Oscar Peterson and Oliver Jones – Courtesy of the Montréal Jazz Competition

A few months in the past, there was the unhappy, however anticipated, information that this yr’s Montréal Jazz Competition (formally the Competition Worldwide de Jazz de Montréal – FIJM) was cancelled as a result of pandemic. Then got here the nice information that there could be a free digital Competition from June 27 to 30. One of many few upsides to the pandemic is that music is constant with quite a few on-line occasions. Though reside and in-person musical performances are particular and unforgettable experiences, there’s something to be stated in favor of other forms of musical shows. Recordings, documentaries, and movies seize moments in time, permitting them to be saved for posterity, and they are often loved and savored endlessly by numerous folks.

The FIJM is likely one of the largest and greatest reside musical celebrations on the planet, and that shared expertise is missed. Nevertheless, probably the greatest issues a couple of digital live performance or pageant is its availability everywhere in the world, to individuals who in any other case wouldn’t be capable of attend the reside musical occasion.

These uncommon occasions name for uncommon measures, so it’s fantastic to see so many organizations and people stepping as much as the plate and offering music. Even when issues get again to regular, at any time when which may be, it received’t be forgotten how artists and musical institutions helped to entertain and calm individuals who had been below stress throughout this difficult time, and the way audiences in flip supported the musicians.

This particular digital version of the FIJM was introduced by TD Financial institution Group in collaboration with Rio Tinto and its public companions.

Saturday, June 27

On June 27, the 2020 digital FIJM began on Canadian Multiculturalism Day, and the line-up was totally reflective of the which means of the day. Myriam Fehmiu, journalist/presenter on Radio-Canada, was the host all through the Competition. Myriam was joined by Jacques-André Dupont, Competition President-Director Normal, and Laurent Saulnier, Competition Vice President of Programming, they usually welcomed the viewers in French. All of the festivities befell at L’Astral Membership, within the coronary heart of the Competition location, and a Fb hyperlink at www.montrealjazzfest.com gave the net viewers free entry to all of the live shows.

Between units, clips had been performed from previous Festivals that confirmed the vibrancy of the occasions, in addition to the massive number of performers who’ve appeared.

Malika Tirolien

Malika Tirolien – Courtesy of the Montréal Jazz Competition

The festivities started with a efficiency by Gaudeloupe-born, Montréal-based singer/keyboardist, Malika Tirolien. Malika has been a member of Groundfood, The Kalmunity Vibe Collective, and the dynamic multicultural and multilingual group Bokanté. In collaboration with Snarky Pet, she wrote and sang on the 2013 Grammy-winning album Household Dinner – Vol. 1. She launched her first album in 2014, Sur La Voie Ensoleillée, and picked gems from that album to fill a lot of her Competition set. Malika began her present with the shifting “Oliassa,” which showcased her wealthy, hovering vocals. She was given glorious assist by the very proficient trio of guitarist Philippe Lallier, keyboardist Jean-Michel Frédéric, and drummer Jephté Kalombo. The group segued into an upbeat and superbly melodic “Endurance,” and seamlessly entered the candy tune “Sew,” together with a stellar drum solo from Kalombo, and nice percussive keyboard accents all through by Frédéric. Tirolien’s set was typically haunting and retrospective, with a combination of up-tempo servings, and a few nice rapping and scatting.  The subsequent choice was the gorgeous ballad “So Lengthy In the past,” which included an excellent guitar solo by Lallier. This was adopted by a pair of songs with a social conscience, “Revolution” in addition to “Réparasyons” from the Bokanté and Metropole Orkest album What Warmth.  Additionally, included within the set was the flowing and harmonically robust Bokanté gem, “Héritier.” Tirolien sang in both French or English all through her set, relying on the track’s origin. Nevertheless, whichever tongue was used, the energy of Malika’s stirring clear vocals shone via, proving as soon as extra that music is the common language. This present was a wonderful starting to the digital Competition!

Rafael Zaldivar

Rafael Zaldivar – Courtesy of the Montréal Jazz Competition

Afro-Cuban pianist Rafael Zaldivar began his set with a bang, enjoying a driving, percussive “A Rock con Leche” from his latest album, Consecration, with Rafael displaying his handheld keyboard expertise on a solo. He was accompanied by bassist Remi-Jean LeBlanc, drummer Louis-Vincent Hamel, percussionist Elli Miller-Maboungou.  Throughout the present, a number of folks commented reside from everywhere in the world, together with one which stated, “Jazz is life, interval!” This was a scintillating high-energy present, with all of the musicians matching one another notice for notice.  It wasn’t an extended set, however it was a splendidly heart-racing expertise for the viewers.

