Montreal Jazz Festival line up

Regina Carter

A peek at the 32nd edition…

and it already feels like summer!
Robert Plant,
Regina Carter, Youssou N’Dour, Brad Mehldau and Joshua Redman, Peter Frampton, Caravan Palace, Ana Moura,
Return to Forever IV with
Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke,
Lenny White, Jean‑Luc Ponty

Tickets on sale this Saturday at noon

Montreal, QC – March 9, 2011 — Welcome to a slate of new concerts added to the 32nd edition program—and yes, the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal is sending a summery breeze blowing over Montreal in early March. If you ask us, it’s impossible not to imagine we’re right in the middle of a fabulous Montreal summer with this roster of concerts by major musicalnames and genuine legends! Once again, it’s clear that the world’s largest jazz festival, presented by TD in collaboration with Rio Tinto Alcan, has set its sights higher than high, marrying remarkable quality to incredible variety: an embarrassment of riches offering the finest in jazz (of course)along with all its splendid related musical genres. Tickets for concerts inthis edition, from June 25 to July 4, go on sale this Saturday, March 12 at noon.

A heavyweight pre-opening concert!

Robert Plant, Band of Joy, June 24, 7 p.m., Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, PdA (Événements spéciaux TD series) — Nostalgists, keep moving, because there’s no looking back here. Yes, Band of Joy was the name of one of Robert Plant’s very first bands—accompanied by a certain tub-thumper of note named John Bonham—but that’s where the flashback ends. Flashback? Perhaps to an era when this particular British singer cut his chops singing songs by previous legends, and above all expressed the freedom of a 17-year-old with his own legendary future ahead of him. Because Band of Joy is an expression of freedom, the singer’s own songs, and his versions of songs by others (Los Lobos, Low, trad songs…). However, can we truly speak of “other people’s” songs when the unique voice and incredible interpretive skills of this former Led Zeppelin singer give them such wonderfully renewed life? An extraordinary pre-opening concert by an absolute legend who plays Montreal far too seldom.

And the hits keep coming

Brad Mehldau and Joshua Redman, June 26, 9:30 p.m., Théâtre Maisonneuve, PdA (Grands concerts series) — We’ll say it straight out: this is likely to be the duo of the summer! Two musical prodigies familiar to Festival fans, sometimes even in multiple moments per edition—Mehldau (winner of our 2006 Miles Davis Award), an artist in full flight who soared in three different series in 2008, and Redman, who blazed through three evenings in the famed Invitation series a year later, during the Festival’s 30th anniversary. It’s a remarkable musical summit, but also a reunion, since the American pianist was once part of the saxophonist’s first “permanent” group, in the mid-’90s, with Christian McBride and Brian Blade. A reunion of two immense musical minds in perfect communion.

More in Music

Ultimate Valentine's Day playlists: The smooth, the seductive, and the sappy

Spotify has given us the ultimate Valentine's Day playlists. The following musical collections contain soulful heavyweights, a few retro gems, and one or two sappy-sweet classics.

Vancouver thrash-punks Joyce Collingwood gear towards a jump

My interview with Vancouver thrash-punks Joyce Collingwood didn’t start out the way you would expect. We didn’t start talking about the new material they’re recording — or about the departure of...

Vancouver Folk Music Festival 2012: photos

The 35th annual Folk Music Festival is not to be missed: here are some gorgeous scenes from the event, which ends on Sunday.
Speak up about this article on Facebook or Twitter. Do this by liking Vancouver Observer on Facebook or following us @Vanobserver on Twitter. We'd love to hear from you.