Brandi Disterheft - March 29, 8 p.m., L'Astral - Not content with showers of praise from Oscar Peterson, brilliant opening slots for Diana Krall, Dave Brubeck and Herbie Hancock and winning a Juno, the young double bassist and composer of the moment caused quite the commotion at the Festival last summer and was named 2009-2010 Révélation Radio-Canada Musique! Naturally, we'll be thrilled to welcome the Vancouver native back to L'Astral, with pieces from Second Side, her latest CD, ranked among the 10 best albums of the year in any genre by the Globe and Mail. Hers is a remarkably refreshing jazz-pop that is truly in its element onstage!
Charlie HunterApril 21, 8 p.m. - He was part of the Guitarissimo series during last summer's MontrealGuitar Show: in other words, welcome to virtuosity! After amazing fans with his 8-string bass/guitar hybrid, he returned to a simple" 7-string on his new album, Public Domain-a self-explanatory selection of public domain" pieces chosen by his 100-year-old grandfather. Immediately preceding that, this talented and eclectic innovator, raised on old blues and soul numbers, will treat us to a duet performance featuring drummer Terence Higgins of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band!
Sophie Hunger - April 29, 8 p.m., L'Astral - Her debut album, Monday's Ghost (certified gold in her native country), propelled the Swiss singer to the top of the European charts in 2008. The 2010 follow-up, 1983, a fusion of folk, jazz and blues, is even more ravishing, but it is her live presence that sets tongues wagging-look no further than her first visit to Festival, last summer. Hunger is one of those special artists with a mysterious command of the stage, bewitching us and leaving us wanting more, more, more. A stunning voice, a soul full of blues and a rare, wondrous talent with attitude... We just had to invite her back! Better yet, she'll showcase new songs from her forthcoming album...
Ibrahim MaaloufMay 7, 8 p.m., L'AstralTrumpeter Ibrahim Maalouf had been known mainly foraccompanying other artists until he launched Diasporas in 2007, a debut album that immediately put him on the map. Two years later, his second release, Diachronism, was an ambitious project allying nu-jazz, roots, world and electronica in sublime musical moments, embodying the multiple identities and contradictions cherished by the gifted Franco-Lebanese artist. After having crept among our favourites in his first visit to the Festival last year, he returns in a more intimate format, a duet with pianist Frank Woeste.