Djely Tapa

Djely Tapa – Courtesy of the Montréal Jazz Competition

Mali-born singer Djely Tapa’s debut CD Barokan was nominated for World Music Album of the 12 months on the 2020 Juno Awards. Previous to releasing Barokan, she was related to the group Afrikana Soul Sister. Djely got here out on stage sporting an eclectic multi-length outfit and brandishing a big feather duster like a wand. She was joined by bassist and laptop computer participant Jean-François Lemieux, guitarist Assane Seck, and drummer Auguste Donatien Dogbo. The world music they performed was like a travelogue, transporting the viewers to far-away locations in essentially the most elegant means. Djely wasn’t simply an enticing singer, she additionally danced enthusiastically all through the set, clearly having a good time.



Clerel – Courtesy of the Montréal Jazz Competition

Singer/guitarist/songwriter Clerel was born in Cameroon and relies in Montréal. His wide-ranging influences embody Michael Jackson, Fela Kuti, Donny Hathaway, Al Inexperienced, Cesária Évora, and Gregory Porter. He performed a duet set with electrical guitarist Kento Kataoka, beginning with an evocative island-flavored quantity. He carried out songs from his latest EP, Songs From Underneath a Guava Tree, together with “Kiss the Entire World,” a bluesy track that modified tempos all through, and it was a toe-tapping delight. He additionally performed some stunning ballads, together with “Blackstone” in a stunning, intimate means. Clerel has a pure charisma that shines so brightly, even in a digital live performance.




Bïa – Courtesy of the Montréal Jazz Competition

Vocalist/guitarist Bïa was born in Brazil, and she or he sings in French, Portuguese, and Spanish. She was a 2007 Juno World Music Award nominee. She is a dwelling embodiment of Multiculturalism, since as a toddler, her household was compelled to flee from Brazil as a consequence of exile. They lived in Chile, Peru, and Portugal, earlier than returning to Brazil after the Brazilian Amnesty Legislation was enacted.  She at present splits her time between France and Quebec, and she or he has appeared 5 occasions on the Competition. Throughout her present, she was excellently backed by cellist Sheila Hannigan, bassist Dan Gigon, and drummer Sacha Daoud. The group carried out a good looking bossa nova-inspired track, and Bïa began her subsequent laid-back ballad with some beautiful melodic whistling, then she deftly imitated a trumpet, creating a really charming rendition. Subsequent got here some fantastic gypsy-jazz with excellent work by cellist Sheila Hannigan. The ultimate track was an exquisite Brazilian-flavored samba that she began a cappella, then the opposite musicians chimed in for an incredible set-ender.

Oscar Peterson and Oliver Jones 2004 Treasures of the Competition Live performance

Oscar Peterson was referred to as “The Maharaja of the Keyboard” by Duke Ellington. In a profession that lasted over 60 years, he received a number of Grammy Awards and quite a few different honors. He was the primary winner, in 1989, of the FIJM prize named after him, the Oscar Peterson Award, which acknowledges a performer’s musicianship and distinctive contribution to the event of Canadian jazz. He launched over 200 recordings and performed 1000’s of live shows throughout the globe.

Oliver Jones began as a pupil of Oscar Peterson’s sister, Daisy Peterson Sweeney. Jones acquired a Juno Award and several other Félix Awards. He was the second recipient of the Competition’s Oscar Peterson Award in 1990, and that very same yr, he was the topic of a documentary by The Nationwide Board of Canada, Oliver Jones in Africa. In 1993, he was named an Officer of the Order of Canada.

A Competition live performance with these two piano legends befell on July 10, 2004 on the Wilfrid-Pelletier Theater, and it was a extremely anticipated, sold-out occasion. Competition founders Alain Simard and André Ménard launched the musicians one after the other, beginning with drummer Alvin Queen, bassist Niels-Henning Ørsted Pederson, electrical guitarist Ulf Wakenius, and the legendary pianist Oscar Peterson! Regardless of enduring some vital well being issues, together with a stroke in 1993, Oscar nonetheless performed with such verve, power, and magnificence, that it’s clear why he was thought of a worldwide jazz icon. The group performed the sprightly “Reunion Blues,” then carried out a stunning ballad, “When Summer season Comes,” adopted with the atmospheric and moody “Nighttime.” Oscar talked in regards to the passing of Norman Granz, Ray Brown, and John Lewis, and the way he was impressed by these deaths to compose “Requiem” a superbly somber lament. Peterson was visibly moved on the finish of this track, which was actually appreciated by the packed viewers. Then got here an immensely enjoyable boogie-woogie that spotlighted every participant, and a spirited rendition of “Satin Doll.” The present continued with all kinds of jazz, and a few classical music riffs thrown in for good measure. The set additionally included “Cakewalk,” and “Wheatland.” The musicians communicated with one another on such a excessive stage, it was extremely spectacular.

