Montreal’s OFF Jazz Festival will be celebrating its 20th anniversary this fall!

La Scena Musicale's Discovery Box

Montreal, June 26 2019 – Montreal’s OFF Jazz Festival turns 20 this year! From the 3rd through the 12th of October, the festival is proud to present international musical collaborations, as well as several exclusive shows. A not-to-be missed crossroads for jazz fans and music lovers alike, The OFF Jazz Festival will welcome musicians from here and abroad, taking the stage for 19 concerts, held in eight of the most vibrant venues in the city. Its programming is of the highest quality and brimming with new discoveries. It shines a spotlight on seasoned artists, as well as on young creators from Montreal’s jazz scene.


For its 20th anniversary, The OFF Jazz Festival will showcase new local creations. Most notably, its opening night concert will be dedicated to the saxophonist Joel Miller and his project, UNSTOPPABLE, presented on Thursday October 3rd at 8:00PM at the Gesù. Mentored by the composer John Rea, Miller wrote a series of new works for an ensemble of 19 musicians. The music stands out from his previous work, skillfully blending concert music and big-band sounds, all under the masterful baton of the guest conductor Christine Jensen.

Joel Miller | Karen Young et Marianne Trudel (© Michel Pinault).

The evening of Wednesday October 9th at the Lion d’Or will feature the concert Portraits: Songs of Joni Mitchell by Karen Young and Marianne Trudel. These local legends will revisit the work of the great Canadian musician and painter, presenting several exclusive highlights of their interpretation of her work. The Sarah Rossy Chamber Ensemble will then take the stage, a project helmed by the young singer, pianist and composer Sarah Rossy, recipient of the Eleanor Stubley Award. A favorite of this year’s programming committee, she will be using this show as a platform to launch her album.

This edition will welcome a new collaboration with the Centre d’expérimentation musicale (CEM) de Chicoutimi, through two never-before seen performances on Friday October 11 at 8:00PM at the Ausgang. First up, Viñu-vinu and the CEM will present Exilio Transitorio, a multi-media concert composed and conceptualized by Gabriel Vinuela (Viñu-vinu). The project, which blends electronic music, the harmonic language of jazz, improvisation, poetry and video projections, has six musicians gracing the stage. Then, the upright bass player, Frédéric Alarie, and the musicians of the CEM will take the stage with a project that combines two musical styles – impressionism (Ravel, Debussy) and intuitive music (Stockhausen) – within several improvisational frameworks integrating pre-recorded Octobass sounds that are programmed to respond to improvisation in an instantaneous way.

Finally, the closing night, which will take place at the Astral on Saturday October 12th at 8:00PM promises to be a phenomenal one, since the festival has the honor of welcoming the Orchestre national de jazz (ONJ), featuring the trombonist and composer Jean-Nicolas Trottier and his work,

Mystic Mind Suite. The concert, which will double as a launch for the ONJ’s third album, will highlight the virtuosity of its soloists Yannick Rieu, Rafael Zaldivar and Sylvain Provost.

Sarah Rossy | Frédéric Alarie (© Richard de Grandmont).


The OFF Jazz Festival serves as a crossroads that shines the spotlight on Quebec’s Jazz scene. Created in 2000 by passionate Montreal musicians, this unifying event offers a program that brings together high-quality music, creativity and free expression. A hub of original projects and large-scale shows, the festival will take place in several legendary Montreal venues, such as the Cabaret du Lion d’Or, Upstairs, the Dièse Onze and the Astral.

Over the years, The OFF Jazz Festival has become an eagerly anticipated event for music fans, as well as for all those who are curious about the contemporary jazz scene. Certain shows will be free, while others will be in the $10 to $35 range. A festival passport will be made available for $105, and only $85 for musicians, seniors, as well as members of the Quebec Musician’s Union. The complete program will be unveiled on September 4th during a “5 à 7” happy hour, which is open to the public. From that date forward, you will find all the details of the program on the website:

*** Tickets are now on sale for the opening concert on October 3rd. As of July 22, tickets will be on sale for the concerts taking place on October 9, 11 and 12. ***

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