Jill Barber; Up Close …

Jill Barber is hard to pin down …

Is she Jazz? Pop? A little of both?

Judge for yourself with some songs off her latest album; Fool’s Gold. A melting pot with a sound purposely copied via The Dap Kings – Amy Winehouse’s backing group.

It is no surprise Jill sounds a little like Winehouse.

Please listen as Jill discusses the above topics moments before her performance at The Montreal International Jazz Festival.

Jill?

 

Visit Jill Here!

 

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Leeward Fate - No Ordinary Kind iTunes cover copy

 

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annies

 

 

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Leeward Fate; No Ordinary Band …

Fate has it …

Or – ‘Leeward Fate’ has it, sometimes things happen for a reason. Such is the case for a trio of musicians who are now based in North Carolina. A menage-a-musicians who, fate has it – met in Leeward. The math is there yet math and grids are far removed from the way their latest album was recorded. Digital bah – humbug for the boys …

Leeward Fate - No Ordinary Kind press pic HQ

‘No Ordinary Kind’ is the group’s third album and – as is the case many times; the third time is a charm.

Listen to the band’s drummer – Tom Miller, speak of all things Leeward and if fate is not cruel; Leeward Fate will soon be a household name.

Tom?

 

Visit Leeward Fate Right Here!

 

annies

 

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Tune in at 6pm on Thursdays to k103.7fm

as

Sean McKeogh and I discuss my travels!

 

 

 

Guitar Player Alert! Jeff is ‘Gunn’ – ing for You!

Oshawa native Jeff Gunn is on a mission …

A while ago – he learned there was more to guitar playing than meets the eye …er … ears …

His goal?

To instruct players on how to take their skills and take them to the next level. Not only that …

Jeff?

 

Visit Jeff Here!

 

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Martin Goyette

Martin Goyette

 

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annies

 

 

 

 

Hilary Jane; The Right Thing at ‘The Right Time’

Montrealer Hilary Jane has been singing in and around Montreal her entire life. Practically …

Now, following a series of events, life-altering events – she has decided to write and record her first full length album. It is a throwback to a different time and Hilary somehow makes it fresh again …

Please listen to this woman’s story and get ready to have your feet tapping!

Hilary …?

 

 

 

 

 

Please visit Hilary right here!

Support local talent!

 

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Coming soon … my interview with Jill Barber!

 

Jill Barber

Jill Barber

 

annies

Martin Goyette; ‘Sweet Warm Jelly’

Martin Goyette has a voice. An inner message which channels the Blues’ legends of the past.

Too much? Too corny?

Martin Goyette

Martin Goyette

Have a listen and decide with your ears …

Martin?

Martin is singing on Aug.9th at Festiblues

 

Check out all the info on Martin right here!

 

styx trailer

 

James Young - Styx

James Young – Styx

 

Lawrence Gowan

Lawrence Gowan

Norman Marshall Villeneuve – July 16th

On July 16th – head on to the St. James Church on rue Ste. Catherine in downtown Montreal. Noon is the witching hour …

Norman is starting what he hopes will be a new trend. Accumulating Jazz artists to play and raise money for the poor in Montreal.

Check it out – won’t ya?

 

On Vacation! Be back soon …

 

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Michelle Sweeney; Down-to-Earth Diva?

How many people do you know that worked with George  Clooney, Mary J. Blige, Celine Dion and Oliver Jones?

Not to mention – Dr. Trevor Payne and The Montreal Jubilation Choir.

Michelle Sweeney has all the ingredients of being a Diva. Nothing can be further from the truth given the negative condemnations normally associated with the  term.

Please listen as Michelle speaks about singing and her upcoming show at The House of Jazz on the 12th of July …

Michelle?

 

annies

 

 

 

 

 

Montreal International Jazz Festival 2014- Recap Part Three

It goes without saying, this is one of the finest festivals I’ve ever played! Thank you Montreal for building an institution.”
Ben Harper on Instagram.

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At least one Harper showed. Stephen Harper – our resident Prime Minister did not appear at The Jazz festival nor was his pride evident in Canada’s and the world’s biggest festival. Well – at least God appeared happy.

The tunes rising into heaven from the Earth below, enough to allow the Lord to hold back on the rain. The heavens did not open up (save for a pair of twenty minute segments) and dampen the spirits of the music fans. It was ten days of sun, sun and soleil.

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Aretha – Sounding Off

 

Roger Walls – a horn player who has worked with everyone from Garou to Tony Bennett, witnessed a comical event. Especially given the nature of Aretha Franklin’s much – maligned performance.

” I was at sound-check …” Explained Roger. ” Right in the middle of a song, Aretha berated the sound man. Insisting she could do his job better than him. Threatening to come down and do it herself. Expletives included … “

Roger continues.

” After witnessing this first hand – a fellow horn player turns to me and says; I’d hate to be married to her!”

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Considering the negative reviews of the show – sound or no sound, nothing would have saved Aretha. Maybe it is time to pack it in following a long and respectful career …

 

Same could be said for B.B King?

 

Citing not taking his medicine, King’s performance less-than-flattering.

This is not the first time for King. He had to cancel a couple of performances recently mid -way through concerts for the same reason. In St.Louis, last March – he was booed mercilessly for not hardly playing and not playing well when he did.  King deserves respect as the Grandfather of the Blues – yet, so does the paying public.

Fans must at this point, realize a B.B King concert is to see a legend live. Want some great King music? Buy a cd.

As per English (British – not West Island) music journalist Sebastien Scotney; the show of the festival was Keith Jarrett. Sebastien is the editor of London Jazz and this was his first visit to Montreal. Read his review here in The Telegraph. Great guy!

 

Burning Spear / Sly and Robbie Review

Metropolis

 

They say ninety percent of drum tracks laid down in Jamaica were done by Sly Dunbar.

For years, under the tutelage of men like Marley, Tosh and Cliff – Dunbar along with fellow sideman Robbie Shakespeare; were and remain – the battery of Jamaica.

Ya man …

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Dunbar is a machine. Head down without hardly a break or peek at his surroundings; Sly kept the groove going, da riddims. Precision-like maneuvers. Robbie – the Bill Wyman of Reggae (longevity, quality, rhythm ), served the bass lines with power normally reserved for a rhythm guitarist.

