keep those memories vibrant at this year’s festival, June 26 to July 6, with a variety of souvenirs and gifts unique to Montreal.

Things to Do in Montreal: May 23-29

See more of the city in warm weather this week by foot, bike or even Sunday’s Museums Day shuttle bus, ferrying visitors from the urban centre to pastoral gardens. At night, take in the international entertainment of ballet, opera, contemporary dance, electronic music and art, and rock ‘n’ roll…

Experience Some Jazzy #MTLMOMENTS in Toronto on May 9-11

Attention Torontonians: if you happen to be walking by Queen & Soho this weekend in Toronto, make sure to stop by our Jazz Fest inspired #MTLMOMENTS experience and catch some live music, great food, free lemonade, and maybe even win a trip to Montreal…

Classical Meets Jazz at the Chamber Music Fest

Music rings out crisp and clear in the month of May as the Montreal Chamber Music Festival celebrates its 19th edition, May 8-31, with 22 concerts of both innovative, international-level chamber music and smoking-hot jazz…

Guide to Festivals in Montreal

Montreal’s many festivals reach their peak during the summer months, yet the festival fun continues at high levels throughout the year. To help you plan, here’s Tourisme Montreal’s Guide to the city’s most entertaining, must-see festivals…

Things to Do in Montreal: July 5-11

July is a month of non-stop entertainment in Montreal, and this week is no exception: the Montreal Jazz Fest fills the downtown core with music; the Montréal Complètement Cirque circus festival flies high and clowns around outdoors and in theatres; comedy festivals Just For Laughs and Zoofest kick off; and the parks are packed with live music, dance, film and great food…

Tune in to the 2013 Montreal International Jazz Festival

Famed American composer and pianist Dave Brubeck, whose 1959 album Time Out was the first jazz record to sell over a million copies, did what was the unthinkable for a good many jazz musicians of his era: he lived a long, very long, life. Brubeck, who played the Montreal International Jazz Festival no less than 14 times, went to the great jazz club in the sky last December just shy of his 92nd birthday, and only six months after his final Jazz Fest appearance. This 34th edition of the Jazz Fest is dedicated to his memory…