Andy Williams' musical tribute to Montreal's Little Burgundy

The DJ and jazz instructor gives us a playlist of songs that remind him of his neighbourhood in Montreal.
DJ and McGill University jazz instructor Andy Williams. (Anthony Revoy)

In a new segment we call the q Block Party, we invite guests to pay a musical tribute to the neighbourhoods they hold dear to their hearts. 

Today, DJ and McGill University jazz instructor Andy Williams takes listeners on a guided musical tour through Little Burgundy, a neighbourhood in Montreal's Sud-Ouest borough known for developing Canadian jazz music.

Below are Williams' song picks and his reasons behind them.

Milt Sealey, "Hurry Sundown Blues"

"Little Burgundy was known as the 'Harlem of the North' because there was an influx of musicians from all over the world coming in to that area of Montreal, which is Saint-Antoine de la Montagne. There was non-stop music. People would be partying from 8 o'clock in the evening till 7 in the morning. That was the spot to be."

Nelson Symonds Trio, "Sunny"

"Nelson Symonds' connection with Little Burgundy was there was a congregation of great jazz musicians there and he was one of them."

Joe Sealy, "Early Morning Blues"

"What I like about this track is that I like how bluesy it is and I love the way he played and he tickled the piano keys. It's very pretty."

Oscar Peterson, "Hymn to Freedom"

"Well the track 'Hymn to Freedom' by Oscar Peterson is probably one of the most popular songs in jazz Canadian history. It's also popular in the civil rights movement in the States. When you see them all from the White House in Washington, it's usually a 'Hymn to Freedom' that's been played and that's how I got to know it. And one day I asked my dad, 'Who is this?' and I was told it was Oscar Peterson. And I continued to listen to Oscar Peterson ever since."

Check out these photos of Little Burgundy's past. 

Montreal's Little Burgundy (Archives de Montréal/[lVM94-C0716-001]/[VM94-C0716-003]/[VM95-Y-1-2-3_1-001])


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?