Full disclosure — the Jazz Fest is my favourite Montreal festival. I've been attending the festival for as long as I can remember. I've been to both the paid and free shows and it's hands-down one of the best festivals ever. Where else could you see both Lauryn Hill and The Beach Boys in the span of a few days?
Some purists might decry that the Jazz Fest is less jazz and more fest and honestly, they can't be more wrong. You can get a hefty dose of jazz as well as many other genres. There's an outdoor stage dedicated to international music, for example! There's nothing else like it.
Last night, the Montreal Jazz Fest revealed its free lineup for this year's edition and oh boy, is it ever awesome! There are some huge names and many up-and-comers that you can all see for FREE!
This year's Jazz Fest runs from June 26th to July 6th at the Place des Festivals at Place des Arts. I'll see you all there!
Nick Murphy fka Chet Faker
Nick Murphy fka Chet Faker burst onto the scene in 2011 with an incredible cover of "No Diggity" and hasn't stopped since. The critically acclaimed Australian artist will hit Montreal for a free show on July 2nd!
Essential listening: "Gold"
Cardin's hypnotic voice has captured the attention of a global audience and this year, she'll be coming back to her hometown to give us a free show at the Jazz Fest. She opens up the festivities on June 27th!
Essential listening: "Drive"
Grammy and Juno-nominated Canadian jazz singer Molly Johnson is coming to Montreal's Jazz Fest in a highly anticipated free show! Check her out on July 4th!
Essential listening: "Inner City Blues"
Critically-acclaimed folk singer Matt Holubowski is going to close out the Festival with his sweet sounds on July 6th!
Essential listening: "The King"
Renowned Canadian jazz guitarist Jordan Officer is coming to the Jazz Fest for his 20th year in a row! He'll be showcasing all four of his albums at a free show on July 5th!
Essential listening: "Then She Kissed Me"
Verdun native and acclaimed jazz singer, Susie Arioli is headlining the first-ever free Jazz Fest series in Verdun on the Promenade Wellington! Check her out on June 27th!
Essential listening: "Night and Day"
New Orleans-based outfit Cha Wa brings their intoxicating energy to Montreal's Jazz Fest for a free show on July 1st and July 2nd!
Essential listening: "Chapters"
The War and Treaty
Jazz trumpets with infectious hip-hop beats? Yes, please. The War and Treaty are here with a free show at the Jazz Fest on June 29th!
Essential listening: "If It's In Your Heart"
LowDown Brass Band
An infectious brass group out of Chicago whose incredible energy will keep you dancing all night long. Check them out for their free show on June 30th!
Essential listening: "We Dem Boys"
Internationally-celebrated local electronic group SUUNS is coming back to their hometown to cap off their world tour. Catch them for free on July 1st!
Essential listening: "2020"
Native Puerto Ricans, Plena Libre are bringing the infectious island rhythms of plena and bomba music to Montreal for a free show on July 3rd!
Essential listening: "Que Bonita Bandera"
Cameroonian singer-songwriter Blick Bassy will be in town to unveil his latest album on June 28th at the Verdun free Jazz Fest.
Essential listening: "Ngwa"
Clay and Friends
Verdun natives Clay and Friends bring their unique blend of funk, soul, and hip-hop to the Promenade Wellington on June 27th!
Essential listening: "Dans ma cité"
Thomas de Pourquery
From France, Thomas de Pourquery and his band of jazz rebels are coming to the Jazz Fest to showcase their latest album. Catch them at the Promenade Wellington on June 28th!
Essential listening: "Give The Money Back"
Joyeux festival, Montreal! Check out the Jazz Fest website here for a complete list of free events this year!