This Year’s Jazz Fest Line-Up

Posted on May 13th, 2009 by .

Breaking news: Your Arts & Culture Insider doesn’t know much about jazz. But that doesn’t mean he won’t enjoy his summer with saxophones and a little scotch.
(Oh, and you might wonder why I chose this photo. It’s just a picture taken at last year’s big outdoor event, with a bunch of friends and I – not. Read more to find who these guys really are.)
I’ll be honest with you, I’m not a real jazz expert. OK, I’ll be really honest with you, I don’t know much about jazz at all. I just know that I like it, maybe because when I listen to jazz, I keep thinking back to those black and white movies with Dexter Gordon or Duke Ellington, with old jazzmen drinking scotch at the bar and wondering about the meaning of their lives – something I can easily relate to.
And every time I see the line-up for Montréal’s International Jazz Festival, I can’t help but be excited about the discoveries I will make. Over the years, you see some artists coming back to town to celebrate summer here, and you want to see them again. They started off as opening bands, and now they’ve reached international success – I’m talking about Oliver Jones, Ben Harper, Jeff Beck or Tony Bennett.

But my favourite part about the Jazz Fest is to actually walk around different venues at Place des Arts, and experience new sounds from the free outdoor shows. The complete program will be unveiled on June 8th, I’ll tell you a bit more about it then. However, one thing I know for sure: Stevie Wonder will be in town to open the celebrations with a free outdoor gig on June 30th. I definitely won’t miss that one!

The program of this year’s Festival is now partially available, you should check it out. The Festival is celebrating its 30th birthday, with crazy wonderful people, as well as a new website. I told you, I’m not an expert. You might find a thousand different names that I forgot to mention. However, you will definitely find me at Eleni Mandell’s show at Club Soda, Beirut and The Dodos at the Métropolis, The Bell Orchestre and Bonobo, as well as aRTIST oF tHE yEAR, a group of groovy electronic music with four musicians (the four guys on the photo above). I’ll leave it up to you (and me) to find the next greatest jazz artist that will top the charts years from now.

Find out more about Montréal’s International Jazz Festival here.

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