The 31st Annual Festival International de Jazz de Montreal | June 25th – July 6th, 2010

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Festival International de Jazz de Montréal; The first concerts of the 31st edition of the Festival

Every year, thanks to the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal presented by TD in collaboration with Rio Tinto Alcan, Christmas reminds usŠ that we can’t wait for summer! That’s what happens when we unwrap the first concerts in what promises to be yet another rich, diverse and exciting edition! The 31st edition of Festival, presented from June 25 to July 6, 2010, is certainly no exception. And what better surprise than the magic of music under the Christmas tree! Better yet, all our secret Santas will receive a free copy of the souvenir book The Festival Under the Stars with every $150 purchase. Tickets for these concerts go on sale this Saturday, December 12 at noon.

David Sanborn and Joey DeFrancesco – June 25, 9:30 p.m., Théâtre Maisonneuve, PdA – Renowned-read, worshipped-as one of the greatest alto saxophonists ever, New York’s David Sanborn has transcended genres and inspired an entire generation of musicians with a hybrid musical language of unequalled intensity, coloured by rock’n’roll, R&B, pop and jazz. He has left his mark on recordings by Bowie, Wonder, Springsteen and the Rolling Stones. Over 10 years after his last Festival appearance in 1998, memorable for his remarkable stagecraft and undeniable charisma, this unpredictable composer brings us a complex and captivating 24th album, with American organist Joey DeFrancesco.

Harry Manx band – June 28, 6 p.m. Théâtre Maisonneuve, PdA (En voix Rio Tinto Alcan series) – A Festival regular and the new darling of the blues scene-just ask those who packed his concerts in L’Astral last autumn-Canadian Harry Manx appears here for the first time in band format. Blending classical ragas and groovin’ blues, Manx created his own unique genre which he dubs “Mysticssippi”. He performs with an eclectic variety of instruments, from lap steel to banjo, from harmonica to his 20-string sitar, the mohan veena. For those who fell hard for his latest album, Bread and Buddha, remember that Marx is a passionate devotee of collaborations in all genresŠ and that he’ll quite likely have a few surprise guests up his sleevesŠ

Taj Mahal double bill with The Fabulous Thunderbirds – June 28, 8:30 p.m., Métropolis (Rythmes Bell series) – In this corner, the return of the charismatic Taj Mahal (born Henry Saint Clair Fredericks), whose late-’60s albums including The Natch’l Blues and Giant Step are forever touchstones in the history of blues. Two pseudonyms, one overarching authenticityŠ In the other, the legendary Texas group we haven’t seen here at the Festival for 18 years! Led as always by singer-harmonica player Kim Wilson, the group (which formerly counted Jimmie Vaughan and Duke Robillard as members) remains an irresistible, powerhouse party band blasting out blues-rock-R&B with contagious energy. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the house-rockin’ bash of the summer!

George Benson, An Unforgettable Tribute to Nat King Cole – July 1, 7:30 p.m., Salle Wilfrid Pelletier, PdA (Les Événements spéciaux TD series) – An illustrious guitarist, George Benson has been composing, interpreting and redefining pop, R&B and jazz standards for over 30 years. He’s won 10 Grammy Awards, watched his songs zoom to the top of the Billboard charts and sold records in record-breaking numbers-the unforgettable Breezin’ (1976) was the first jazz album to be certified platinum. In a Canadian exclusive, he presents An Unforgettable Tribute to Nat King Cole, a vibrant tribute to the legendary crooner. This unique concert presents the masterpieces of the Cole songbook alongside gold from the Benson repertoire.

Laurie Anderson, Lou Reed and John Zorn – July 2, 7:30 p.m., Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, PdA (Les Événements spéciaux TD series) – The lady is an avant-garde musician and performer with a dizzying, incredibly diverse list of collaborations to her credit: Peter Gabriel, Brian Eno, Bobby McFerrin, Jean Michel Jarre, Philip Glass, but also poet John Giorno, choreographer Trisha Brown, writer William Burroughs and surrealist actor-comedian Andy Kaufman. The first gentleman (her husband) changed the way popular music sounds and thinks with the Velvet Underground-whose incalculable influence redefined the music of the late ’60s-and went on to write a peerlessly literate and transformative songbook including the global smash Walk On the Wild Side. While these two are making their first visits to the Festival, they can count on the second gentleman as their guide, since American saxophonist John Zorn is making his fifth appearance chez nous. Together, they make up a most intriguing trio of musical explorer-improvisers the likes of which we seldom experience!

John Scofield & The Piety Street Band – July 3, 6 p.m., Théâtre Maisonneuve, PdA (En voix Rio Tinto Alcan series) – Considered by critics as one of the “big three” of contemporary jazz guitar-with Pat Metheny and Bill Frisell – composer/instrumentalist John Scofield has been in constant evolution since the ’70s, racking up collaborations and projects with the titans of the genre, from Charles Mingus to Herbie Hancock. A Festival regular, he’ll perform this year with the Piety Street Band-formed by pianist Jon Cleary, drummer Ricky Fataar and bassist George Porter, Jr.-with whom he released the 36th album of his career last spring, Piety Street, a phenomenal critical and popular success, featuring his distinctive revitalization and reworking of blues and gospel.

A totally jazzy Christmas!
From December 12 to January 8 (or from December 10 for dedicated Spectra Newsletter subscribers), fans will receive a free copy of the souvenir book The Festival Under the Stars (a $40 value) with every $150 ticket purchase (including concerts in the Jazz All Year Round series)!
(Offer valid at the L’Astral box office only, upon presentation of tickets purchased between December 12, 2009 and January 8, 2010 at any other point of sale. Quantities are limited.)

Tickets go on sale Saturday, December 12 at noon

Tickets for the 31st edition of the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal go on sale Saturday, December 12 at noon and will be available from the Place des Arts box office (175 Ste. Catherine St. W.), at 514 842-2112 or from laplacedesarts.com. Tickets for the Jazz All Year Round series will be available from the L’Astral box office (305 Ste. Catherine St. W.), from the Festival’s central box office, located in Métropolis (59 Ste. Catherine St. E.), or from Ticketpro – ticketpro.ca, 514-908 9090 or 1-866-908 9090.

To get the jump on the crowd, sign up for the Spectra Newsletter and have the scoop on the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal emailed to your inbox. For further information, call the Bell Info-Jazz Line at 514 871 1881, toll-free at 1 888 515 0515, or visit montrealjazzfest.com.

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