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Montréal International Jazz Fest 2020 announces second wave of acts for 41st season.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

We have received the following press release;

Montréal International Jazz Fest announces second wave of artists for 41st season, June 25–July 4, 2020

41st edition of the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal
A constellation of bright musical stars and exciting new artists added
to the 2nd wave of lineup!

The Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, presented by TD Bank Group, in collaboration with Rio Tinto, is overjoyed to present the latest additions to an already stellar lineup for the 41st edition of the fest, which takes place from June 25 to July 4, 2020. From the biggest names in jazz like Jack DeJohnette, Ravi Coltrane, John Scofield, and Dave Holland to genre benders like The Bad Plus and The Cinematic Orchestra, there is something for everyone. Afrobeat fans will be moved by the rhythms of KOKOROKO while reggae lovers won’t want to miss Jamaican singer Protoje and his dynamic riddims. Guitar legend Taj Mahal and his quartet make another triumphant return to the FIJM while local favourites The Barr Brothers team up for an exclusive show with Les Filles de Illighadad from the Saharan Desert to bring the blues back to its roots. Cutting edge artists like Woodkid and Petit Biscuit will represent some of the best music from France, while Kendrick Lamar collaborator BJ The Chicago Kid will prove why he is a Top Dawg worth watching. There are so many interesting acts to take in and still more to be announced in the future! See below for more details!

Double program : DeJohnette • Coltrane • Garrison | John Scofield & Dave Holland duo
Maison Symphonique, June 26, 7:00p.m, Le Festival à la Maison Symphonique Delta
Twenty years ago, Jack DeJohnette brought saxophonist Ravi Coltrane and bassist Matthew Garrison together for the first time to perform the music of John Coltrane at The Brooklyn Museum. This configuration of historical significance has now been reborn. Representing the prestigious lineage of today’s great jazz families, the DeJohnette • Coltrane • Garrison Trio explores open improvisation in addition to their own compositions.
Both recognized without dispute as one of the finest jazz interpreters on his instrument, guitarist John Scofield and bassist Dave Holland join forces to present audiences with a new conversation. Performing as a duo, these longtime colleagues bring their diverse musical backgrounds and infinite talents to the stage, each contributing original compositions to the set list and putting their stamp on a selection of jazz standards as well. Those familiar with their individual artistry can expect nothing less than a unique and compelling meeting of their musical minds — virtuosity, enjoyment, and depth.

Emilie-Claire Barlow, 20th anniversary
Maison Symphonique, July 2, 7:00p.m, Le Festival à la Maison Symphonique Delta
The Ontario band gained worldwide attention when their interpretation of Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know” exploded on YouTube, garnering over 187 million views. Since then, the band has released a string of successful original songs, sold out venues across the globe, and collaborated with some of the biggest artists in the world (Keith Urban, Snoop Dogg, Nicky Romero, Steve Aoki). They will be presenting their latest album, Here we go!, to the Montreal audience.

The Cinematic Orchestra
Maison Symphonique, July 3, 7:00p.m, Le Festival à la Maison Symphonique Delta
It’s been twelve years since The Cinematic Orchestra released a studio album. At the time, in 2007, Ma Fleur was recognized for its bold departure from the group’s sonic traditions. In the years since, it’s been continuously celebrated, with tracks like To Build A Home reaching huge audiences, spilling out of televisions, cinemas and radios long after its release. Their most recent show at Corona in November was completely sold-out and they are returning to Montreal with a definitive new album that explores a timeless question of vital importance in 2019—what to believe? Founding member Jason Swinscoe and longtime musical collaborator Dominic Smith enlisted album contributions from old and new: Moses Sumney, Roots Manuva, Heidi Vogel, Grey Reverend, and Tawiah.

MTELUS, June 25, 8:30p.m, Les Rythmes
Stepping out from behind the camera, Yoann Lemoine became one of the few music video directors to embark on a recording career of his own, with a number of releases under the guise of Woodkid. His debut album as Woodkid, The Golden Age, arrived in March 2013. The album received largely enthusiastic reviews, and fared well commercially, rising to number two on the French album charts, and going Top Ten in Belgium, Germany, and Switzerland. The young creative went on tour to support the album, with a groundbreaking performance at London’s Brixton Academy alongside the BBC Orchestra. 2014 started off well for Woodkid, with his having been invited to perform and partake in a discussion about the New York minimalist movement with Philip Glass at the Museum of Modern Art of Saint Etienne. Later that year he won the award for Best Stage Performer at the Les Victoires de la Musique. He returned in 2016, having collaborated with German pianist Nils Frahm on a soundtrack for French photographer JR’s short film Ellis. During July of 2016, he delivered another highly innovative performance at the Montreux Jazz Festival, which featured a whole host of guests including Son Lux and Guillaume Brière.

Petit Biscuit
MTELUS, June 26, 8:30p.m, Les Rythmes
After the success of Petit Biscuit, his first EP, the wunderkind of French electro released his debut album Presence. Across all 14 tracks, the LP combines ambient, techno, and house, with tailored arrangements, both classical and modern. A personal and creative opus stretched over intricate rhythmic patterns that transforms the 2015 rookie into a distinguished artist. Armed with his array of machines, Petit Biscuit is crafting the sound of tomorrow, a wild blend of digital and analogue, of live and pre-recorded samples, of techno, pop and hip-hop.

