As my first time living in a big city, I’m learning that there is always something to do. Starting this week: Festival International de Jazz de Montréal.
From June 28th to July 7th, the 33rd Montréal International Festival of Jazz will be showcasing artists from around the world. The festival has played host to legends like Miles Davis, Ray Charles, and Aretha Franklin and continues to pay homage to the greats. While not just featuring jazz, there is an interesting mix of style and musical categories (I’m not sure how The Dirty Projectors and Purity Ring fit in here…) and there is a sense of Montréal pride; the festival features home-grown artists like Leonard Cohen as well as lesser known up-and-coming musicians.
Ticket costs for various events range depending on the level of stardom; Liza Minnelli tickets start at $80 while you can see Purity Ring for $20.
But the best part, for us frugal individuals… they feature multiple daily and nightly free concerts. And not just no-name entertainers.
Rufus Wainwright, in the park, for free. I’m new to this whole big-city thing, I could get used to this… Wainwright kicked off the first night of the festival with a free concert that didn’t disappoint. He was spot on. The concert featured songs past and present and family members, like his talented sister Martha Wainwright. He wore bright red velvet pants and a sequined red sweater (“I wore this because I heard Liza was here – your move Liza!”), spoke in broken French (technically American, he grew up in Montréal) and put on an amazing show. Did I mention it was free?
Aside from transportation fees, you can expect to find something free and fun almost anytime at Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, and there are two more major events to check out.
The festival is around the Quartier des Spectacles.