Cassandra Wilson paused at the microphone, allowing the last notes of “You Don’t Know What Love Is” to fully fade into the night, and then turned her attention to the crowd. “I’ve missed you,” she said with the same sincerity that lifts her best songs. “It’s great to be back in Montreal.”
That summed up the evening’s prevailing sentiment quite nicely. Both fans and artists seemed thrilled to be in attendance on opening night (June 26) of the 35th annual Montreal International Jazz Festival. Tens of thousands turned out to help get the 11-day party started. They were treated to a smorgasbord of talent, ranging from sensational jazz vocalist Wilson and rock icon Daniel Lanois to rising neo-folk star Woodkid and trumpeter supreme Roy Hargrove.