Reggae is like that …

Delivering signature songs such as ‘Swing Easy’, ‘Real Rock’, ‘Darker Shade of Black’ and ‘ Taxi Rhythm’ – the legendary pair along with their backing band – The Taxi Gang; explained reggae to those almost sure what Reggae is. After all – Pizza is not Italian and many eat and bake it as such … As in many genres, the real stuff gets watered down over the years. Sly and Robbie are the real deal.

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Burning Spear, the sixty-nine year old living, breathing – living legend; entered stage right. He was as pleased to be in Montreal as Montrealers and out of towners were to witness him.

Playing a catalog of six decades long is no easy task. What to pick and what to play? For a non -Reggae fan, it would appear easy as Reggae music (non roots) sounds similar ( except for a few Marley tunes). Well – bite your collective Rasta tongues.

Spear’s 1976 hit; ‘Pick Up the Pieces’ – sent Metropolis into a frenzy. Proof that at least half the attendees were indeed Reggae fans while the other half soon became ones. The rhythmic ‘riddems’ of the song in dark contrast to Marley’s slow burning hits. Spear, on the Congas – off the Congas; a master with the microphone and very able to sing like a Rasta – Mick Jagger. One year Mick’s junior …

What’s with these old guys anyways? Shuffleboard anyone?

 

Ginger Baker Jazz Confusion

 

What’s with these old guys anyways? Shuffleboard anyone?

Ginger Baker – ex of Cream, appeared at the Jazz Festival; ex of Cream. His foursome included James Brown’s ex-bandleader Pee Wee Ellis on Saxophone, Alec Dankworth on Bass and Abbas Doodoo on Congas and various other percussion -related instruments.

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As an outsider looking in to a seventy-four year old drummer with a Jazz related background – it was easy to categorize Doodoo as a mask for Baker’s miscues. Far from the truth and simply not the case.

Ginger may not be as ‘ginger’ as he once was ( wheezing between songs), yet his drumming remains impeccable. His sense of humor as jazzy as the Jazz itself portrayed and carried out on stage with the utmost perfection.

Baker laid out a dozen ( Bakers’ Dozen – get it?) supreme jokes at his own expense. The running gag –  people in his entourage laying bets in which city he will ‘expire’ in on this tour. To which Baker countered; ‘I think Pee Wee will beat me to it! ( Ellis no slim or young chicken at that).

The music? Songs such as ‘Well You Needn’t’, Wayne Shorter’s cover – ‘Footprints’ and the original ‘Ginger Spice’ – as effervescent as Sunshine in your Life. ’12+ More Blues’ was mesmerizing as was the always present ‘Aiko Biaye’. Baker and Doodoo providing crashing rhythms and almost morphing into a sole unit on several occasions.

 

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The show was Jazz, Ellis providing haunting (at times) solos and Dankworth instilling the truth and keeping it tight within the scope of the songs. Dankworth was not there to stand out. Nor was Ellis. Their jobs – simply to keep things fresh. Keep things tight. Keep things interesting for a non-drumming fan.

The concert was all about Baker’s drumming. A contest almost.

Competing with and complementing Doodoo. It was a drummer’s take on Jazz much the way Rich, Krupa and Baker’s contemporary Charlie Watts see the songs in a Jazz kaleidoscope.

The difference?  Baker hits much harder …

Still.

 

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Up Next …

Barenaked Ladies and Jill Barber Reviews.

 

Jill Barber

Jill Barber

Some photos courtesy of fijm.

Montreal International Jazz Festival 2014 – Recap Part Two.

It is the people of Montreal that make the Jazz Festival so good.

‘If you build it – they will come …’

Musicians from Zaire to Atlanta, each and every one of them, during the Jazz Festival or in the cold winter months, exude the same sentiment.

“Montreal has the best crowds …”

Maybe it is the winters which make us appreciate everything. Perhaps it is the lack of a Stanley Cup for twenty years. Does poutine have a magic elixir built in? Whatever it is – the people in Montreal love music.

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The Quotes

 

“My two sons are playing with us on stage tonight – I think I am more terrified than they are …” Ed Robertson – The Barenaked Ladies

” Instead of saying they are amazing, people should say – I really enjoyed that band. I strongly suggest them. That way – you are not forcing your opinion on someone and letting them decide for themselves.” Susie Arioli

“You guys ( journalists) are very important for us. It is also very important to be true what you write. There is no point saying a show is good when it is not. How else can we decide who to bring to Montreal for the Jazz Festival?” Andre Menard – co-Founder of The Jazz Festival

” I had a Red Bull once. I thought I was going to die. I will never touch that stuff again!” Brian Ritchie – Violent Femmes

 

The Pics

 

Andre Menard

Andre Menard

 

Susie Arioli

Susie Arioli

 

Ed Robertson - Baenaked Ladies

Ed Robertson – Barenaked Ladies

 

Brian Ritchie

Brian Ritchie

 

The Shows

 

Gogh Van Go

 

Seventeen years is a very long time.

Think of it. In that time span – a person learns to crawl, walk, run and drive. A lot of growing up takes place, not to mention growing pains.

That is exactly what the band Gogh Van Go must be going through following their show at the Jazz Festival. Club Soda was not even close to half capacity yet one thing must be made clear – it was not the fault of Gogh Van Go.

Sorta …

2505301Aside from their success in the 90’s and the fans which remember them from the 90’s – there were approx. 90 people to see them in only their second gig in 17 years.

Following a monumental return in December 2013, it appeared the time was right for Van Go. Um … not yet.

Sandra Luciantonio still has an incredible voice. Thrilling those in attendance with the power of a younger woman. In songs such as ‘ The Bed Where We Lie’ and ‘Sugar’ – Sandra’s passion for her craft shines through.

Her partner on and off stage – Dan Tierney, shares the passion and his love is demonstrated in the band’s (arguably) biggest hit; ‘Say You Will’. The duo’s original backing band, Yves Desrosiers (guitar), Jean Masicotte ( Keyboards), John Souranis (bass) and JohnMcColgan (drums) – all performed as a tight knit unit. They performed with familiarity.

Here lies the problem.

A band and songwriting team from the 90’s, sings and plays their instruments like they were in the 1990’s. As stated earlier, through no fault of their own and based on pure absenteeism, a gap existed at Club Soda. A gap which can be repaired the more Gogh Van Go propels itself into 2014.

