Montreal Jazz Festival offers mix of big names, local talent and free shows

The 38th edition of the festival runs from June 28 to July 8 and will drawing hundreds of artists from around the world.

Festival runs from June 28 to July 8, drawing hundreds of artists from around the world

Canadian singer-songwriter Feist will be performing at Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier July 4. (Stian Lysberg Solum/NTB scanpix via Reuters)

The 38th edition of the Montreal International Jazz Festival kicked off this week and runs until July 8.

The event features hundreds of artists from around the world as well as a crop of Quebec talent who will be performing at different venues across the city.

Here's a roundup of some of the most anticipated local, celebrity and free acts coming up at this year's festival.

Quebecers on stage

Bobby Bazini, from Mont-Laurier, Que., is known for his pop-folk style with rock and blues influences. The French Canadian has three studio albums out now, and is booked to perform his show, Summer is Gone, at Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier July 7 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $42 to $62.

Charlotte Cardin is an up-and-coming Montreal-based performer. ((AFP/Getty Images))

After appearing on La Voix, Quebec's answer to reality TV show The Voice, Charlotte Cardin has been generating buzz in Montreal and beyond. She performed at Osheaga last year and the Montrealer has a new album due out this summer. She's performing three shows at Métropolis June 30, July 1 and 2 at 8:30 p.m. Tickets start at $33.

Urban Science is a group of singers, rappers and beatboxers that performs regularly on the local scene with weekly jam sessions. They will be playing three free shows at the Savoy du Métropolis (59 Ste-Catherine Street East) July 6,7 and 8 at midnight.

Folk quartet and Montreal staple The Barr Brothers held the main stage at the festival two years ago and are back with a new collaboration, performing with husband-and-wife duo Bassekou Kouyaté and Amy Sacko, from Mali, July 7. They will be at Théâtre Maisonneuve at 8 p.m. with tickets starting at $47.

Free shows

Canadian alt-rock band from Burlington, Ont., Walk Off The Earth, is set to perform at the TD stage in the place des festivals July 4 at 9:30 p.m. The group is best know for its covers of popular songs by artists like Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber, garnering millions of views on their YouTube page.

Quebec duo David Méliès and Francesca Como are the artists behind folk pop group Coco Méliès. They will be performing songs from their new album, The Riddle, for free at the Rio Tinto stage July 1, at 8 p.m.

And Montreal multilingual hip-hop group Nomadic Massive will help close the festival on July 8 at Club Jazz Casino de Montréal at the corner of Bleury Street and René-Lévesque Boulevard. 

You can follow Nomadic Massive on their summer cross-country tour here.

Montreal's Nomadic Massive, including band member and CBC host Nantali Indongo (centre). (ManikMati Photography)


Bob Dylan will be playing at the Bell Centre with his band June 30. The legendary singer-songwriter and Nobel prize winner recently released his 38th studio album, Triplicate. The American artist has sold more than 125 million albums worldwide. Dylan will be at the playing at 8 p.m. with tickets ranging from $62 to $137.

Serena Ryder performs songs from her album Utopia in Studio q (Cathy Irving )

Canadian Juno-award winning singer Serena Ryder is set to play Métropolis on the last day of the festival, July 8. Ryder recently sat down with CBC arts reporter Nantali Indongo about her long road to the top of the Canadian music scene.

Ryder will perform starting at 9 p.m. with tickets between $43 and $48.

The O'Jays are putting together a nostalgia-laced show at Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, July 6. The American R&B group from Canton, Ohio, formed in 1958 and they've been making music ever since. The rock and roll hall of famers will be performing with The Four Tops, a quartet from Detroit who helped to define the city's Motown sound during the 1960s.

The two iconic groups will play at 7:30 p.m. with tickets ranging from $88 to $118.

And finally, Feist will play the same hall at Place des Arts on July 4, promoting songs from her new album Pleasure, her first project released after a six-year hiatus. The Polaris Music Prize winner will perform at 7:30 p.m. with tickets starting at $57.

Honourable mentions

The festival will be putting on a special orchestra event featuring the music of the Academy Award winning film La La Land. The movie, starring Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, won awards for best score and best original song.

The music will be performed by a symphonic orchestra under the direction of Erik Ochsner at Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier July 2. The concert starts at 7:30 p.m. and tickets range from $78 to $103.

Ontario band The Strumbellas will be playing Métropolis, July 6. The indie group won a Juno award in 2016 for their single, "Spirits" which helped propel them to mainstream success in Canada and the U.S. They will play at 8:30 p.m. with tickets starting at $39.

Tanya Tagaq performing on stage at the CBC Music Festival. (Cathy Irving/CBC Music)

A powerhouse of Canada's music scene, Tanya Tagaq, will perform at Club Soda July 7 a 10 p.m. The throat singer from Cambridge Bay, Nunavut was also a recipient of the Order of Canada. Tickets start at $38.

Lisa Simone, daughter of Nina Simone, released her debut album at 52 years old and is set to perform with Michael Kaeshammer at Théâtre Maisonneuve July 6. Simone offers up smooth and powerful vocals on her 2014 album, All Is Well. She plays at 8 p.m. with tickets starting at $42.