Montreal Jazz Fest: I’ve Seen a Few (Editions)

The 42nd edition of the Montreal Jazz Festival will kick off today (June 30) while I’m in the air, enroute to cover the massive event for the seventh time.

I’m really excited to again check out so many concerts by high-caliber jazz artists and musicians representing other genres, and to enjoy such a cosmopolitan and welcoming city — it’ll be a great break from the heat and humidity of Florida, and the ongoing political turmoil of my home country.

My list of shows that are on my “definite” or “possible” list includes concerts by bassist Christian McBride‘s new funk-jazz outfit, guitarist Julian Lage‘s trio with bassist Scott Colley and drummer Dave King of The Bad Plus, saxophonist Ravi Coltrane with a tribute to his late legendary parents John and Alice Coltrane, singers Gregory Porter, Cecile McLorin Salvant, Samara Joy, Corinne Bailey Rae and Madison McFerrin (separately), pianist Tord Gustavsen‘s trio, vibraphonist Joel Ross, saxophonist Kamasi Washington, the Christine and Ingrid Jensen Quintet (sax and trumpet, respectively), the Jireh Gospel Choir, and others as time and energy levels allow.

Over the last two decades, I’ve covered the fest for multiple magazines and newspapers. Here’s an incomplete list of some of my reviews from years past (the ones that I could track down online; still looking for some links):

Live Review: 2019 Montreal Jazz Festival, Weekend 1 (JazzTimes, July 6,
Live Review: 39th Montreal International Jazz Festival (JazzTimes, July 11,
Ry Cooder in Montreal (Relix, Aug. 5, 2018)Montreal Jazz Festival, Montreal, Canada, 6/28-7/1 (Jambands, July 25, 2012)
Bill Frisell, Club Soda, Montreal Jazz Festival (Jambands, July 5, 2012)
Esperanza Spalding at the Montreal Jazz Festival (Relix, July 6, 2012)
Montreal Jazz offers a surplus of good things (Sarasota Herald-Tribune,
July 7, 2002)
Montreal Jazz Festival (first weekend; June 28-July 2) (JJA Jazzhouse, 2001)

Philip Booth, a writer and bass player based in Tampa, Florida, covers music, film and the arts for Jazziz, JazzTimes, Relix, Jazzlands, Philip’s Flicks and other publications. He was the pop music critic for the late, great Tampa Tribune, and also has contributed to The Washington Post, St. Petersburg Times, Billboard, Variety, and DownBeat, as well as several academic journals. The 42nd edition of the fest marks his seventh visit to Montreal to write about the event for various press outlets.


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