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The talent is there, the songwriting is there ( two new songs – ‘Sugar’ and ‘ Mama Needs a New Dress), the back-line of  today’s alt-Pop is not there. All the songs performed would be awe inspiring moments if they were intertwined with a catalog which lay witness to a band evolving over they years. A ‘ look-back-at-the-beginning’ kinda thing. Preferably in black and white with Kennedy’s assassination headlines looming in the background.

This type of nostalgia plays well. The nostalgia which Gogh Van Go is performing does not. They are not old, they are not acting like people trying to make a buck. By all appearances and sounds – Gogh Van Go is a working viable group who have lost their way. A producer who is current would do wonders with Sandra and Daniel.

In other words –  the ‘Tunnel of Trees’ cannot be seen for the forensic remains of the dated forest. Somehow – Gogh Van Go will figure it out. Somehow – Club Soda will fill out.

‘Too good To’ not to …

 

Elvis Costello

 

Mr. Costello …

Mr. Diana Krall.

Mr. Everything  …

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Elvis was in town on his current solo tour. A tour which left those in attendance guessing. Elvis not even allowing a reporter the luxury of knowing any songs which he was to play at the Jazz Festival during the press conference.

It was a forgone conclusion that at least “Alison’ would be played. Which it was. ‘Veronica” perhaps? It was …

Elvis over the years has become a parody in many ways. A parody of his punk years with The Attractions, a reasonable facsimile with tunes such as ‘Everyday I Write the Book’ and his incarnation into the world of Burt Bacharach. Costello is a chameleon who appears to evolve and work at top speed.

His concert as part of The Jazz Festival appeared rushed. The songs were played well yet it was difficult to not rid oneself of the feeling Mr. Costello had better places to be ( by Diana Krall’s side – for one).

Elvis_Costello © dALIX-FIJM-004

Thank the music Gods Elvis has an acute sense of humor. A British sense of humor. Mocking himself numerous times – none more poignant than introducing one of his hits;  ‘Everyday I Write the Book’.

” Because I like you …” Said Costello. ” I will play this song for you. I hate it. I wrote it it ten minutes and sadly – it became a hit. Now – I must play it all the time …”

That tune was rushed through. Others such as ‘Either Side of the Same Town’ and ‘ Watching the Detectives’ (both Elvis and the Attractions songs) – moderately so. As if Costello has turned the corner on the past. Nice but …what’s next?

Elvis did shine through on the covers he chose …

Nat King Cole’s ‘Walkin’ my Baby Back Home'; sung wistfully and soulfully by Costello. Singing and strumming his one man band into a place dear to him. The same could be said for his rendition of Robert Wyatt’s ‘Shipbuilding’. A nerve hit deep inside Costello. Moments when the show ‘slowed’ to a musical pace.

Elvis - 'Home'

Elvis – ‘Home’

Costello is a storyteller. His tales and observations heightened during tunes such as ‘ Ascension Day’, ‘Ghost Train’ and ‘The Last Year of my Youth.’ No matter the rhythm of an Elvis Tune – there is something melancholy about Costello. Telling tales of his Grandfather’s excursion into America – side-splitting yet with a hint of sadness for another time. A pure reconnaissance of music from all genres.

The show displayed Elvis’ courage, depth and genius. His social conscience on display on ‘ Jimmie Standing in the Rain /  Brother Can You Spare a Dime?’ His guitar playing on display all night.  ‘ Come the Meantime ( a collaboration with The Roots), a display of keeping with the times.

Costello’s show was not perfect. A much more enjoyable experience would have had Costello with a backing band. Then again – with Elvis; who really knows?

A genius keeps them guessing …

 

 

 

Up Next … Burning Spear/ Sly and Robbie and Ginger Baker

 

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Woodkid Press Conference

Woodkid Press Conference

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Montreal International Jazz Festival 2014 – Recap Part One.

In the words of Ed Robertson of The Barenaked Ladies; ‘That’s Jazz!”

The front-man of Canada’s funnest band, mocking the Festival’s choice of The Barenaked Ladies as an act at Le Festival International de Jazz de Montreal.

No doubt, over the years – the Festival has swayed from Jazz.

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For purists – something which angers them. For music fans - pure bliss.

Over the years, Jazz has been incorporated into many genres. It has been mixed and matched, tossed about, commercialized, non- commercialized and sold-out via television commercials like every other genre.

To have music such as Pop, Rock, New Age, Indie, Blues and any other label invented by record companies to sell discs – morph into the clubs and venues at The Montreal Jazz Festival; as natural as Frank Sinatra singing ‘My Way’.

As long as Jazz remains prominent, with men such as Oliver Jones taking center stage, really – ‘it’s all fun and games until someone loses an Ipamena’.

Jazz Festival Fun Facts

 

In 2004, The Guiness Book of World Records listed the Jazz festival as the biggest in the world! Who better to know than Guinness drinkers …

In thirty-five years, 500 young musicians have learned through the Camp de Blues and have had the opportunity to perform their new skills live on stage. That means Michael Buble was four years old when the Camp de Blues started.

3000 (approx.) musicians perform in the festival every year (3500 if you include every busker and street performer).

Twenty-six countries are represented.

Fifty-two free ‘ big act’ shows have been put on between the years 1986 – 2008

11 700 000 Tourists have visited the festival in thirty years.

45 600 000 visitors in thirty years.

400 Journalists accredited every year.

8 000 000 Internet visitors

42 100 Tweets and Facebook mentions

1020 Employees at the Festival.

 

The Shows

 

This edition of the Festival was magical. Some of the biggest names in music graced the stages – both indoor and out.

Diana Krall, Elvis Costello, Diana Ross, Michael Buble, Aretha Franklin, B.B King, Tony Bennett and Ginger Baker to name few.

Other ‘not-so-famous-acts’ also performed …

That is the beauty of the Festival – music is everywhere and everywhere there is music.

From the non – Jazz ‘Jazzy’  Barenaked Ladies and Violent Femmes to John Roney heading the nightly Jazz jams at the Hyatt Regency; the Festival is – for ten days, musical heaven.

