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Concert Review: 2017 Montreal Jazz Festival

Over 500 concerts, heavy hitters, emerging stars and international flair

from left: Dánae Olano, Jane Bunnett and Elizabeth Rodriguez (photo by Sharonne Cohen)
from left: Dánae Olano, Jane Bunnett and Elizabeth Rodriguez (photo by Sharonne Cohen)
Ben Monder, Jon Wikan, Christine Jensen, Fraser Hollins and Ingrid Jenson (photo by Sharonne Cohen)
Ben Monder, Jon Wikan, Christine Jensen, Fraser Hollins and Ingrid Jenson (photo by Sharonne Cohen)
Bassist Joe Sanders (obscured) and Kendrick Scott (photo by Sharonne Cohen)
Bassist Joe Sanders (obscured) and Kendrick Scott (photo by Sharonne Cohen)
Mark Guiliana (photo by Sharonne Cohen)
Mark Guiliana (photo by Sharonne Cohen)
André Leroux and Rachel Therrien (photo by Sharonne Cohen)
André Leroux and Rachel Therrien (photo by Sharonne Cohen)
David Virelles and Ravi Coltrane (photo by Sharonne Cohen)
David Virelles and Ravi Coltrane (photo by Sharonne Cohen)
Steve Swallow, Dave Douglas and Chet Doxas (photo by Sharonne Cohen)
Steve Swallow, Dave Douglas, Jim Doxas (obscured) and Chet Doxas (photo by Sharonne Cohen)
Tony Allen (photo by Sharonne Cohen)
Tony Allen at the 2017 Montreal Jazz Festival (photo by Sharonne Cohen)
Arturo Sandoval and John Belzaguy (photo by Sharonne Cohen)
Arturo Sandoval and John Belzaguy (photo by Sharonne Cohen)
Bokanté, from left: Malika Tirolien, Weedie Braimah, Roosevelt Collier, Jamey Haddad, Michael League, Bob Lanzetti (photo by Sharonne Cohen)
Bokanté, from left: Malika Tirolien, Weedie Braimah, Roosevelt Collier, Jamey Haddad, Michael League, Bob Lanzetti (photo by Sharonne Cohen)
Hichem Khalfa (photo by Sharonne Cohen)
Hichem Khalfa (photo by Sharonne Cohen)

Running from June 28 to July 8, with over two-thirds of its 500-plus concerts taking place on several outdoor stages and free to the public, the 38th edition of Festival International de Jazz de Montréal was loaded with high-voltage star power and creative energy, presenting jazz in all its forms (and everything else from pop to rock, funk, soul, rap, gospel, blues and world music).

Foremost on the jazz side were Jack DeJohnette, Larry Grenadier, John Scofield and John Medeski—collectively the jazz-rock-fusion supergroup Hudson—who performed material from their recent eponymous Motéma release including Jimi Hendrix’s “Wait Until Tomorrow” (DeJohnette received the festival’s Miles Davis Award). Other jazz performers during the festival’s 11 days included Stanley Clarke, Christian McBride, Robert Glasper, Joshua Redman, Lizz Wright, George Cables and Bill Frisell, to name a few.

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