Like most jazz festivals around the world, the Festival International de Jazz de Montreal (the world’s largest) was canceled this year as a precaution against the spread of coronavirus. A global pandemic, though, is not enough to stop the FIJM from presenting a four-day, special digital version from June 27-30.
The online program, beginning each night at 6 p.m. ET, features a total of 21 live concerts broadcast from the iconic venue L’Astral in Montreal’s Quartier des Spectacles (the city’s cultural district), giving a spotlight to Montreal- and Quebec-based artists. The lineup includes singer/songwriter Charlotte Cardin, pianist Jean-Michel Blais, guitarist Jordan Officer, and bassist Alain Caron with his trio (pianist John Roney and drummer Paul Brochu).
Just for fun, the opening night of the digital festival will conclude with an online party, the “Fin de soirée Loto-Québec” with Pierre Kwenders.
In addition, four classic concerts from the festival’s storied archives will be broadcast: a duet by the legendary Canadian jazz pianists Oscar Peterson and Oliver Jones from 2004 on Saturday, a 1982 performance by Jaco Pastorius on Sunday, a 1985 Miles Davis set on Monday, and a 1983 Sarah Vaughan show to close out the proceedings on Tuesday.
All events are free for anyone to stream from the FIJM’s website. “We intend,” says the festival, “to make you live the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal in a memorable way, once again.”
For more information, including a complete festival program, visit https://www.montrealjazzfest.com/.