Then Oliver Jones got here out to thunderous applause and joined the band. Oscar and Oliver carried out a model of “Simply Mates” that was a divinely impressed duet the place they performed off one another like they had been born to do it. Then they gave a shocking efficiency of “Hymn to Freedom” that basically took the gang to church! Seeing these two illustrious pianists collectively was a feast for the senses, they usually greater than deserved the prolonged standing ovation they and their fellow musicians acquired on the finish.

Pierre Kwenders

Pierre Kwenders – Courtesy of the Montréal Jazz Competition

Congolese/Canadian musician Pierre Kwenders sings and raps in English, French, Lingala, and Tshiluba. He immigrated as a youngster along with his mom to Canada, and he’s identified for combining African music with Western pop, hip-hop, and digital music. In 2015, he was nominated for a SOCAN Songwriting Prize. Kwenders’ set was the after-party finish to the primary night of the digital FIJM. Pierre got here onstage wearing shades and a cool purple hat, and he was accompanied by Olivier Pépin on guitar. The present was interactive, with movies enjoying graphics behind the performers by VJ Boycott, artist Kando doing a portray, and a spectacular special-effects mild present. The music was evocative with a number of influences completely matching the visible presentation. At one level, Kwenders stated, “Let’s take a second to return to the Motherland,” and adopted with some intense, African-infused music, combined with techno. Pierre was a bundle of power, dancing all through the set.

Sunday, June 28

Jordan Officer

Jordan Officer © Kevin R. Mason

Jordan Officer is a Canadian guitarist who performs jazz, blues, and nation, and he has been a Competition staple with many sold-out exhibits, ever since he opened for Ray Charles in 1998. He has incessantly collaborated, recorded, and carried out with fellow Canadian musician Susie Arioli. One among Officer’s largest influences was Benny Goodman’s guitarist, Charlie Christian, and he’s significantly keen on the swing period. Jordan was joined by bassist Sage Reynolds and drummer Richard Irwin. The present began with a ballad, with Officer displaying nice dexterity on the guitar. The set included “Discovered It All,” “When We Had been Simply Two,” and a sultry “Pennies From Heaven” with an excellent bass solo by Sage Reynolds. Jordan additionally carried out a Cajun-inspired tune the place he performed the fiddle, and he adopted with just a few extra fiddle-centric melodies. It had the true feeling of a jazz-influenced hoedown. Officer gave a shout-out to Eddie Lang (who was referred to as the “Father of the Jazz Guitar”) with an emotional “A Little Love, A Little Kiss.” After a brief interview with Myriam Fehmiu, the group ended their set with some swinging honky-tonk.


 Mateo – Courtesy of the Montréal Jazz Competition

Juan Mateo Barrera Gonzalez, identified by his stage title of Mateo, is a Colombia-born musician who moved to Montréal on the age of 19. He has been influenced by the sounds of Colombia, salsa, Afro-beat, rock, and blues. He acquired the 2020 Artiste Révélation Prize from Radio-Canada. On the 2019 Canadian Latin Awards, he was nominated for Greatest Male Vocalist of the 12 months. The set highlighted songs from Mateo’s newest album Vengo De Frente, starting along with his soulful vocals on “Miralo,” and segued into the high-energy “Camaleón.” Mateo was supported by vocalist/drummer Dan Fiyah Beats, bassist Diego Cruz, and guitarist Tito Sono. The subsequent providing was the romantic, plaintive bolero-paced “Náufrago,” with a fantastic guitar solo by Tito Sono. The group’s music was fairly expressive all through, ending their set with a catchy tune, “Aguacero.”


Marianne Trudel Trio with Morgan Moore and Robbie Kuster

Marianne Trudel © Kevin R. Mason

Marianne Trudel is a multi-faceted Canadian pianist/composer/arranger. She has had musical partnerships with the likes of Karen Younger, Ingrid Jensen, Chucho Valdés, John Hollenbeck, Tony Malaby, and Kenny Wheeler. She has additionally labored with L’Orchestre Nationwide de Jazz de Montréal, which incorporates a few of the cream of the crop of Montréal musicians, like Jean-Pierre Zanella, Christine Jensen, André Leroux, Jean-Nicolas Trottier, and Samuel Blais. She has made seven recordings as a pacesetter.

