As the summer of festivals rolls on, this week we will preview the 37th Annual Montreal Jazzfest with the focus being on what to go see if you don’t really care about jazz music. Fact is most people who go to this festival are looking for a nice night out of the house as much as anything else.
With that in mind this preview has a few rules:
- All shows must appeal to a variety of different musical tastes.
- All shows must appeal to people who only have a passing interest in music.
- All shows must be free!
The Hot Sardines
At first I was going to do an entire Jazzfest preview without any performances that would actually fall into the category of jazz but then I heard the Hot Sardines and decided this should top my list of what to do tonight. This New York based ensemble has a very dance-able up tempo swing sound and killer horn section that would get you out of your seat if you had one.
But seeing as how they’re playing one of the big outdoor stages on a beautiful long weekend evening you should be warned: you won’t have a place to sit. Get there early if you want a spot up front or do what I do and hang in the back for a little extra breathing/dancing room.
This show is perfect for the “I have no clue about music but I’m in the mood to pretend I know how to swing dance” crowd.
The Hot Sardines play The Rio Tinto Stage (Corner of Ste. Catherine and Jeanne Mance), Thursday, June 30th, 8:00pm and 10:00pm, free.
The Eagle Rock Gospel Singers
By combining modern day gospel music, indie rock, powerful vocal harmonies and upbeat catchy music the Eagle Rock Gospel Singers are a solid choice to entertain those heading down to the fest on Canada Day. Sidenote: Happy Canada Day everyone!
Their music has a very warm and accessible feel and you certainly don’t have to know the tunes beforehand to get into them.
The Eagle Rock Gospel Singers play The Rio Tinto Stage (Corner of Ste. Catherine and Jeanne Mance), Friday, July 1st, 8:00pm and 10:00pm, free.
Kalmunity Vibe Collective
On either Friday or Saturday night you can catch a free indoor show (I had no idea they did that, did you?) by local arts collective Kalmunity Vibe Collective. This ensemble of over 50 singers and musicians combines RnB, hip-hop, spoken word, afrobeat, funk, reggae, soul, jazz, electronic and more into an improvised jam session.
This show certainly falls into the “combining different styles of music” category which is perfect for a big group of people heading down. No two shows are the same so if you like what you hear there’s no rule against going to both performances. The showtimes are a bit late but who cares, it’s a long weekend!
Kalmunity Vibe Collective play Savoy du Métropolis, 59 Ste. Catherine St. East, Friday, July 1st, 11:59pm and Saturday July 2nd 11:59pm, free.
The Liquor Store
Also representing the local scene in a big way at this year’s fest is The Liquor Store whose fusion of jazz, funk and hip hop is the perfect mix of the classic jazz sound with more modern styles. Think of it this way, both baby boomers and millennials will find something they like about this show.
They’re playing four times between next Sunday and next Friday so check the schedule, pick a show and head on down. Bring grandma, bring your kid, bring your hipster buddy who spends way too much time talking about gentrification. They’ll all have a good time.
The Liquor Store play Savoy du Métropolis, 59 Ste. Catherine St. East, Sunday, July 3rd, 11:59pm and Monday July 4th 11:59pm, as well as Valet de Carreau Bar – Casino de Montréal, 1 Casino Ave. Thursday July 7th, 11:00pm and Friday July 8th, 11:00pm, all shows are free.
* The full schedule of the festival is available at montrealjazzfest.com
* Featured image: tourisme-montreal.org
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