 

Violent Femmes

 

John Roney

 

 

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Stay tuned for my reviews on Go Van Gogh, Ginger Baker, Elvis Costello, Diana Krall, Barenaked Ladies, Scarlett Jane, Violent Femmes, Jill Barber and Burning Spears / Sly and Robbie.

Plus much more …

 

Cody Chestnutt

 

Who is Cody Chestnutt?

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Easy. Put Marvin GayeBarry WhiteLionel Ritchie and practically every other R and B singer from the 1970’s into a blender, add some influence by The Roots and – TA DA! A Cody Chestnutt shake.

Shake? The audience at Club Soda did just that!

If anything, the man who just flew in from L.A – was a ball of energy. Mind you – that energy did dissipate once in a blue while in songs such as ‘Up in the Tree House‘. A tune Cody introduced comically as ‘going from the tree house to the crack house’.

_MG_9979The song; a Monkee-ish / Mamas and Papas / Turtles melody depicting a sentimental side to the energetic Chestnutt. A dreamy trip into the psyche of psychedelia. It was a welcome break to a concert which to that point was deliciously repetitive.

Rock, Funk, Hip Hop and Blues. Singular, accumulative or blended by genre one at a time – Chestnutt and his tight – loose band of gypsies enticed smiles from the get-go. Easy to see why The Roots chose his song ‘The Seed’ to do on their album; Phrenology,

‘That’s Still Mama’  channeled Gaye to a rhythmic ‘T’. Complete with horns and Geoffrey Gaines’ demonic bass holding Chestnutt to the ground level, Cody showcased his voice. A query to fans as Chestnutt cannot be stereotyped into a genre. At times the tune bordered on ‘Shaft’ and could well be the soundtrack to a 70’s cop show. Nothing wrong with that. No thing wrong with Joel Johnson’guitar licks either.

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‘Under the Spell of the Handout’placed the keyboards in full throttle as Cody and his mates sped along with drummer Stephen Fryson keeping the pedal to the metal at a fanatic pace.

‘Love is More Than a Wedding Day‘ gave everyone a reason to smile. A summer song which the audience participated in by singing the chorus ‘ I Believe in Love’ or more to the point ” I Believe’.

That is the beauty of a Chestnutt show. Non threatening. A huge love-in. A simple reminder of why music was invented in the first place. More times than not; the audience joining in whether by Chestnutt’s demand or on their choice..

‘Gunpowder on the Letter’ a throwback to the Blues blending into Rock n Roll. A song suited for a Little Richard – Jerry Lee Lewis album. ‘Thank You‘ – perhaps exactly that. Another copy of the songs of days gone by. Sung elegantly and heartfelt by Cody and his backing vocals.

The steal of the show was Alvin Giles on keyboards. Tinkering softly or providing a piano- based rhythm a la boogie woogie on the R and B gems: the show void without him.

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In short – Chestnutt followed up a very successful appearance at the PoP Montreal Festival last year with a return to Montreal at this year’s Jazz Festival. A fact not foreign to Cody himself as he said the word ‘Montreal’ or some variation thereof at least thirty times.

Yes Cody – Montreal realizes and appreciates your ability to decipher the city where you are playing. Montreal thanks you for coming and bringing the ‘real’ music ‘back’ with you.

Until next time …

 

Daniel Lanois / Emmylou Harris

 

The evening started strangely …

Daniel Lanois, the famed producer of most notably U2 fame – arrived on stage dressed as a beachcomber. That – in itself; not strange at all.

 

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What followed was a little unsettling for most at Place des Arts.

Film makers smiled yet aside from their collective orgasmic sighs – the venue was, as a whole; unnerved. The first ten minutes of a film (Adam Vollick) played out on a screen directly behind the musical set-up. The entire ‘montage’ could have been better spent on the couch watching the boob tube.  Vollick (Lanois?) delivered the same nothingness. Complete with an assumed high speed chase through trees and the lens of a camera, followed by scenes from films such as Hitchcock’s Vertigo – the audience clapped politely before berating the moment to confidants sitting arms-lengths away.

Truffaut and Hitchcock would have departed once the music began.

Began it did.

Lanois along with bass player Jim Wilson and drummer Brian Blade – commenced what the punters paid for. A set which delivered ‘that haunting U2 sound’. A sound which gave Lanois the freedom to give concerts with trees as opening acts. It was easy for a first time Lanois concert-goer to decipher the U2-Lanois connection.

The song ‘Fire’ started a slow burning blaze which concluded with the legendary Emmylou Harris on stage setting the night on fire.

Lanois is obsessed with slide guitar. Playing pedal steel or on his feet with a pick, Daniel appears to be in a state of learning his craft. Creating his craft. The opening song along with the follow-up Marie-Claire; both improvisational and ( as noted earlier) – haunting. The concentration on Lanois’ face brought glimpses into the man’s vision. Searching into a world he has yet to discover.

Brian Blade, ‘the stickman’ behind the grooves;  as crisp and professional as a drummer for Lanois should be. Lanois mentioned he was going to jam with his mates and Blade reconstructed the ghosts of Rich, Blakey and Krupa. Sometimes with speed, occasionally with finesse yet mostly with the perfect time. Enthusiasm sustained.

Jim Wilson – Blade’s running-mate and Lanois’ sometime vocal partner; carried off both duties with ample flair. Not over bearing (even as the pair joined Harris in a menage-a-vocal with the tune ‘ Calling my Children Home’), just right in his ability to jump in and back as the songs dictated. Wilson – a longtime collaborator with Lanois was at ease. A bass player with the know how to blend.

Up and comer ( some say the next Emmylou), Trixie Whitley joined Lanois for the songs; Nomad and Last Time. The latter allowing her true vocals to shine as whatever nerves appeared at first – were quickly submerged below the applause line. Rarely do singers have the ability to unearth the scales and deliver from the ‘belly’. Whitley proved she has the chops and with Lanois on her side as one of the top music producers in the business, Whitley is well on her way. The young lady also plays drums. Sitting alongside Blade – beat by beat matching the urgency and softness  required. A rising talent. An ash emerging from the Fire.

The legend arrived …

Emmylou Harris – politely; is seasoned.

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One of the true songstresses of our time who fought and stood brave at a time when music was ruled by men with less than flattering glances at women. There is Bonnie RaittWanda Jackson and Harris. Each one paving the way for the Molly Thomassons, the Joan Jetts and The Heart Sisters – Anne and Nancy Wilson. Lanois was wise to produce a collaboration with Emmylou in 1995.  That album; ‘Wrecking Ball’ – on full display last night.

