Montreal International Jazz Festival: Our selections

Photo courtesy of stock.xchng

Here are suggestions for top concerts at indoor venues at this year’s Montreal International Jazz Festival. We’ve excluded non-jazz or sold-out events. A great variety of free outdoor concerts can be discovered daily.

June 26

Bassist Omer Avital, Israeli-born and trained, brings his thrilling and forward-looking quintet with Joel Frahm on sax to Upstairs Jazz Bar & Grill, 7 and 9:45 pm, $35 each set.

Oud player Rabih Abou-Khalil, the Arabic Oud master, blends traditional sounds with a jazz and modernist’s sensibility, Monument National, 8 pm, $34-$51.

Charnett Moffett, the hugely talented bassist, plays with electric guitar whiz Stanley Jordan and drummer Jeff (Tain) Watts, Gesù, 10:30 pm, $47-$54.

Do you have an event? Need space for your community group? Get in touch

Unitarian Church of Montreal


June 27

Bassist Avishai Cohen plays gorgeous melodies, at that rare higher level, with his trio, inculding pianist Nitai Hershkovitz and drummer Daniel Dor, Gesù, 6 pm, $42-$49.

Trumpeter Enrico Rava, Italy’s perennial jazz star, leads a quintet with trombonist Gianluca Petrella and pianist Giovanni Guidi, Monument National, 8 pm, $34-$51.

June 28

Bassist Avishai Cohen adds the innovative electric guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel to his trio to round out his series, Gesù, 6 pm, $47-$54.

The Bad Plus acoustic trio (Reid Anderson, drums; Ethan Iverson, bass; David King, piano) add snap, crackle and lyricism with tenor saxophonist Joshua Redman, Théâtre Maisonneuve, 8 pm, $47-$57.

Pianist Robert Glasper is neo soul and experimentation for meditation – a stunning talent that must be heard, with Vincente Archer (bass) and Damion Reid (drums), Monument National, 8 pm, $38-$55.

June 29

Jean Derome, Normand Guilbeault, Pierre Tanguay, the veteran Montreal-based sax-bass-drums trio, is tight, talented and fun to watch, L’Astral, 6 pm, $28-$32.

Guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel kicks off his Invitation series with his new quartet of Aaron Parks (piano), Eric Revis (bass), and Allan Mednard (drums), Gesù, 6 pm, $42-$49.

Guitarist John Scofield and saxophonist Joe Lovano are must-see musicians, with drummer Bill Stewart and bassist Larry Grenadier, Théâtre Maisonneuve, 8 pm, $52-$62.

Ron Miles on cornet challenges on the modal side of the spectrum with brilliant band-mates – Brian Blade on drums and Bill Frisell on guitar, Monument National, 8 pm, $33-$50.

Buster Williams (bass), Gary Bartz (saxophones), Al Foster (drums), and Larry Willis (piano), known as Heads of State, are jazz royalty, Gesù, 10:30 pm, $47-$54.

June 30

Guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel, much in demand as a sideman for his distinctive sound, unusual chords, and imaginative use of special effects, plays a rare solo gig, Gesù, 6 pm, $40-$47.

Saxophonist Wayne Shorter’s quartet – Danilo Perez (piano), John Petitucci (bass), Brian Blade (drums) – is the must-see group in jazz, with opening act 11-year-old piano virtuoso Joey Alexander, Maison symphonique de Montréal, 7 pm, $68-$93.

Pianist Harold Mabern is a living legend, best appreciated in an intimate bar setting, in a quartet with Jeremy Pelt (trumpet), Joe Farnsworth (drums), Brandi Disterheft (bass) at Upstairs Jazz Bar & Grill, 7 pm and 9:45 pm, $40 per set.

Pianist/conductor Vic Vogel, who turns 80 in August, says it’s a farewell concert, with his big band and special guests, Théâtre Maisonneuve, 8 pm, $38-$49.

July 1

Guitarist Gilad Hekselman, a young master trained in Israel and working out of New York City, leads a quartet with the sublime tenor saxophonist Mark Turner, Upstairs Jazz Bar & Grill, 7 pm and 9:45 pm. $37 per set.

Pianist Vijay Iyer offers a unique vision in his friendly avant approach, with Justin Brown (bass) and Stephan Crump (drums), Monument National, 8 pm, $28-$42.

Electric guitarist Nels Cline teams up with acoustic guitarist Julian Lage for what should be an innovative outing, Gesù, 10:30 pm, $42-$49.

July 2

Pianist Abdullah Ibrahim, formerly known as Dollar Brand, is an Ellingtonian whose rich chords reflect the colours of his native South Africa, Invitation Series solo, Gesù, 6 pm, $40-$47.

Guitarist Russell Malone is a self-taught master and his quartet is perfect for Upstairs Jazz Bar & Grill, 7 pm and 9:45 pm, also on July 3, $42 per set.

Pianist Lorraine Desmarais delivers on every musical level, in a rare solo outing, Gesù, 10:30 pm, $34-$41.

July 3

Pianist Abdullah Ibrahim sets aside his roots orientation with cellist Noah Alexander and saxophonist Cleave Guyton in his Japanese influenced Mukashi Trio, Gesù, 6 pm, $44-$51.

Brazilian pianist Eliane Elias, based in New York, showcases her Made In Brazil project, with bassist/husband Marc Johnson, guitarist Rubens de la Corte, and drummer Rafael Barata, Monument National, 8 pm, $43-$52.

Electric bassist Alain Caron, pianist John Roney, and the Alcan String Quartet collaborate in what should be a sublime effort, Gesù, 10:30 pm, $41-$48.

July 4

Ibrahim Abdullah and Ekaya, which means home in the Xhosa language, is the horn-rich septet in which his Capetown sound is best appreciated, Gesù, 6 pm. $47-$54.

Battle of the Bands, featuring the reconstituted Tommy Dorsey and Jimmy Dorsey Orchestras’ charts, is fun and nostalgic, Maison symphonique de Montréal, 7 pm, $89-$96.

Master bassist Ron Carter leading a quartet with pianist Renée Rosnes, is a must-see, Monument National 8 pm, $48-$61.

Patricia Barber always has a lot to say as a wry wordsmith and subtle pianist, Théâtre Maisonneuve, 8 pm, $47-$54.

Pianist John Medeski, whom we know as part of a trio with drummer Billy Martin and bassist Chris Wood is an outstanding solo improviser, Gesù, 10:30 pm, $38-$45.

July 5

Montreal Jubilation Gospel Choir closes the festival with one of its glorious performances at Maison symphonique de Montréal, 7 pm, $67-$74.

Pianist Uri Caine is a high-level and imaginative performer who can individualize any style of music and create something unique, Gesù, 10:30 pm, $34-$41.

Info: 514-871-1881


Be the first to comment on "Montreal International Jazz Festival: Our selections"

Talk to us ...

%d bloggers like this: