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American Jazz Royalty on Canada Day at 35th Montreal Jazz Festival

MOJA’s Russ Davis reports from the prestigious festival in Quebec

Kenny Garrett and Russ Davis at the Montreal Jazz Festival in 2014
Kenny Garrett and Russ Davis at the Montreal Jazz Festival in 2014

By the time I landed in the beautiful city of Montreal to begin my visit to the 35th edition of the Festival International de Jazz de Montreal the festival was already in full swing. You can go to the festival website at to see what you and I missed in the past few days and also what we can see and hear if you make a quick trip to take in the festival which ends on July 6th. Everyone, and I’m talking the locals, remarked that this was the single hottest, muggiest day they could EVER remember. Not exactly the days they dream of in the dead of winter, as the temperature was in the low 30’s, and we’re talking Celsius people!

After a quick check in and a walk through the city streets I was ready to head inside and hear what was on the festival menu for July 1st, Canada Day! I already began to soak up some pretty fine music including some rockin’ blues, a totally authentic New Orleans Dixieland Band and two street musicians who weren’t even part of the official festival including some sweet saxophone improv and the absolutely most unique sitar playing with electric beats I’ve ever heard (hey festival programmers…book this guy next year!)

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