The first concerts of the 33rd edition of the Festival…

Liza Minnelli, Melody Gardot, Jack Bruce-Cindy Blackman-John Medeski-Vernon Reid in Spectrum Road, Richard Galliano, Lila Downs, The Barr Brothers,  as well as Stanley Clarke hosting four concerts in the Invitation series, and the musical The Life and Blues of Bessie Smith: The Devil’s Music… and the hits keep coming!
Tickets on sale Saturday at 10 a.m. Exclusive pre-sale for Infolettre Spectra subscribers: starts Thursday!

Montreal, Wednesday, February 8, 2012 – Fans were already buzzing over the first concert announcements of the 33rd edition of the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal presented by TD in collaboration with Rio Tinto Alcan, but now the excitement is reaching fever pitch! Once again, the legends, hot new stars and must-see artists of jazz and its musical cousins assemble in Montreal to illuminate our marquees and promise an exceptional edition bristling with musical vim and vigour! Tickets for these concerts go on sale Saturday, February 11 at 10 a.m. … although Infolettre Spectra subscribers can buy them upon reception of their latest issue of the newsletter, up until Friday at 6 p.m.

Richard GallianoRichard Galliano, From Bach to PiazzollaJune 28, 7 p.m., Maison symphonique de Montréal – One of the most important accordionists of the modern era, Richard Galliano is also renowned for having integrated the accordion into jazz, alongside saxophones and trumpets. But the heir to the immortal Astor Piazzolla loves all musical genres… and all instruments. For this unique concert, the accordionist will be accompanied by a classical string section for a stunning overview of his creative genius, from Bach (whose works he recorded for a 2010 album) to the master, Piazzolla, marking the 20th anniversary of his passing. Magic.

Jack Bruce, Cindy Blackman, John Medeski and Vernon Reid, Spectrum Road June 28, 9:30 p.m., Théâtre Maisonneuve, PdA (Les Grands concerts Rio Tinto Alcan series) – This aptly-named All Star Band of virtuosi is, in fact, a very young group: born in 2008 in Tokyo, they took their first steps in the U.S. with a 2011 tour and dropped a debut album last spring. The “young pups”-Vernon Reid (guitar), John Medeski (keyboards) and Cindy Blackman (drums)-joined former Cream member (with Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker), Jack Bruce (bass and vocals) to form the group as a testament to their admiration for Tony Williams, perhaps the greatest drummer in history, and his group Lifetime, a revolutionary icon of the 1970s. Welcome a group of rare quality, making an exclusive visit to our Festival.


Melody Gardot Melody Gardot- June 29, 7:30 p.m., Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, PdA (Les Événements spéciaux TD series) – Rest assured, you’re not the only one whose heart skipped a beat to learn that this woman was returning to the Festival! A genuine revelation of the 2010 Festival (or anywhere she’s ever sung…), this charming 27-year-old singer, guitarist and pianist from Philadelphia returns with her incredible magnetism and magnificent voice to fire the souls and hearts of her Montreal fans. Better yet, three years after her divine sophomore album, My One And Only Thrill, Ms Melody rolls in with songs from a third album due in late May.



Lila DownsJune 30, 10 p.m., Métropolis, (Les Rythmes series) – Mexico’s Lila Downs contributed to the soundtrack of the film Frida. Whether singing in Mixtec, Zapotec, Mayan, Nahuatl, English or Spanish, performing her own songs or re-reading ranchera classics, she has built an exceptional artistic reputation. In 2009, the irresistible, incredible singer-dancer once again conquered Festival fans and packed Club Soda to the rafters. This time, she returns with another ace up her sleeve, a brand new album, Palomo Del Comalito.



The Barr Brothers July 1, 8:30 p.m., Métropolis (Les Rythmes series) – Originally from Rhode Island, the Barr brothers, Brad and Andrew, formed a quartet with their compadres, harpist Sarah Page and multi-instrumentalist Andrés Vial. Their debut album, The Barr Brothers, swings and sways harmoniously between folk, rock and blues. After their sold-out show in La Tulipe and a concert at MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE 2012, this fave group finally Barrels into the Festival, in a cabaret format!

