The Montreal International Jazz Festival has started, and the crowds are arriving in mass to enjoy the free outdoor concerts and the paid performances in varied venues across town. With the opening of the 39th edition of the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, the entire city gets ready to dive deep into summer fun. For myself, with over 150 paid and 350 free concerts to choose from, making a selection proved to be harder than anticipated but following is my final concert-going agenda and the upcoming written reviews to be expected from The Scope Weekly.
Now that my press pass is in my hand, I’m planning to attend the Ziggy Marley, Ben Harper & Charlie Musselwhite, Bobby McFerrin with David Worm, Joey Blake, and the Jireh Gospel Choir, St Germain, and Anie Franco’s concerts.
Multiple Grammy Awards winner Seal is playing tonight, but I wasn’t able to get my hands on a ticket. Lucky are the concertgoers who got one! Rennie Adams, dubbed the Voice of Australia and a 2017 The Voice contestant, is opening for Seal.
From June 28 to July 7, 2018, the city explodes with music, and the only issues from local and out-of-towners are settling on what to hear and see. As someone who attends year after year, I can attest that a lot of the fun takes place at the outdoor concerts. This year’s 350 free shows are sure to deliver on its unspoken promises of dancing in the street, singing along, listening attentively, swaying to the music and a good time. And you never know what star sighting you may witness. Jagger is known to roam the streets during the Festival!
Not to miss: Jessie Reyez
Make sure to attend the performance given by sizzling Jessie Reyez this year’s Juno Award for Breakthrough Artist of the Year; the Toronto-born Colombian-Canadian singer performs the mid-fest free outdoor blowout, July 3 at 9:30 p.m. on Place des Festivals.
Scoring the daily programming at 9 and 11 p.m. on the main TD Stage are:
- PLAYING TONIGHT, head out for veteran American dance-rock band !!! (Chk Chk Chk), June 28;
- Dance the night away with New York salsa ensemble The Spanish Harlem Orchestra, June 30;
- Don’t miss the classic Montreal jazz-rap act Nomadic Massive, July 2;
- Swoon to the deep soul of Jay-Z protégée Hanna Williams & the Affirmations, July 4;
- Funk out with viral New York brass buskers Too Many Zooz, July 5; and
- Chill, scream, pogo dance with electro-punk-reggae act Megative, featuring Gus Van Go of legendary Montreal ska band Me Mom & Morgentaler, and Tim Fletcher of local indie heroes The Stills, July 6.
Other notable headliners include Ian Anderson, lead vocalist, flutist and acoustic guitarist of famed British rock band Jethro Tull, Jann Arden, as well as the duo of Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite.
This year, the fall 2018 and winter 2019 program welcomes returning Grammy awards winner singer Ziggy Marley in September and many more. Jazz All-Year Round is once again presented by TD Bank Group.
Getting around town
Montreal 2018 is truly assaulted by construction and demolition taking place all over the Island. It’s a nightmare, so heed my advice and leave your car at home and take public transportation. Really do not attempt to drive!
Check out the Program here.
Pour la programmation du Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, rendez vous ici.
Photos: copyrighted Festival International de Jazz de Montréal.