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Review: The Montréal International Jazz Festival 2012

More than 800 concerts by artists from dozens of nations

Corey Harris and the Rasta Blues Experience, Montreal Jazz Festival, 2012
James Carter Organ Trio, Montreal Jazz Festival 2012
Ninety Miles, Montreal Jazz Festival 2012
Orchestre Poly-Rhythmo, Montreal Jazz Festival 2012
Sidi Toure, Montreal Jazz Festival 2012
Tom Harrell Quartet, Montreal Jazz Festival 2012

The 33rd edition of the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal-still the largest festival in the world-presented over 800 concerts from June 28-July 7, nearly half of them free, outdoor performances. Yes, native son Rufus Wainwright delivered its mega-concert opening night; and yes, it also featured Seal, Liza Minnelli and other diverse musical offerings. But, as always, the festival also offered a plethora of jazz in its various incarnations, including a number of heavy hitters, up-and-comers and Quebecois/Canadian artists. And so, once again, there was (more than) something for everyone.

Day 1 was as multicultural and multinational as the entire festival and the city it lives in, featuring artists hailing from Senegal, Cuba, Venezuela and Mali; Carlos Saura’s Flamenco Hoy; and a bunch of jazz, including Bill Frisell, Stanley Clarke, Spectrum Road (read about it in the August issue, as well as here) and Montréal’s bassist-in-demand, Fraser Hollins, with special guests Brian Blade and Jon Cowherd, with fellow Montréaler, saxophonist Joel Miller.

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