The Life and Blues of Bessie Smith: The Devil’s Music July 2 to 7, 7 p.m. (July 3, 8 p.m.), Cinquième Salle, PdA – Yes, they’ve often called the blues “The Devil’s Music.” And the legendary Bessie Smith-no angel, it’s true-wore them well, working and living as an ambassadress for the music in the 1920s and 1930s. In this show, a critically-acclaimed biographical tribute halfway between one-woman show and musical, the multidisciplinary Miche Braden (pronounced “Miki”) uses her voice and presence, beautifully supported by a trio of musicians, to bring to life the woman known forever as “The Empress of the Blues.”


Liza Minnelli – July 5, 7:30 p.m., Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, PdA (Les Événements spéciaux TD series) – She is nothing short of a legend, one Festival organizers have tried to book for ages! A genuine global Superstar, she has left her mark on music, TV and film as well as, of course, Broadway, collecting an avalanche of awards: 4 Tony Awards, an Oscar, a special “Legends” Grammy, 2 Golden Globe, and Emmy… Renowned for her unforgettable concerts, Judy Garland’s daughter has been a guaranteed SRO performer for decades. After New York, New York, we finally welcome her to Montreal!



 Invitation TD Series

An Acoustic Evening with Stanley Clarke and Hiromi June 28, 8 p.m., Théâtre Jean-Duceppe, PdA – An extraordinary bassist, inspired composer and prolific collaborator, Stanley Clarke has racked up a stunning array of projects over the past four decades. For this first concert in the Invitation series, he invites us to a duet with sparking Japanese pianist Hiromi, whom we’ve enjoyed and applauded three times at the Festival since 2005.

Stanley Clarke and the Harlem String Quartet June 29, 8 p.m., Théâtre Jean-Duceppe, PdA – Credit where credit is due! After collecting the Miles Davis Award last year alongside his performance with Return to Forever, Stanley Clarke returns to host the first leg of the prestigious Invitation series. Renowned for his collaborations with artists from all backgrounds and genres, the virtuoso bassist and composer calls on the Harlem String Quartet, a soaring young group that performed at the White House for President Obama. They’re sure to add a few strings to his bow…

SMV – Stanley Clarke, Marcus Miller, Victor Wooten June 30, 9:30 p.m., Théâtre Maisonneuve, PdA – The SMV trio? It’s the Holy Trinity of bass! The epic Stanley Clarke, living legend of the four-string axe, needs no introduction. Victor Wooten, member of Béla Fleck’s Flecktones, is a high-octane soloist and respected composer. Marcus Miller, who came to fame alongside Miles Davis, has established himself as one of the most gifted jazzmen of his generation. Now imagine these three exalted figures on the same stage. It’s a stringed trip to 7th heaven…

Stanley Clarke BandJuly 1, 8 p.m., Théâtre Jean-Duceppe, PdA – In 2010, Stanley Clarke decided to stage a collective project that would both mine his inestimable talents, and measure them against other virtuosi. Working under the name the Stanley Clarke Band, the peerless bassist generates a 21st century jazz fusion with the aid of brilliant sidekicks-among them, ace drummer Ronald Bruner Jr. and pianist Ruslan Sirota. The ensuing international tour, begun two years ago, finally stops in at the Festival as part of the Invitation series.


Tickets already on sale

James Taylor / Flamenco Hoy by Carlos Saura / Gypsy Roma Urban Balkan Beats (GRUBB) / A funk evening with Esperanza Spalding and her Radio Music Society / Wayne Shorter Quartet / Eliane Elias Brasileira Quartet / Tangerine Dream / CéU, / Chris Botti / Get The Blessing / An evening with Van der Graaf Generator / Strunz & Farah / Gianmaria Testa, Vitamia / Dorantes, Renaud Garcia-Fons and Theodosii Spassov, Free Flamenco Trio. Tickets already on sale, details at

Tickets go on sale Saturday at 10 a.m.

Tickets for these concerts go on sale Saturday, February 11 at 10 a.m. and will be available from the Métropolis box office (59 Ste. Catherine St. E.), or from Admission and Ticketmaster ( and, 1 855 790‑1245), excluding those concerts presented at Place des Arts (175 Ste. Catherine W.), which will be available at 514 842‑2112, at 1 866 842‑2112 or at

To get the jump on the crowd, sign up for the Spectra Newsletter and have the scoop on the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal emailed to your inbox. For further information, call the Info-Jazz Line at 514 871‑1881, toll-free at 1 85JAZZFEST, or visit

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