MTELUS, July 2, 8:30p.m, Les Rythmes
At only 20, Rilès has already put together his own recording studio while pursuing English studies and working as a singer-songwriter. He is involved in every aspect of his artistic project, producing his records and directing his videos, in the DIY spirit. His music blends rap, R&B and pop, with influences ranging from Kabyle music and capoeira to American hip-hop (Kanye West, Chance The Rapper, Timbaland…).

MTELUS, July 4, 8:30p.m, Les Rythmes
There is an exciting resurgence of conscious, organic music in Jamaica, and industry experts and observers agree that Protoje, born Oje Ken Ollivierre, is playing an important role in what has become known as the “Reggae Revival.” Leading the militant band The Indiggnation, this powerful songwriter and philosophical thinker articulates the righteous anger of an emerging generation. Protoje has released his last album in 2018 : A Matter of Time.

The Barr Brothers with Les Filles de Illighadad
Opening act: les Filles de Illighadad
Théâtre Maisonneuve, June 26, 8:00p.m, Les Grands Concerts Rio Tinto
For the first time, the Montreal outfit’s three members—namesake siblings Brad and Andrew Barr, harpist Sarah Pagé—went empty-handed into the studio. Improvisations that lasted hours at a time, with grooves inspired by India, West Africa and 808s. Then the band took that racket and distilled it into 11 songs. At times the sound’s all twinkling, the score for a lost John Hughes film; at other times it’s whetted, searching, like the stuff of Lhasa de Sela or Led Zeppelin’s III. It’s this tension, this dither, that lives at the centre of Queens of the Breakers. The sound of a band still playing, even occasionally reimagining, their rock’n’roll. They will be joined by female led avant-rock group, Les Filles de Illighadad, who make Future Tuareg music. Mixing traditional percussion with electric guitars, Les Filles brings ancient village folk music into the modern era. Drawing on traditional tende music, the forgotten inspiration of Tuareg guitar, Fatou and Les Filles breath new life into the genre. Hypnotic guitar riffs, driving rhythm, and polyphonic resonant vocals combine to create organic sound, that is both timeless and natural. A wholly original project, from a band that just last year had never left their village. Their first studio production.
Les Filles de Illighadad play their own set as the opening act, and then they will join the Barr Brothers for an exclusive live collaboration that will take the audience on a musical journey through blues that will inspire and amaze.

Ana Moura
Théâtre Maisonneuve, June 28, 8:00p.m, Les Grands Concerts Rio Tinto
Exquisite vocalist Ana Moura possesses a sound unlike any other in fado. Her voice strolls freely through the Portuguese tradition, flirting elegantly with pop and broadening the soul-bearing genre to stunning results. Her stage presence embodies the spirit of the iconic fadista, capturing the attention of Caetano Veloso, Mick Jagger, and Prince, which gave rise to inspired crossover collaborations and performances with these musical giants in rock, pop, and jazz. Moura released her seventh full-length album, Desfado, in 2013 to quadruple platinum sales and her 2016 release, Moura, went platinum in her native Portugal.

Taj Mahal Quartet
Opening act: Christone Kingfish Ingram
Théâtre Maisonneuve, June 29, 8:00p.m, Les Grands Concerts Rio Tinto
“When I began, soul was something people had. It wasn’t a style of music,” Taj Mahal says. No matter where we come from, we are all part of the same circle. We all want to dance, to get out of our heads, and tap into ourselves. When delivered by the Taj Mahal Quartet, the blues can take us there. For more than 40 years, Grammy-winning legend Taj Mahal, internationally renowned bassist Bill Rich, and revered percussionist Kester Smith have taken blues on a joyride through reggae, funk, jazz, cajun, and more, leaving a trail of swinging hips and raised palms in their wake. In 2019, guitarist and lap steel master Bobby Ingano joined the group, and the trio became the Taj Mahal Quartet. The four-match musical virtuosity with downhome grit unlike anyone else: a blend of sophistication and humble familiarity that is equally at home on a shotgun-shack porch or a Carnegie Hall stage. According to Taj, the collaboration extends far beyond the Taj Mahal Quartet themselves. “Music is like theater to a lot of people—they’re watching it,” he says. “Well, you can watch it, but you’re supposed to participate. The audience is just as much a part of the music as the musicians are.” Taj pauses, then adds with a warm laugh, “I do like it when they dance.”

Avishai Cohen Trio, Arvoles
Théâtre Maisonneuve, June 30, 8:00p.m, Les Grands Concerts Rio Tinto
Few journeys have been as adventurous and unpredictable as the musical one Avishai Cohen has led for more than twenty years. The vast discography of this beloved Israeli bassist and composer is marked by the constant evolution that defines this bandleader. His previous release 1970, his biggest commercial hit to date, introduced him to a pop-oriented audience that was mostly unaware of the richness of his repertoire. Last year, Avishai recorded his latest album titled Arvoles at the prestigious Nilento Studio in Sweden. On this tour, he’ll be celebrating his 50th birthday by performing 50 concerts in 50 different countries.