Harris has not lost the angel in her voice. Words surrounded the most hardened souls in attendance with innocence, bravery and experience.

Songs such as May This Be Love ( Hendrix),  Orphan Girl ( Gillian Welch) and ‘Sweet Old World’ among the chosen songs. Calling My Children Home almost ended the session. The Maker did.

Sadly the concert with Emmylou at the helm was not three hours longer.  Lanois, Wilson, Harris and Blade hit stride during the final song. A comfortably falls into every concert with every artist ( save Tiny Tim?) A groove is reached and last night – that groove was obtained during The Maker. Even Lanois’ sullen guitar smiled. Reaching notes unheard during the preceding tunes.

Following a praise bestowed for Kings – the band resurfaced and continued the continuity. ‘Sometimes’ along  with Neil Young’s Wrecking Ball – lit the final match in a fire which began two and a half hours earlier. Like a distant light burning on a shore far away – this concert was a beacon for ships travelling to Montreal for the Jazz Festival.

Lanois et al made it easy. They made it clear.

The 2014 Edition of the Montreal International Jazz Festival is officially underway.

In Lanois’ words; Jazz-like …

 

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Diana Krall and Elvis Costello Soundcheck – Montreal International Jazz Festival

Previous to Diana Krall’s free show at the 2014 Montreal International Jazz Festival, the audience was treated to a surprise.

The husband and wife – treated those in attendance with an impromptu sound-check.  Lucky for those who happened to be taking up the sun.

Enjoy!

 

Stay tuned for all my reviews and some great photos!

 

The Violent Femmes are appearing tonight at Metropolis.

 

Listen to my interview  with Gordan Gano!

 

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Cody Chestnutt Review – Montreal International Jazz Festival 2014

Who is Cody Chestnutt?

_MG_0022

Easy. Put Marvin Gaye, Barry White, Lionel Ritchie and practically every other R and B singer from the 1970’s into a blender, add some influence by The Roots and – TA DA! A Cody Chestnutt shake.

Shake? The audience at Club Soda did just that!

If anything, the man who just flew in from L.A – was a ball of energy. Mind you – that energy did dissipate once in a blue while in songs such as ‘Up in the Tree House‘. A tune Cody introduced comically as ‘going from the tree house to the crack house’.

_MG_9979The song; a Monkee-ish / Mamas and Papas / Turtles melody depicting a sentimental side to the energetic Chestnutt. A dreamy trip into the psyche of psychedelia. It was a welcome break to a concert which to that point was deliciously repetitive.

Rock, Funk, Hip Hop and Blues. Singular, accumulative or blended by genre one at a time – Chestnutt and his tight – loose band of gypsies enticed smiles from the get-go. Easy to see why The Roots chose his song ‘The Seed’ to do on their album; Phrenology,

‘That’s Still Mama’  channeled Gaye to a rhythmic ‘T’. Complete with horns and Geoffrey Gaines’ demonic bass holding Chestnutt to the ground level, Cody showcased his voice. A query to fans as Chestnutt cannot be stereotyped into a genre. At times the tune bordered on ‘Shaft’ and could well be the soundtrack to a 70’s cop show. Nothing wrong with that. No thing wrong with Joel Johnson’guitar licks either.

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‘Under the Spell of the Handout’placed the keyboards in full throttle as Cody and his mates sped along with drummer Stephen Fryson keeping the pedal to the metal at a fanatic pace.

‘Love is More Than a Wedding Day‘ gave everyone a reason to smile. A summer song which the audience participated in by singing the chorus ‘ I Believe in Love’ or more to the point ” I Believe’.

That is the beauty of a Chestnutt show. Non threatening. A huge love-in. A simple reminder of why music was invented in the first place. More times than not; the audience joining in whether by Chestnutt’s demand or on their choice..

‘Gunpowder on the Letter’ a throwback to the Blues blending into Rock n Roll. A song suited for a Little Richard – Jerry Lee Lewis album. ‘Thank You‘ – perhaps exactly that. Another copy of the songs of days gone by. Sung elegantly and heartfelt by Cody and his backing vocals.

The steal of the show was Alvin Giles on keyboards. Tinkering softly or providing a piano- based rhythm a la boogie woogie on the R and B gems: the show void without him.

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In short – Chestnutt followed up a very successful appearance at the PoP Montreal Festival last year with a return to Montreal at this year’s Jazz Festival. A fact not foreign to Cody himself as he said the word ‘Montreal’ or some variation thereof at least thirty times.

Yes Cody – Montreal realizes and appreciates your ability to decipher the city where you are playing. Montreal thanks you for coming and bringing the ‘real’ music ‘back’ with you.

Until next time …

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 Visit Cody Here!

 

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Hear My Interview with Myriam Here!

Myriam Phiro will be at

The House of Jazz

July 3rd 8:30pm

 

 

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Myriam Phiro; ‘La Maison’ is Where the Heart Is …

Myriam Phiro is a French Quebecer.

She left for New York city to hone her acting, singing, dancing and modeling craft. Turns out – a great move on her part.

Traveling the world with a major learning curve in Montreaux, Myriam’s adventures continue with a re – occurring stop back home. Performing at The House of Jazz is her way of staying in touch with the city she loves.

Please listen to some of her songs and her take on a less-than-ordinary-life thus far.

Myriam?

Visit Myriam Right Here Please

 

 

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Elvis Costello Press Conference – Montreal International Jazz Festival 2014

Elvis Costellp played on Sunday at La Maison Symphonique de Montreal on Sunday.

Here are parts of the press conference from Sunday afternoon.

 

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Diana Krall Press Conference – Montreal International Jazz Festival 2014

Diana Krall was in town to play a free show at the Jazz Festival last night. An estimated  crowd of 150,00 took in the event.

Here are parts of her press conference from Saturday.

Enjoy …!

 

 

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Jazz Festival Reviews; Daniel Lanois and Emmylou Harris

The evening started strangely

Daniel Lanois, the famed producer of most notably U2 fame – arrived on stage dressed as a beachcomber. That – in itself; not strange at all.

 

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What followed was a little unsettling for most at Place des Arts.

