Friday, March 6, 2009

Montreal Jazz Festival enhancements

There will be more to celebrate - and enjoy - when the 30th edition of the Festival International de Jazz de Montreal is held July 1 to 12.

The festival, the world's finest - and largest - jazz event, draws more than 2 millon attendees and 3,000 musicians from 30 countries for its 550 concerts (370 of them free outdoor events).

By the time the festival opens, the production organization Equipe Spectra will have opened its own new building that adds a new venue in the festival's downtown site, in and around the Place des Arts. Festival Co-Founder and Artistic Director Andre Menard said that new building, Maison du Festival de Jazz, will house a 350-seat cabaret-style performance hall, restaurant, hall of fame, archives and exhibition space. It will also house the festival's media space.

Co-Founder/Artistic Director Andre Menard, 2008 ... >

Every five years, the festival has added a prestigious new annual award to honor musicians from various genres. This year it is adding the Bruce Lundvall Award to honor the achievement of a non-musician from either the music business or the media. Menard said in Boston this week that the first recipient of that new award will be Bruce Lundvall himself, for his 25 years as president of Blue Note Records and his many other contributions to the industry.

Festival headliners this year include Jeff Beck, blues guitarists Buddy Guy and Susan Tedeschi, pianist Chucho Valdes, singers Melody Gardot, Patricia Barber and Madeleine Peyroux - and many more to be announced later this month.

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