Montreal Jazz Festival 2012

Esperanza Spalding
Montreal Jazz Festival: The Largest Jazz Festival in the World. If there ever was a world-class event in Montreal genuinely accessible to everyone and every budget, it's the Montreal Jazz Festival.

Named the largest jazz fest in the world in 2004 by the Guinness Book of World Records, the Montreal Jazz Festival offers its over two and a half million guests the choice of 500+ concerts spread out over 10 to 13 days, depending on the edition—in 2012, it runs from June 28 to July 7, 2012. And most of those shows are FREE. There are also special activities geared towards kids and the whole family.


Montreal Jazz Fest line-up—June 28-July 7

Fans of experimental and progressive rock will have a field day at the Montreal International Jazz Festival next year, judging from the first batch of shows announced Wednesday by festival organizers.

In what is being promoted as a festival premiere, German electronic group Tangerine Dream will perform June 30, 2012, at Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier of Place des Arts. Less dramatic, but also enticing, is the return of Van der Graaf Generator to Theatre Maisonneuve of Place des Arts July 3. They were at the festival in 2009—a year after leader Peter Hammill was on the schedule.

If none of that sounds quite funky enough for your taste, Grammy winner and festival fave Esperanza Spalding will also be back, this time at Metropolis. But the June 29 show—a funk-based affair with her Radio Music Society—will be very different from the string trio performance she delivered, to great acclaim, last year.

The Wayne Shorter Quartet, with the sax legend accompanied by Brian Blade, John Patitucci and Danilo Perez (Theatre Maisonneuve, June 29) will be among the other important shows, along with a concert by Chris Botti at the same venue on July 1.

Other confirmed performances are Club Soda concerts by the Eliane Elias Brasileira Quartet and Ceu (both on June 30, at 6 and 10 p.m. respectively), oddball jazz quartet Get the Blessing (Gesu, July 1), Strunz & Farah (Club Soda, July 3), Gianmaria Testa (Theatre Maisonneuve, July 4) and the Free Flamenco Trio, with David Pena Dorantes, Renaus Garcia-Fons and Theodosii Spassov, at the Maison symphonique de Montreal July 7.

Tickets for the Place des Arts shows can be purchased by phone at 514-842-2112 or online at laplacedesarts.com. For Club Soda concerts, phone 514-286-1010 or go to clubsoda.ca. Subscribers to the festival's information letter, Infolettre Spectra, can buy them now, as soon as they get their latest issue. For further details, go to montrealjazzfest.com or phone 514-871-1881.

The 33rd annual Montreal International Jazz Festival runs from June 28 to July 7, 2012.

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