Film makers smiled yet aside from their collective orgasmic sighs – the venue was, as a whole; unnerved. The first ten minutes of a film (Adam Vollick) played out on a screen directly behind the musical set-up. The entire ‘montage’ could have been better spent on the couch watching the boob tube.  Vollick (Lanois?) delivered the same nothingness. Complete with an assumed high speed chase through trees and the lens of a camera, followed by scenes from films such as Hitchcock’s Vertigo – the audience clapped politely before berating the moment to confidants sitting arms-lengths away.

Truffaut and Hitchcock would have departed once the music began …

Began it did.

Lanois along with bass player Jim Wilson and drummer Brian Blade – commenced what the punters paid for. A set which delivered ‘that haunting U2 sound’. A sound which gave Lanois the freedom to give concerts with trees as opening acts. It was easy for a first time Lanois concert-goer to decipher the U2-Lanois connection.

The song ‘Fire’ started a slow burning blaze which concluded with the legendary Emmylou Harris on stage setting the night on fire.

Lanois is obsessed with slide guitar. Playing pedal steel or on his feet with a pick, Daniel appears to be in a state of learning his craft. Creating his craft. The opening song along with the follow-up Marie-Claire; both improvisational and ( as noted earlier) – haunting. The concentration on Lanois’ face brought glimpses into the man’s vision. Searching into a world he has yet to discover.

Brian Blade, ‘the stickman’ behind the grooves;  as crisp and professional as a drummer for Lanois should be. Lanois mentioned he was going to jam with his mates and Blade reconstructed the ghosts of Rich, Blakey and Krupa. Sometimes with speed, occasionally with finesse yet mostly with the perfect time. Enthusiasm sustained.

Jim Wilson – Blade’s running-mate and Lanois’ sometime vocal partner; carried off both duties with ample flair. Not over bearing (even as the pair joined Harris in a menage-a-vocal with the tune ‘ Calling my Children Home’), just right in his ability to jump in and back as the songs dictated. Wilson – a longtime collaborator with Lanois was at ease. A bass player with the know how to blend.

Up and comer ( some say the next Emmylou), Trixie Whitley joined Lanois for the songs; Nomad and Last Time. The latter allowing her true vocals to shine as whatever nerves appeared at first – were quickly submerged below the applause line. Rarely do singers have the ability to unearth the scales and deliver from the ‘belly’. Whitley proved she has the chops and with Lanois on her side as one of the top music producers in the business, Whitley is well on her way. The young lady also plays drums. Sitting alongside Blade – beat by beat matching the urgency and softness  required. A rising talent. An ash emerging from the Fire.

The legend arrived …

Emmylou Harris – politely; is seasoned.

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One of the true songstresses of our time who fought and stood brave at a time when music was ruled by men with less than flattering glances at women. There is Bonnie Raitt, Wanda Jackson and Harris. Each one paving the way for the Molly Thomassons, the Joan Jetts and The Heart Sisters – Anne and Nancy Wilson. Lanois was wise to produce a collaboration with Emmylou in 1995.  That album; ‘Wrecking Ball’ – on full display last night.

Harris has not lost the angel in her voice. Words surrounded the most hardened souls in attendance with innocence, bravery and experience.

Songs such as May This Be Love ( Hendrix),  Orphan Girl ( Gillian Welch) and ‘Sweet Old World’ among the chosen songs. Calling My Children Home almost ended the session. The Maker did.

Sadly the concert with Emmylou at the helm was not three hours longer.  Lanois, Wilson, Harris and Blade hit stride during the final song. A comfortably falls into every concert with every artist ( save Tiny Tim?) A groove is reached and last night – that groove was obtained during The Maker. Even Lanois’ sullen guitar smiled. Reaching notes unheard during the preceding tunes.

Following a praise bestowed for Kings – the band resurfaced and continued the continuity. ‘Sometimes’ along  with Neil Young’s Wrecking Ball – lit the final match in a fire which began two and a half hours earlier. Like a distant light burning on a shore far away – this concert was a beacon for ships travelling to Montreal for the Jazz Festival.

Lanois et al made it easy. They made it clear.

The 2014 Edition of the Montreal International Jazz Festival is officially underway.

In Lanois’ words; Jazz-like …

 

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Steve Hill; Hendrix, Guitar Tuning and Volume Three?

Volume three cannot be far off …

Following two very successful solo albums; Steve Hill of Trois Rivieres, Quebec is living a life of renewed interest and respect.

Respect is what this guy deserves ...

Not too many musicians take the hard way out. Undertaking a solo project is one thing – taking the stage as a one man band is another entirely. Playing guitar, singing original compositions, playing bass, snare and high-hat; no simple task.

Steve Hill will tell you this. Right now as a matter of fact …

Steve?

 

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Hear my interview with Paul Deslauriers Here!

 

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Paul Deslauriers and Jimi Hendrix; A Match Made in Heaven (Ask Steve Hill).

Paul Deslauriers is one smart cookie …

Nothing like jumping on an opportunity to pay homage to a childhood idol and hooking up with an old friend at the same time.

As part of the Montreal International Jazz Festival – Paul is taking the stage with his band and with longtime guitar buddy Steve Hill. Not together – apart …

On la  Scene Lotto Quebec and  Metropolis; Paul will delight fans of both his band and those of the Jimi Hendrix persuasion. A double bill for lovers of guitar rock and Blues.

Shows not to be missed. Shows not to be dissed.

Please listen as Paul explains what people will expect and why he loves Hendrix so much.

Paul …?

 

Find out the dates and times Here!

The 35th Edition of The Montreal International Jazz Festival

 

The 35th edition of the Festival International de Jazz de Montreal, presented by TD in partnership with Rio Tinto Alcan, kicks off in just 3 short days! The Quartier des Spectacles is ready and waiting to welcome the world’s large largest jazz festival, from Friday, June 26 to Sunday, July 6, 2014!

The Festival goes mobile

Here’s a major new addition for this 35th edition: the full program is now available from the Festival’s new mobile website (mobile.montrealjazzfest.com ).

Web surfers Will Find a detailed schedule, shows listed by series or course, a search engine, photos, concert descriptions and audio excerpts. And to help everyone get the MOST out of the Festival, visitors can create a personalized schedule to Ensure They Do not Miss Any of the Action! Festival fans can aussi experience the festivities’ round the clock, 24/7 on the Festival website ( montrealjazzfest.com ), socialand via the Montreal Jazz mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android (montrealjazzfest.com / mobile ).

