MONTREAL — Summer in Montreal has officially begun — on a milestone musical note.
The Montreal International Jazz Festival, the city’s biggest summertime party, celebrates its 35th edition June 26 through July 6. This year’s event offers 250 ticketed indoor performances as well as more than 350 free concerts on 10 outdoor stages centered at Place des Festivals downtown.
FREE OUTDOOR EVENTS
First up, the big free outdoor events never disappoint and this year there are four.
Now this is a way to open a fest. Opening the festival is acclaimed singer songwriter and video director Yoann Lemoine, better known as his stage name Woodkid. The French-born performer, who combines layers of Baroque cinematic rock with pulsating moody neofunk, first made a name for himself as a video director overseeing the likes of Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream” and Lana Del Rey’s “Born to Die.” Woodkid performs June 26.
How do you top that? The big free outdoor bash continues with the incredible Diana Krall performing her “Glad Rag Doll Tour” June 29.
Next, the California-based Vintage Trouble kicks it up a blues rock notch on July 1. Closing the fest in a utopian underground hip-hop kind of way is Deltron 3030, aka Dan the Automator, Del the Funky Homosapien and Kid Koala on July 6.
All of the big free performances are held at the TD Stage at 9:30 p.m.
All of the free outdoor shows of the Jazz Fest are centered at Place des Festivals, an urban park along Jean Mance Street adjacent to Place des Arts.
The biggest tip to mention here — don’t even think of driving as the area is well served by Metro station Place des Arts. In addition, the Jazz Fest also coincides for a number of nights with the Montreal Fireworks Festival (June 28, July 5), which means the Jacques Cartier Bridge will be closed and the Champlain Bridge will probably be backed up. Get there at least by early evening.