Newport Jazz has announced its schedule (August 1-3), the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival is right on our doorstep (April 25-May 4), and tickets are also on sale for the 35th anniversary edition of the Festival International de Jazz de Montreal (June 26-July 6).
Montreal artistic director Andre Menard was in Boston on Monday to present this year’s festival line-up to press and local presenters and also offer a sneak peak at some shows that won’t be announced officially until April 23.
In acknowledging the Boston scene, Menard cited Newton’s George Wein, co-founder of the Newport Jazz Festival, as a particular inspiration, whose words of advice 35 years ago were, “If you want to lose your shirt, go ahead.” Well, it didn’t turn out that way, and the Montreal festival is now huge. Tickets for many shows are now on sale, with more concerts to be announced and tickets released on April 23 (www.montrealjazzfest.com).
In case you’ve never been, the festival takes over downtown Montreal for 10 days, with hundreds of free open-air events going on all day and ticketed theatre and club events in the evening. This year’s big names include Diana Ross (July 3 and 4), Beck (June 25), and Michael Buble (July 4-5). Rufus Wainwright will play a series of solo shows (June 27-29).
On the jazz end of the spectrum, both Keith Jarrett and Brad Mehldau will give solo piano recitals (June 28 and July 1, respectively). Singers Cassandra Wilson, Dianne Reeves, Stacey Kent, Cécile McLorin Salvant, and Buika are all on the bill (June 26-29), and the cantankerous Ginger Baker is coming in with his Jazz Confusion project (June 28).
One of the oddest features on the bill is “For the Record: Tarantino in Concert” (June 25, 28-29), in which “28 musicians, dancers, and performers” will seek to represent the Master’s oeuvre in a concert setting.
Many more concerts will be announced on April 23, including plenty of left-of-the-dial indie jazz pathbreakers. Watch this space for more news.