Throughout the duration of the event,MontrealJazzFest.TV Will aussi feature artist interviews and Some hundred concerts on video captured by our video squad in Festival concert venues and on outdoor stages.

3rd Edition of our contest, I love Jazz Festival: incredible prizes available

By showing Their affection for the Festival-simply by Becoming a fan of the event’s official Facebook page, Internet users can join the fun every day by visiting the great I love Jazz Festival Contest (I Like the Jazz Festival Contest) on Facebook .

A grand total of $ 30,000 in prizes Will Be up for grabs thanks to collaborations with a number of partners: 1st prize : grand prize of$ 10,000 in cash offert by TD ; 2nd prize : a MacBook Pro 13” aluminum with Retina display, valued at $ 3.160 USD , offert by Rio Tinto Alcan , 3rd prize : an automatic coffeemaker valued at $ 3.100, offert by Jura ; 4th prize : a collection of 50 blues CDs valued at $ 1,000, offert by Loto-Québec ; 5th prize : an XM radio with a one-year subscription with a maximum value of $ 500, offert by SiriusXM .

Entering the contest is easy!

Just “Like” the Festival’s facebook page ( facebook.com / montrealjazzfest ), click the link under the “Contest” tab on the home page and fill out the online form Between June 3 and July 6, midnight.

The drawing Will take up July 8, 2014 at noon . Dozens of instant prizes, with a total value of $ 10,000, Will Be Offered by TD andLa Presse + on the outdoor festival site.

Galerie Lounge TD: presenting Jimi Hendrix!

The Galerie Lounge TD , located in. the Espace culturel Georges-Émile Lapalme exhibition hall in Place des Arts , is a treasure trove of works by artists united by Their passion for jazz.

This year, to mark the 35th anniversary of the Festival organizers and the Galerie Lounge TD are very proud to offer Drifter’s Escape , a silkscreen taken from original year work by one of the Most Significant musicians of the 20th century, Jimi Hendrix , available for The Entire Festival duration in a limited print run of only 125 copies. Also, fans can purchase a limited-run of silkscreen Saxophoenix , The Most recent creation by Yves Archambault , our artist in residence for over 25 years.

Traffic on the website

Starting June 27, the Festival Site Will Be closed to automobile traffic every day from 6 pm to 3 am, until, Sunday, July 6 at 7 am

The website Occupies the quadrilateral area bordered by St. Laurent Boulevard and De Bleury Street from east to west , and St. Catherine St. and President Kennedy Ave. from north to south. A part of the Quartier des Spectacles Will Remain closed to automobile traffic day and night Until September 5: St. Between St. Catherine De Bleury St. and St. Laurent Blvd., Jeanne Mance St. Between St. Catherine St. and De Maisonneuve Blvd., As well as Mayor and Balmoral Streets. De Maisonneuve Blvd. Will Be closed to automobile traffic Until July 9 Between Bleury and Jeanne-Mance Streets.

To Plan your visit to the Festival and for all information on access for people with limited mobility or Reduced gold Accessing the site by car, on bike or on foot:  montrealjazzfest.com ,  Access to the Site  tab.

Pre-opening concert

Beck
with The Ghost of a Sabre Tooth Tiger (Sean Lennon and Charlotte Kemp Muhl)

June 25, 8 pm, Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, PdA

When the preeminent icon of the alternative lands Music Scene with a new album, the highly-Anticipated Morning Phase 6 Years After Modern Guilt -we-have all reason to rejoice.

When he arrived at this festival for the first time, we’re over the moon! The voice and vision of a generation since the blockbuster success of Loser in 1994 Beck Brings us the mind-blowing alterna-folk, blues and silky inimitable artistic not touch that make him extraterrestrially brilliant!

Opening Bell Event

Woodkid

June 26, 9:30 pm, TD Internship

Three years ago, he set off a buzz Take That Has not quit since the release of the superb video for Iron -viewed over 27 million times on YouTube! This versatile French artist weaves a cinematic Pop That transport and moves the listener. After Delivering phenomenal performance falling on the Festival andJazz All-Year Round last year, he’s back to full the Hat Trick: Outdoor Concert Opening the 35th edition of this magnificent …

Indoor opening concert

Alain Lefèvre with the OSM, The Gershwin Legacy
June 26 & 27, 7 pm, Maison symphonique de Montreal

Not only do two superb thesis concerts celebrate the Festival’s 35th birthday, They Also spotlight the 80th season of the OSM and the 90th anniversary of George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue , the first work to bring jazz into the World’s Most prestigious concert halls. The event promises to be a memorable one, both, in Festival history and in pianist and composer Alain Lefèvre’s career, as he surrounds himself with old friends and musical Accomplices for the occasion derived, namely, two leading figures on the Montreal jazz scene, double bassist Michel Donato and drummer Paul Brochu.

Sold out concerts

All tickets for the Following concerts-have-been already sold:

♫  Alain Lefèvre (June 26, 8 pm, Maison symphonique de Montreal)

♫  Cecile McLorin Salvant (June 26 and 27, 9 pm, L’Astral)

♫  Jordan Officer (June 27, 28 and 29, 7 pm, Savoy)

♫  Rufus Wainwright (June 27, 28 and 29, 8 pm, Théâtre du Nouveau Monde)

♫  Beth Hart (June 28, 7 pm, Club Soda)

♫  Keith Jarrett (June 28, 8 pm, Maison symphonique de Montreal)

♫  Stacey Kent . Opening act: Emie R Roussel Trio (June 28, 8 pm, Théâtre Maisonneuve, PoA)

♫  Earth, Wind & Fire (June 30, 7:30 pm, Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, PoA)

♫  Bobby McFerrin (June 30, 8 pm, Maison symphonique de Montreal)

♫  Tigran and Brad Meldhau (July 2, 6 pm, Gesù – Centre for Creativity)

♫  Aretha Franklin (July 2, 7:30 pm, Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, PoA)

♫  Diana Ross (July 3, 7:30 pm, Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, PoA)

Indoor concerts pick up your tickets now

Altho Many concerts are sold out, tickets REMAIN available for the Following:

Daniel Lanois and very special guests Emmylou Harris and Trixie Whitley -June 26, 7:30 pm, Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier -

Finally back in Montreal, explore music, inspired renowned artist and producer Daniel Lanois takes hold of Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier Accompanied by His group, Including astonishing drummer Brian Blade, and two very notable guests: the sublime Trixie Whitley, Whose leaves us speechless stunning voice with every successive performance; and legendary singer and musician Emmylou Harris, back in Montreal for the first time since 2006, a 12-time Grammy winner Including the 1996 Best Contemporary Folk Album award for Wrecking Ball , produced by none other than … Daniel Lanois.

