Summer’s almost here and with it comes festivals, and one of the very best on the North American continent is the Montreal Jazz Festival. From June 30 through July 12-the Festival’s 30th Anniversary-the picturesque city of Montreal will host a gathering of perhaps the most diverse assortment of international talents imaginable. There’ll be ticketed concerts and many free events-following is a cross-section
A pre-opening concert, June 26: A partial reunion of one of the most seminal groups in jazz: The Gary Burton Quartet! Preceding even Miles Davis, Burton explored fusion, and like Miles, his bands were "schools" & this lineup features grads Pat Metheny, Steve Swallow, and Antonio Sanchez.
Fans of vocalists, take note: Tony Bennett (July 3), Jamie Cullum (July 1), Patricia Barber (July 10), Madeleine Peyroux (July 3 & 5), Luciana Souza (July 1), and Joe Cocker (July 9) are slated.
Classic jazz? Of course: Dave Brubeck (July 4), Bill Charlap/Houston Person Duo (July 10), Jimmy Cobb’s "So What" Band featuring Wallace Roney, Vincent Herring, Javon Jackson, Larry Willis & Buster Williams (July 6), George Wein’s Newport All Stars (July 10), and the Glenn Miller and Harry James Orchestras (July 12).
The "edge": Ornette Coleman Quartet (July 9), Wayne Shorter Quartet (July 3), Bill Frisell (July 8), Brian Blade (July 4), and Rudresh Mahanthappa’s Indo-Pak Coalition (July 9).
To whom "category" means little: Blues-rock/fusion guitar wizard Jeff Beck (July 6), African kings King Sunny Ade & Femi Kuti (July 5), Malian diva Oumou Sangare (July 8), UK progressive rock pioneers Van der Graaf Generator featuring Peter Hammill (July 9), and the amazing Lila Downs (July 10).
Plus: Much, much more! Call (from within Canada or USA toll-free): 1-888-515‑0515 or visit montrealjazzfest.com!