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Arturo Sandoval, Joss Stone, Anderson Paak to perform at the Montréal International Jazz Festival

Colette Greenstein
Colette Greenstein
Colette Greenstein has been a contributing arts & entertainment writer for the Banner since 2009. VIEW BIO
Arturo Sandoval, Joss Stone, Anderson Paak to perform at the Montréal International Jazz Festival
Arturo Sandoval (Photo: Courtesy Montreal International Jazz Festival)

“I always say music is the balm for the soul. Music has the capability to heal the soul, to help people feel better and to help people to enjoy life all the way through,” says legendary Cuban jazz trumpeter Arturo Sandoval in a recent interview with the Banner.

Sandoval, who spoke by phone from Los Angeles, is set to perform at the 38th edition of The Festival International de Jazz de Montréal on Wednesday, July 5 after a 14-year absence. With a career spanning more than 50 years, the onetime protégé of Dizzy Gillespie is excited to be returning to the festival.

“It’s a big honor and a big pleasure because I love Montreal as a city very much, and also the people are very enthusiastic and very receptive to the music. It’s one of the biggest jazz festivals in the world,” said Sandoval.

On the Web

The 38th Annual Montréal International Jazz Festival takes place June 28 to July 8, 2017. For a full schedule and line-up of performers, visit www.montrealjazzf…

The Montréal International Jazz Festival, which is presented by TD in collaboration with Rio Tinto, takes place in the heart of downtown Montréal over 11 days and nights, and features over 500 concerts (with more than two-thirds of them free), 10 concert venues, nine outdoor stages, and more than two million attendees. The festival begins on June 28 with a free special concert event celebrating the city’s 375th anniversary.

Ranked as the world’s largest jazz festival by Guinness World Records in 2004, the Montréal International Jazz Festival is well-known for attracting jazz aficionados, music lovers and fans from all over the world. It’s what makes the festival so special and so unique. The festival offers the opportunity for people from all cultures, backgrounds and ethnicities to come together against the backdrop of the beautiful and historical city to celebrate music and all of its genres.

British soul singer and songwriter Joss Stone, who’s slated to perform on a double bill with Melissa Etheridge on July 5, is of a similar mindset. Stone, who first catapulted to fame with her debut album The Soul Sessions in 2003, has been crisscrossing the globe on her Total World Tour for the last three years. The goal of the tour is to play a concert in every country around the world, and to also collaborate musically with local artists and musicians in each of those countries.

Stone, who’s collaborated with a “who’s who” in the music industry over the course of her career, says that at this time in her life she’s “more interested in playing with people that I’ve never heard of” as well as “working with different rhythms.”

“There are so many good people on this planet,” Stone said. “Way more than bad. Way more. So, I feel it’s important to kind of mention that and encourage people to help others and see the beauty.”

Thus far, the singer has performed in more than 100 countries, and has performed with musicians and artists from many of those countries including: Deo Munyakazi (Rwanda), The Jelliba’s (Sierra Leone), Izzi (Malaysia), Natalia Lafourcade (Mexico City), Hermigevill (Iceland) and Joss & Gisela João (Portugal).

Of her upcoming show at the Montreal International Jazz Festival, Stone is excited about the opportunity to perform on the double bill with Etheridge, who last performed at the festival in 1989.


The Montréal International Jazz Festival will feature an eclectic and electric line-up of singers and musicians, including: “the first lady of South Korean jazz” Youn Sun Nah (June 28), Robert Glasper Experiment, ArtScience (June 29), Bob Dylan and his band (June 30), Gypsy Kings (July 1), Montréal Jubilation Gospel Choir (July 2), pianist and composer Vijay Iyer (July 2), John Pizzarelli Quartet with Catherine Russell (July 3), Brazilian singer Flavia Coelho (July 4), East African vocalist and songwriter Somi (July 5), The O’Jays and The Four Tops on a double bill (July 6), and Juilliard-trained opera singer Morgan James (July 7), and many more.

In addition to a diverse slate of musical programming being offered in both small and intimate venues, as well as immense open-air concerts, the festival is also screening the documentary Chasing Trane at 2:30pm daily, beginning June 29 at the Cinéma du parc. The documentary chronicles the life and music of saxophonist John Coltrane.

Closing out the festival on Saturday, July 8, (in a free outdoor concert) is Grammy Award-winner singer/ rapper Anderson. Paak & The Free Nationals at 9:30 p.m. on the TD Stage of the Place des Festivals.

Music is of course at the heart of the festival and always will be. For a musician like Arturo Sandoval, who often says that he owes everything to music, it’s all about being “an eternal student.”

“We always have something to learn or something to prove, some way to grow as an artist and spiritually,” he said. “It’s up to us. If you really keep your mind open for new information and to embrace new ideas, there’s always room for learning,” even some 50 years after picking up the trumpet as a little boy in Artemisa, Cuba.