Cassandra Wilson Opening act: Andreas Varady - June 26, 8 pm, Théâtre Maisonneuve, PdA -

Singer Cassandra Wilson Effective returns a four-year absence, When She shared the bill of the opening concert of the Festival with Lionel Richie. With only her voice, her blues sensibility and flair for the unexpected, the winner of the 1999 Miles Davis Award Brings us a milestone concert marking the 20th anniversary of her famed album Blue Light ‘Til Dawn .First goal, a good hand of applause for jazz guitar wunderkind and Quincy Jones Andreas Varady protected!

Angélique Kidjo . Opening act: Karim Diouf – June 26, 8:30 pm, Metropolis – It’s always an enormous pleasure to welcome the funkiest of African diva Angelique Kidjo, back at the Festival with her ​​13th album Eve , written and Recorded in tribute to African women . Dig into funk-soul piece steeped in African traditions, Reviews another chapter in the career of this renowned sincere, passionate and authentic big-hearted activist. Opening the evening, make way for forming Colocs member Karim Diouf, has Launched Have you solo career last year with a debut album of universal tweaked pop with reggae and African rhythms, Adouna .

Van Gogh Go – June 27, 11 pm, Club Soda – Celebrating the 20th anniversary of Their debut album, it’s the return of Montreal’s once and future coolest alt-pop duo, singer and guitarist Sandra Luciantonio-singer Daniel Tierney.They’ve returned to remind us of Reviews some of the great times of the ’90s, hot on the heels of Their moving and utterly convincing performance this past December in the Cabaret du Mile End … And along with Their hits, we can expect Some surprises , Including new songs!

Katie Melua, The Acoustic Tour - June 27, 7:30 pm, Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, PdA  – At just 19, she has Launched debut album That soared to phenomenal success in the UK. Her sophomore release made ​​her international star year.Talented young Katie Melua Wherever she goes charms audiences with her ​​elegant simplicity, remarkable voice, blues-tinged jazz and an understated, intense presence, perfectly Embodying a fresh authenticity. The songstress Have you Delivered the opening concert in Festival 2008 Effective returns a 5-year failure to offer us her latest bestseller, Ketevan . Presented Exclusively for the Festival’s 35th anniversary, this is her only concert in America.Absolutely ir-re-sis-ti-ble!

Dianne Reeves. Opening act: Nico Sarbanes - June 27, 8 pm Théâtre Maisonneuve, PdA – Les Grands concerts Rio Tinto Alcan series – Recipient of the 2002 Ella Fitzgerald Award and four Grammys Besides, Dianne Reeves HAS long since won her spot in the pantheon of jazz singers. A flamboyant onstage performer, loved by critics and audiences alike, she’s here to present her new album, Beautiful Life , a lovely marriage of R & B, Latin music, pop and jazz in Both new compositions and covers of Bob Marley, Fleetwood Mac and Marvin Gaye . Terri Lyne Carrington produced by, the album features the talents of aussi Esperanza Spalding, Gregory Porter and the late George Duke. The evening begins with young trumpet player and singer Montreal Nico Sarbanes.  

. Nikki Yanofsky Opening act: Jon Batiste and Stay Human - June 27, 8:30 pm, Metropolis – She Was Discovered at the Festival in 2006 When she was just 12; now, the darling of Montreal jazz HAS Become a singer of international caliber. She’s been hailed at the Olympia in Paris, the Blue Note Jazz Club in New York, and falling on her last stop Festival, a three-night run in TNM; now, the young artist is under the artistic wing of legendary producer Quincy Jones and returns to present a new album, Little Secret , that ‘utterly lives up to expectations The Highest! Opening the evening, welcome sensational young New Orleans jazzman Jon Batiste backed by Stay Human.

Rudresh Mahanthappa - June 27, 10:30 pm Gesù – Centre for Creativity -Named a Rising Star in the Downbeat International Critics Poll in 2010, saxman Mahanthappa now Has the profile of an old pro. An inspired gifted instrumentalist and composer, Rudresh Mahanthappa never lacks for progressive projects projects fusing Indian music, classical, avant-jazz, etc..The alto saxophonist Brings us His revolutionary artistic perspective and his Most recent project, Gamak , Accompanied by musicians Rez Abbasi (guitar), François Moutin (bass) and Dan Weiss (drums). Huge.

Hercules & Love Affair + Andy Butler (DJ set) June 27, 11 pm, Club Soda – Captained by New York DJ Andy Butler, Hercules & Love Affair the project is an odyssey into primal disco-house territory. Filled out by John Grant, Mary Rouge, Krystle Warren and Gustaph, the group Recently released The Feast of the Broken Heart , Conceived with nighthawks in mind. With a touch of techno and pop to make things hyper-available and totally danceable, the result is at once retro and futurist, melodic and rocking.

Changes to the program

Psychology Will open for Snoop Dogg in Metropolis on July 4, 11 pm ( Les Rythmes series).

Kumbia Gypsy Orchestra ‘s performance on July 4 in the festive Love is canceled. Roma Carnivale Will replace em.

The Farruquito concert ( Improvisao ), scheduled on July 2, 6 pm in Théâtre Maisonneuve (MoU) is canceled.

 

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What’s Happening on Rick Keene Music Scene?

What are you doing this week?

Mending the piece of  fence where the cattle escaped through? Cooking up a pot of grits to feed the outlaws who are coming to town to soak up the Jazz Festival?

Whatever it is - fear not …

Visit Rick Keene Music Scene all week to hear some great interviews along with some great tunes. The Jazz festival is starting on Thursday – so for the following ten days; a bevy of show reviews coming your way.

Thanks for listening!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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