Highlights include performances by a wide range of artists encompassing jazz, blues, world music and beyond: Wayne Shorter, Al Di Meola’s Elegant Gypsy, Bebel Gilberto, Chris Botti, Huey Lewis and the News, Kat Edmonson, R & B queen Erykah Badu, Jamie Cullum, Richard Galliano with Sylvain Luc, Nels Cline with Julian Lage, Lucinda Williams, Jesse Cook, Mika, The Steve Miller Band, Madeleine Peyroux, Steven Wilson, a trio of living blues legends – Taj Mahal/John Mayall/James Cotton – and many more.
This year’s Invitation Series artists include Abdullah Ibrahim, Kurt Rosenwinkel and Avishai Cohen. In addition, the Festival brings special programs such as the North American premiere of Flamenco Vivo’s Esencial, Luis de la Carrasca’s musical voyage into the heart of Andalusia. Another highlight is For the Record, a madcap, lavishly romantic take on the musical world and flamboyant vision of Australian director Baz Luhrmann. The indoor concerts are listed in the press release. The free outdoor shows will be announced in early June.
The Festival, which includes some 3,000 musicians from 5 continents in 15 concert halls plus hundreds of free outdoor shows, has been heralded as “Best of the Fests… Bigger! Better! Best, actually…” by Michael Bourne in DownBeat Magazine. Playboy Magazine says it's "the best urban music festival in North America." Mitch Myers writes in the Hollywood Reporter that the Festival is “a compelling summer destination…the multicultural and cosmopolitan nature of Montreal is reflected in the festival’s diverse programming, showing a great respect for music, the artists and culture in general.”
It’s also family friendly, with lots of free kids activities. "What makes this a family event? One look at the stroller parking area or the diaper-changing tent and you will know. Thousands of children parade through the festival with their faces painted by talented make-up artists who work their magic from noon until 8 p.m. daily... The festival is strikingly well-organized and well-staffed. It is quite a pleasure to take part in a large, lively event, in a public place, and not worry about safety." — Janet Strassman Perlmutter, Boston Globe.
The Festival International de Jazz de Montréal’s 36th Season is from June 26 – July 5, 2015.