Out & About: Montreal Jazz Fest 2017

The Francos are done, and now the Place des Festivals and many venues in Montreal open their doors to the Festival International de Jazz. There are so many artists that will be in town for this two week festival, you would honestly need to have the superpower of being a multiple places at once, or at least a way to go back in time to enjoy each and every show.

Everywhere in the city, the Festival International de Jazz has an excellent selection of free shows, and for those looking for a night out on the town, stopping at one of the venues with your date or friends is a perfect activity.

Here are some free shows that are on our must see list!

  • Sessions 375 – June 28th
    • To kick off the Festival, and to celebrate Montreal’s 375th birthday, a few stages will welcome a succession of most talented artists with the Sessions 375 lineup (Plants and Animals, The Franklin Electric, Milk & Bone, Coeur de Pirate, Half Moon Run, Tiger Sex Machine, Pierre Kwenders, and others).
      • This series will showcase artists that represent Montreal everywhere in the world. Look out for the Osheaga, îleSoniq and POP Montreal Sessions 375 lineups as well in the next months.
  • Speakeasy Electro Swing – June 29th, 30th and July 5th
    • A collab that brings electro swing from prohibition to light every month and in many cities, for 6 straight years now. On their website, we can read ‘’Welcome to the retro-future’’; I think that speaks for itself.
  • Valaire – June 30th
    • Previously known as Misteur Valaire, the band can entertain a crowd for hours and still look as if they have more energy than at the beginning of the show.
  • Discothèque – July 1st
    • Celebrate Canada Day on an outdoor dancefloor with Men Without Hats, Champion, Radio Radio, Carly Rae Jepsen and others.

If you’re looking to spend a little money, here are some of my favorite artists that will be in town that are definitely worth seeing once in your life.

For a dance worthy night

  • Jesse Cook and his mad flamenco guitar skills
    • I have been listening to his music since I was a little girl, my dad is a huge fan of his, and have had the chance to see him live. His music is infectious; all you want to do is get up and dance. From slow, mournful ballads, to high tempo traditional flamenco, you are guaranteed to have the night of your life.
    • You can see him at the Maison Symphonique de Montréal on July 8th at either 3pm or 8pm
  • The Gipsy Kings – feat. Nicolas Reyes & Tonino Baliardo
    • I get shivers every time I hear the opening riffs to their songs. Last time I was home, I stole their CD my mom had, which turns out was my dad’s, so I could dance my heart out when I do my dishes. You have without doubt heard some of their songs; they have been around for over 25 years! I definitely grew up with that CD playing on weekend mornings, and I can tell you, it will cheer you up no matter how down you are.
    • You can see them at the Théâtre Maisonneuve on July 1st at 8pm.

For an electro-jazz night

  • Thievery Corporation
    • DJ collective of Rob Garza and Eric Hilton formed Thievery Corporation in 1995, and cover all sorts of jazz, soul, bossa nova, etc. This time around, think reggae, trip hop and dub; definitely a show not to miss!
    • You can see them July 1st at 7:30pm at the Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier

For those of you wanting a run down memory lane

  • Men Without Hats
    • Known for their Safety Dance and Pop Goes the World hits, the band is set to rock your night away at the Club Soda on July 2 at 10pm
    • I’m going just to be able to do their signature dance moves

To watch Canadian queens

  • Feist
    • We haven’t heard from her in several years, the multiple award winner is back en force with her newest album Pleasure, her fifth studio album.
    • You can see her at the Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier on July 4th at 7:30pm
  • Diana Krall
    • Awarded with 5 Grammy awards and 8 Juno awards, Diana Krall will be gracing the stage as part of her new tour Turn Up The Quiet that revisits American vocal jazz.
    • I have always been in love with the sound of her voice, her talent on the piano, and her amazing collaborations with her husband, none other than Elvis Costello.
    • She will not be at the festival itself, but here in on November 29th and 30th at the Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, 8pm both nights

Who are you going to go see?

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