The 31st annual Montreal Jazz Festival will light up the Quartier des spectacles in downtown Montreal from June 25 to July 6 with free concerts and big names.
The festival will begin with music giant Lionel Richie at the Opening Gala on June 25 at 7 p.m. at the Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier. He is joined by Miles-Davis Award winner Cassandra Wilson.
Sonny Rollins headlines the next show in the Événements spéciaux TD series on the same stage on June 27. He plans to perform a new rendition of his 1957 album, “Way Out West.”
On July 5, on the same stage, Steve Miller Band and The Doobie Brothers pair up for what will be a legendary “rock ’n’ soul” event at the Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier at 7 p.m.
Other must-see shows in this series include the Cape Verdean singer Cesaria Evora who will sing from her new album “Nha Sentimento,” on June 30 and Grammy Award-winning guitarist George Benson: An Unforgettable Tribute to Nat King Cole on July 1.
On June 30 at 6 p.m., catch MAnu Katché, Sylvain Luc and Richard Bona at Gesù-Centre de créativité. MAnu Katché is known as the Man of a Thousand Collaborations, and will provide a melodic beat on the drums while French jazz icons Luc and Bona strum the guitar and bass. If that isn’t enough Bona, catch him again on July 2 at 6 p.m., at Théâtre Maisonneuve, with songs from “The Ten Shades Of Blues,” album — a progressive ode of music from America, Africa, Andulusia, Ireland and Asia.
Also, don’t miss the “Battle of the Bands” with the Harry James Orchestra and Artie Shaw Orchestra on July 4 at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. at Théâtre Maisonneuve. This concept show will take the audience into the great New York ballrooms of the late 1930s as the two Orchestras fire shots of musical fire at each other.
In all, 2.5 million anticipated spectators may choose from over 650 shows, 370 of which are free. More than 3,000 musicians from 30 countries will be on stage throughout the Festival. Expect to see not just jazz, but blues, Latin-jazz, Brazillian, Cuban, African, soul, reggae, electronica, rock and more.
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