The Bad Plus
Monument National, June 27, 8:00p.m, Jazz Beat DoubleTree par Hilton Montréal
The Bad Plus are the ultimate originals. For the past two decades, they have played with spirit and adventure, made their own rules and done so with a bold sense of creativity and intent. Their first album with the new lineup, 2018’s Never Stop II, won huge critical acclaim and kick-started a new era for the trio in a way they could not have foreseen – a period of renewed energy and excitement. Their 2019 release on Edition Records, Activate Infinity, sees the journey evolve further. This will be the first time the band comes to the festival since Orrin Evans joined them!

Ambrose Akinmusire Quartet
Monument National, June 28, 8:00p.m, Jazz Beat DoubleTree par Hilton Montréal
During his 15-year career, Ambrose Akinmusire has paradoxically situated himself in both the centre and the periphery of jazz, most recently emerging in classical and hip-hop circles. Motivated primarily by the spiritual and practical value of art, Akinmusire wants to remove the wall of erudition surrounding his music. He aspires to create richly textured emotional landscapes that tell the stories of the community, record the time, and change the standard. While committed to continuing the lineage of black invention and innovation, he manages to honour tradition without being stifled by it.

Tommy Emmanuel, CPG
Monument National, June 29, 8:00p.m, Jazz Beat DoubleTree par Hilton
Australian guitarist Tommy Emmanuel has achieved enough musical milestones to satisfy several lifetimes. Or at least they would if he were the kind of artist who was ever satisfied. Today, he plays hundreds of sold-out shows worldwide every year. Tommy developed a style of solo guitar playing that encompasses the range of a whole band — drums, bass, rhythm and lead guitar, and a vocal melody simultaneously. No loop pedals, no overdubs, just one man and ten fingers.

BJ The Chicago Kid
Club Soda, June 29, 9p.m, Les Couleurs SAQ
It’s been a long time coming for BJ the Chicago Kid. After four mixtapes and one indie classic, he’s now dropping his major-label debut on Motown, the modern yet deeply soulful In My Mind. You’ve been hearing his voice everywhere though, on the songs by some of the greatest artists of our era (Dr. Dre, Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar, Mary J. Blige, Kehlani, and ScHoolboy Q’s Grammy Award-nominated smash “Studio”). Notable collaborations include Vic Mensa, Chance The Rapper, Dom Kennedy, Freddie Gibbs, Ty Dolla $ign, Xzibit and, most recently, OG Maco, Joey Bada$$ and Hannibal Burress.

Marianne Trudel & John Hollenbeck : Dédé Java Espiritu
L’Astral, June 28, 6:00p.m, Jazz d’ici La Presse +
The happy and highly creative encounter of pianist and composer Marianne Trudel with drummer and composer John Hollenbeck took place a few years ago while the latter was getting established in Montreal. A piano, a drum set, a thousand ideas. “Dédé Java Espiritu” plunges the listener into an infinite panorama of colours and rhythms. Where catchy grooves, enchanting melodies, surprising sonorities, and joyous spontaneity go hand in hand. This new duo will be releasing an album in spring 2020.

Emie R Roussel Trio
L’Astral, June 29, 6:00p.m, Jazz d’ici La Presse +
Winner of the Stingray Rising Stars award at the 2018 Halifax Jazz Festival, the Félix for Jazz Album of the Year at the 2015 Gala de l’ADISQ for their third album “Quantum,” and the 2013–2014 Opus Prize for Jazz Album of the Year for their second album “TRANSIT,” the Emie R Roussel Trio has established itself as an essential part of the contemporary Canadian jazz scene, with a quick ascent since 2010. The trio consists of Emie R Roussel on the piano, Nicolas Bédard on bass, and Dominic Cloutier on drums. Together, they play creative, mesmerizing jazz with undeniable enthusiasm and chemistry. They will celebrate the Trio’s 10 years.

Bïa chante João Gilberto, with Jordan Officer, Andréa Lindsay and Paulo Ramos
L’Astral, July 2, 6:00p.m, Jazz d’ici La Presse +
João Gilberto, the father of Bossa Nova, died on July 6, 2019. Bïa learned he had passed away while she was on stage at Festival international de jazz de Montréal. She dedicated a song to him, and thousands of voices in front of her sang sorrowfully. A year later, she is dedicating a whole concert to him Desafinado, Garota de Ipanema, One note samba — all the best titles from Gilberto’s songbook for a suave, superb night with special guests.

Ezra Collective
L’Astral, June 26, 10:00p.m, Le Club Heineken
UK quintet Ezra Collective released their debut album You Can’t Steal My Joy in spring 2019. It follows 2017’s genre-bending EP Juan Pablo: The Philosopher. A creatively defiant album, You Can’t Steal My Joy seamlessly marries the delicacies and classic sounds of jazz with afrobeat, hip-hop and dancehall rhythms for a sound that cements them as one of the UK’s most exciting acts.

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