Montreal, Monday, June 29, 2015 — Alain Simard, president and founder of L’Équipe Spectra, and CEO Jacques-André Dupont will announce in a press conference today that the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal archives, documenting 30 years of music in Montreal, will be donated to the Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec. The press conference will be held at 11 a.m. in the Salle Stevie-Wonder in the Maison du Festival Rio Tinto Alcan (305 Ste. Catherine St. W.) in the presence of Hélène David, ministre de la Culture et des Communications et ministre responsable de la Protection et de la Promotion de la langue française, and Christiane Barbe, CEO of the Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec. This donation marks the largest private audiovisual archive preserved by the BAnQ to date.
The Festival International de Jazz de Montréal archives are a treasure-trove of musical riches, including 2660 original videos capturing performances from the very first edition of the Festival in 1980, up to the 2008 edition. The collection offers a vast array of regal treats, from the very first filmed concerts by Pat Metheny, brothers Wynton and Branford Marsalis and Diana Krall (her very first show!) to Sonny Rollins, right through to Nina Simone’s final performance in Canada; from the first North American show by tango transformer Astor Piazzolla to visits by the great Dave Brubeck, equally dazzling in both quartet and symphonic mode, and icons Oscar Peterson, Oliver Jones and Vic Vogel, a loyal friend since the very first edition who will deliver his farewell concert this Friday during the 36th edition of the Festival! The collection comprises rarities and entire one-of-a-kind concerts by everyone from our very first artist at the Festival, Ray Charles, to Ornette Coleman, who just passed away, including such legends as Tom Waits, Buddy Rich, Miles Davis and Maynard Ferguson. There are also programs on jazz, previously unseen interviews with artists, and visuals from press events, awards presentations and major outdoor events.
The directors of L’Équipe Spectra would like to express their immense pride in knowing that these recordings will be preserved by the BAnQ, especially since this ensures that our cultural memory will remain in Québec rather than in foreign hands. In addition to covering the history of the world’s largest jazz festival, these recordings represent one of the world’s most important and voluminous musical catalogues, documenting the evolution of jazz in all its forms over the course of three exalting decades, as well as the history of the Festival and the metamorphosis of a site that led to the creation of the Quartier des Spectacles and the Place des Festivals.
Thanks to this donation by L’Équipe Spectra, the BAnQ can ensure the durability of an entire section of contemporary Québécois history. The Festival International de Jazz de Montréal archives certainly present a golden opportunity to researchers: not only doe they capture the history of 30 years of music-making in Montreal, they also offer a testament to Québécois know-how and entrepreneurial spirit, while documenting the cultural and urban evolution of the city. The archives will gradually be made accessible to the public via the BAnQ website: banq.qc.ca/fijm.
L’Équipe Spectra—514 5257732