Off Festival de Jazz celebrates its 20th season!

Music that is fun and challenging – newly composed, developed, and performed by our best and most active jazz messengers, is on the menu for this year’s Off Festival de Jazz de Montréal. It features 19 concerts over two long weekends Oct. 3–6, and Oct. 10–13.

The big opener Oct. 3 is a must-hear concert called Unstoppable, music by saxophonist Joel Miller, assisted by noted composer John Rea, for a 19-member Big Band, directed by Christine Jensen. It’s at the Gesù, 1200 Bleury, 8pm.

Another highlight happens Wed., Oct. 9 – a double-header featuring vocalist Karen Young and pianist Marianne Trudel with a selection of Joni Mitchell songs, followed by the Sarah Rossy Chamber Ensemble, launching a CD, at the venerable Lion d’Or, 1676 Ontario E., 8pm. Pianist/vocalist Rossy is both composer and leader of the septet, which includes a string trio, bass, drums, and saxophone.

A more adventurous initiative follows on Friday at 8pm at Ausgag, a relatively new room at 6524 St. Hubert, and it too is a double-header presenting a Chicoutimi-based sextet from its Centre d’Experimentation musical and a multi-media program of electronica, jazz, improv, poetry, and videos. Then, bassist Frédéric Alarie joins the sextet with an experimental program of recorded and improvised interpretations of impressionist styles and music inspired by the free wheeling spirit of Karlheinz Stockhausen.

The closer on Sat., Oct. 12 features The Orchestre National de Jazz playing The Mystic Mind suite commissioned for the orchestra and composed by trombonist Jean-Nicolas Trottier, at
8pm, L’Astral, 305 Ste. Catherine W.

Other concerts take place at Dièse Onze and Upstairs Jazz Bar & Grill.

For the full lineup, click on or call 514-524-0831.

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