Montreal International Jazz Festival

Montreal International Jazz Festival
Festival International de Jazz de Montréal at night
Genre Jazz festival
Dates June 26-July 5
Location(s) Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Years active 1980-present
Founded by Alain Simard
Attendance 2.5 million

The Festival International de Jazz de Montréal (English: Montreal International Jazz Festival) is an annual jazz festival held in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The Montreal Jazz Fest holds the 2004 Guinness World Record as the world's largest jazz festival.[1] Every year it features roughly 3,000 artists from 30-odd countries, more than 650 concerts (including 450 free outdoor performances), and welcomes close to 2.5 million visitors (34% of whom are tourists) as well as 400 accredited journalists.[1] The festival takes place at 10 free outdoor stages and 10 indoor concert halls.[1]

A major part of the city's downtown core is closed to traffic for ten days, as free outdoor shows are open to the public and held on many stages at the same time, from noon until midnight. Attendance at some shows is over 100,000 people, and occasionally exceeds 200,000. Shows are held in a wide variety of venues, from relatively small jazz clubs to the large concert halls of Place des Arts. Some of the outdoor shows are held on the cordoned-off streets, while others are in terraced parks.

It should not be confused with the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, which is the second largest jazz festival in the world after Montreal's.


The Montreal Jazz Festival was conceived by Alain Simard, who had spent much of the 1970s working with Productions Kosmos bringing artists such as Chuck Berry, Dave Brubeck, Chick Corea, Bo Diddley, John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters, and others to Montreal to perform. In 1977, Simard teamed up with André Ménard and Denys McCann to form an agency named Spectra Scène (now known as L'Équipe Spectra), with the idea of creating a summer festival in Montreal that would bring a number of artists together at the same time.

They planned their first festival for the summer of 1979. Unable to secure sufficient funding, their plans were scuttled, but they still were able to produce two nights of shows at Théâtre-St-Denis, with Keith Jarrett and a then-unknown Pat Metheny.

The first Montreal jazz festival was in 1980, with funding from Alain de Grosbois of CBC Stereo and Radio-Québec. With Gary Burton, Ray Charles, Chick Corea, and Vic Vogel on the bill, and an attendance of 12,000, the event was deemed a success and has continued to grow since then.

In 2000, the Festival teamed up with Distribution Select to release its 4-CD box set called Over 20 years of music – Plus de 20 ans de musique. The box includes a 13-page booklet with the artists' biographies and complete liner notes about the music.[2]


Festival International de Jazz de Montréal

A number of albums have been recorded live at the festival, including:

The Montreal TapesCharlie Haden

Concours de Jazz

Established in 1982, the Concours de Jazz is an annual competition held at the Montreal International Jazz Festival. The competition takes place between Canadian groups performing original music, and is part of the festival's outdoor program. Throughout its history the prize has been awarded to many of Canada's most prominent jazz musicians.

Name changes



  1. 1 2 3 "About – Festival International de Jazz de Montréal". Montreal International Jazz Festival. 2009–2010. Retrieved 21 July 2010.
  2. "Balmore Estrada et Nueva Sensacion". Retrieved 2013-03-23.
  3. "Jazz Award". Montreal Jazzfest.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Festival International de Jazz de Montréal.

This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 9/8/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.