Browsing: Mainstream Jazz

With its roster of some 20 member events, Jazz Festival Canada is an umbrella organization that enables national and international artists to coordinate tours from coast to coast in the early summer. Canadian jazz festivals showcase a veritable cornucopia of styles for just about every taste. Here then are a few picks from the pack of shows scheduled during the upcoming festival blitz. Donny McCaslin – Now Beyond A year ago, saxophonist Kamasi Washington was pretty well the toast of the international jazz festival circuit. This time it’s Donny McCaslin’s turn to make the rounds. His appearance on David Bowie’s…

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Montreal St-Ambroise Fringe Festival Montreal, until June 18 The most convivial and bilingual event of the season, the Montreal St-Ambroise Fringe Festival takes place in the heart of the city on the Main. What makes it different? A program determined by lottery! Theatre, comedy, dance, music, and drag…no less than 153 talented companies from all over the world will be battling for your attention. The best way to pick is by reading the audience reviews posted in Parc des Amériques ­– an exercise that’s sure to make you a real fringier. My bets are on inVitro, by Pretium Doloris, the…

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Donny McCaslin Beyond Now / Motema Music Tenorman Donny McCaslin saw fit to doff his cap towards the man once known as Ziggy Stardust, including two of his tunes (“A Small Plot of Land” and “Warszawa”) on this his latest release. His appearance on Blackstar, Bowie’s musical testament issued but two days before his passing in early 2016, represents quite a career boost for this most deserving saxophonist. Not a tribute album per se, this outing has all the earmarkings of the slickness and polish of pop music that Bowie excelled at. In the disc’s nine tracks (a tenth available…

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INTERVIEW: with Lawrence Brownlee (and Opera Philadelphia general director David Devan). The busy life of one world-class tenor just got that much busier, and the American opera scene stands to benefit mightily by it. On March 30, Opera Philadelphia announced that renowned tenor Lawrence Brownlee will be its newest “artistic advisor” – a role in which the artist will carry an impressive brief of prerogatives for advancing the programming, outreach, and project development of a company already regarded as among the most progressive, energetic and innovative in the country. Brownlee is, of course, an international performance star, appearing regularly on…

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Pierre-Yves Martel – Quartetski et le loup (Bartók et Prokofiev dans le collimateur) Since his arrival in Montreal in 2004, Pierre-Yves Martel has carved himself a nice little niche in the city’s music scene. With a double bass and a viola di gamba in tow, this son of the Nation’s capital has become an integral part of Constantinople, a world-music group established by the Tabassian Brothers that fuses Persian music with those of other cultures. Parallel to that, Martel has found his way within the creative music scene, collaborating both locally with the musique actuelle crowd and forging links with…

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In February: DAME Struts her Stuff at the Gesù Any listener familiar with Montreal’s experimental music scene is aware of DAME. If you don’t, it is the moniker of the distributor of albums filed under musique actuelle, the company’s name short for Distribution Ambiances Magnétiques etcetera. Last year, its 25th anniversary went by unnoticed, but an event celebrating this was not discounted, simply put off to this year. The party is now set for the 16th of February at the Centre Gesù. And a party it will be, according to the company’s head Joane Hétu, for it will run from 7…

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The Romantic Spirit of Beethoven Infuses the Montreal Chamber Music Festival’s 22nd Season May 26 ~ June 18, 2017 Pre-Festival Prestige Series ~ February 1, May 6, and May 10 For Immediate Release, January 24, 2017, Montreal, Quebec … The Montreal Chamber Music Festival presents Beethoven: Passion romantique, dedicating its 22nd season to the spirit of Beethoven, the great master who represents the transition from the Classical to the Romantic era.  Founder and Artistic Director Denis Brott, C.M. has featured the music of Beethoven on almost all Festival concerts, anchored by the performance of the complete Beethoven string quartets over six…

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Roscoe Mitchell & The Montreal-Toronto Art Orchestra Saturday, October 15, 2016 Le Gesù, Centre de Créativité, Montreal Closing concert of the 17th edition of the Off Jazz Festival The stage of the Gesù Theatre in Montreal was pretty well taken up by instruments of all kinds on a recent mid-October evening: a host of woodwinds, some brass, a grand piano, two drum kits and a vibraphone. Come to think of it, it had all of the looks of a SMCQ concert (Quebec’s contemporary music society). The very size of the orchestra may well have brought to mind some of the…

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+ Jazz musician Guy Nadon, known as “le roi du drum” died at the age of 82. He passed away at 2 a.m. on Sunday in the Maison Neuve residence for older people where he lost his battle against kidney disease. He performed his last concert at the Montreal International Jazz Festival in June 2016. In 1998, he was awarded the jazz fest’s Oscar Peterson Award for outstanding contributions to the development of Canadian jazz. (English/French) + Peter Allen, voice on the radio for the Met Opera died at 96. He passed away at his home on Saturday in Manhattan. He presided…

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For its 17th edition the Off Festival de Jazz de Montréal (OFJM) dishes out what may well be its most ambitious program to date. All told, 24 shows of all stylistic stripes, from mainstream to avant-garde, will be staged in three concert halls (Lion d’or, Sala Rossa and the Gesù theatre) and as many clubs (Upstairs, Le Dièse onze and Résonance Café). The all-musician programming committee, presided by harmonica player Lévis Bourbonnais, is true to spirit in showcasing home-grown talent. Yet, it takes an important step forward by opening itself to more joint ventures between locals and guest musicians. Both…

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