Montreal’s biggest summer festival arrives this week as Jazz Fest fills the streets and music venues of downtown with music and a celebratory atmosphere. The sun also shines on a circus festival and many more outdoor family activities, while at night see fireworks high above the city beginning June 28…
(jazz days & nights) The fantastic Montreal International Jazz Festival is off and running once more! Hundreds of musicians play their hearts out from June 26 to July 6, at dozens of indoor and outdoor venues. On June 27, see Dianne Reeves, Rufus Wainwright, Trixie Whitley, Nikki Yanofsky, Alain Lefèvre and the OSM: The Gershwin Legacy, while Saturday brings Ben Harper, Keith Jarrett, Beth Hart, High Tone and more, followed by days of shows featuring Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross, Pink Martini, Elvis Costello, Diana Krall (in a free outdoor show June 29), Bobby McFerrin, Ginger Baker, Tony Bennett, Trombone Shorty, Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, Burning Spear, Zappa Plays Zappa, The Violent Femmes, and many, many more artists. See our Jazz Fest Guides on music, food, bars, shopping, and family activities for even more things to do, and get an insider glimpse of the festival on an official Jazz Tour by boat, on foot or via barhopping.
(sights outside) The International des Feux Loto-Québec fireworks competition lights the Montreal sky with all-new pyrotechnic creations, June 28 to August 2 – this Saturday at 10pm, see WECO Feuerwerk’s opening-night show of “dreamcatcher fireworks.” Meanwhile, on solid ground this weekend, watch muddy BMX and mountain bike spectacle Mud Rocker, a free event on St-Denis Street, June 27-28. Relax at the Clock Tower Beach in the Old Port of Montreal, at Village Éphémère under the Jacques-Cartier bridge near Papineau metro, and at the beach and swimming pool at Parc Jean-Drapeau – see our Swimming and Beach Guide for more. And check out our Family Guide to Summer for ideas on activities and entertainment for kids – like the 5th-annual Montréal Complètement Cirque, beginning July 2 with Intersection, a brand new show by inventive, must-see circus troupe Les 7 Doigts de la Main, as well as a parade along downtown Montreal’s St-Denis Street, starting at 6:30 pm at the corner of Sherbrooke Street, and see even more circus outdoors on July 3 at Jeanne-Mance Park (at the foot of Mont Royal Park) at 7 pm.
(art, film & history) Montreal Museum of Fine Arts glitters with the first exhibition devoted to Fabergé ever presented in Canada – The Fabulous Fabergé: Jeweller to the Czars features 240 eggs, jewels and other beautiful creations. The Musée d’art Contemporain de Montreal celebrates its 50th anniversary with three new exhibitions: The Grace of a Gesture: 50 Years of Gifts to the MAC, Pulse Room by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer and Citizens Band by Angelica Mesiti. Rock music festival Osheaga kicks off its annual art exhibition, Paper, on July 3 at Yves Laroche Galerie, from 6 to 9 pm. Attend a live taping of the popular and eerie Welcome to Night Vale podcast on Monday June 30 at L’Olympia. The Phi Centre continues its month of cinema with Jodorowsky’s Dune and Steven Knight’s Locke on June 27, Alejandro Jodorowsky’s La Danza de la Realidad on June 28, followed on June 29 by a Peter Weir double bill of Picnic at Hanging Rock and Dead Poets Society, Alex van Warmerdam’s Borgman on June 30, Gia Coppola’s first film Palo Alto on July 2, and James Gray’s The Immigrant on July 3. See 15 short films outside in Peace Park next to the SAT on July 1 as film collective Kino celebrates its 15th anniversary. And delve into Montreal’s recent past at two new exhibitions at the McCord Museum: Bens, the Legendary Deli, about a downtown restaurant that became a landmark, and Music – Quebec: From Charlebois to Arcade Fire, both on all summer.
(more live music) While the Jazz Fest holds a monopoly on the city’s downtown music scene this week, there’s still even more music going on in this town. The new Festival Montréal Country brings all kinds of Quebecois country artists to Olympic Park Esplanade June 27-29. Vancouver’s White Lung punk-rock out with openers Pop 1280 at Divan Orange, June 27. Hear some local rock with CTZNSHP and Holy Data on June 28 at La Vitrola. Former Be Good Tanyas member Jolie Holland blends folk, country and rock in a solo show at Petit Campus, June 28, while the SAT presents NOX, featuring seven DJs on the FoodLab’s terrasse and inside the surround-sound Satosphère all night. Piknic Electronik brings Barcelona to Montreal this Sunday afternoon at Parc Jean-Drapeau with Spanish DJs Begun, Undoes and Coyues, and TEEN plays sweet-sounding pop-R&B with She Divides on Sunday night at Il Motore. Celebrated santur player and composer Amir Amiri wows at Casa del Popolo on July 1. Famed showstopper herself Lady Gaga returns to Montreal on July 2 at the Bell Centre, while the radio hits happen live at Virgin Radio’s Hullabaloo with performances by Classified, Karl Wolf, and more, on July 2 at Theatre Corona, and the astounding Matana Roberts plays sax and sings, with opener Jason Sharp, at Casa del Popolo. And GrandBuda and Fool’s Gold-signed hip hop artist High Klassified play the Phi Centre’s DJ Thursdays show on July 3.
Photo credits (first picture) : © Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, Jean-François Leblanc
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