Bassist and producer Morgan Moore is a Juno Award winner, and he’s toured worldwide.

Drummer Robbie Kuster was born in Switzerland and adopted Montréal as his house in 2000. He has carried out with Yannick Rieu, Patrick Watson, and Philippe Lauzier.

Marianne Trudel was joined by her fellow musicians, they usually performed one lengthy track, a stunning minor-key, emotionally highly effective ballad.

Jeremy Dutcher

Jeremy Dutcher – Courtesy of the Montréal Jazz Competition

Jeremy Dutcher is a classically educated indigenous Canadian tenor, composer, musicologist, and activist. He’s a member of the Tobique First Nation of New Brunswick. His debut CD, Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa received the 2018 Polaris Music Prize, and in 2019, the CD received the Juno Award for Indigenous Music Album of the 12 months. After learning music and anthropology at Dalhousie College, and his classical coaching as a tenor, he included the normal track stylings of his neighborhood into his music. His present started with a piercingly stunning chant whereas accompanying himself on piano, and Jeremy had nice assist by cellist Blanche Israël. The set was stuffed with poignant and evocative songs, and it was a balm for the soul.



Charlotte Cardin

  Charlotte Cardin © Kevin R. Mason

Canadian singer/songwriter/pianist Charlotte Cardin contains pop, techno, and jazz influences in her music. In 2017, she was nominated for a SOCAN Songwriting Prize, and in 2018, she acquired two Juno Award nominations, for Breakthrough Artist of the 12 months and Songwriter of the 12 months. For her set, Charlotte’s clear soprano voice was backed impeccably by Benjamin Courcy on drums and Mathieu Sénéchal on bass and keyboards. In an intimate present, her songs included “Like It Doesn’t Damage,” and “Important Woman.”


Jaco Pastorius Treasures of the Competition Live performance

Jaco Pastorius – Courtesy of the Montréal Jazz Competition

The night ended with the 1982 live performance by jazz bassist Jaco Pastorius, who was a member of Climate Report from 1976 to 1981. He labored with Pat Metheny, Joni Mitchell, Flora Purim, Mike Stern, Al Di Meola, Wayne Shorter, Michael Brecker, Toots Thielemans, Jack DeJohnette, and lots of others. He was inducted into the DownBeat Jazz Corridor of Fame in 1988, and he acquired a number of Grammy Award nominations. Though his life was plagued with many difficulties, and he died a lot too younger at 35 after a combat outdoors a bar in Florida, his work continues to affect musicians. He was additionally the topic of a 2014 documentary, Jaco.

Jaco’s present began with some funky jazz that confirmed off his glorious chops. The excellent band was made up of drummer Peter Erskine, Othello Molineaux on metal drums, Don Alias on congas and percussion, Bobby Mintzer on saxophone and bass clarinet, and trumpeter Randy Brecker. There wasn’t a lot speaking, however this present was a grasp class by artists on the high of their sport. There was a strong efficiency of “America the Lovely” as a bass solo by Jaco, as nicely “Donna Lee,” “The Hen,” and “Mr. Fonebone.” There was the whole lot from bebop and fusion to Caribbean influences, with incredible solos by every musician. The ultimate track of the night was “Fannie Mae,” which was sung by Jaco, and all of the musicians bought their well-deserved time within the highlight. It was fairly the memorable live performance!

Monday, June 29

Fredy V. & The Basis

Fredy V. and The Basis – Courtesy of the      Montréal Jazz Competition

Fredy V. is a singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist who made his mark as a part of The Kalmunity Vibe Collective in Canada. Sporting a Black Lives Matter t-shirt, Fredy V. began his present with a driving, “Down For Me.” Then, a voice-over recounted the grim info of the Trayvon Martin and George Floyd circumstances and the protests which have arisen, in acknowledgement of the unrest the world over. Fredy welcomed the viewers, saying, “It’s so superb to be right here proper now, and we’re so blissful to be collectively. It’s been just a few months, we ain’t seen one another…however it’s form of bittersweet, as a result of that is solely half of the band. I need to give a honest shout-out to 3 members that aren’t with us: Frank O’Sullivan, David Osei-Afrifa, and Mel Pacifico. We’re sending you guys our love, we miss you guys a lot, however we’re going to symbolize The Basis for y’all.” They continued with a passionate “My Pleasure,” adopted by the funky “One Step,” the place he sang in English, however rapped in French. Fredy V. was joined by Caulder Nash on keyboards, drummer Ronny Desinor, and bass guitarist Paul Charles. Fredy stated, “If you wish to evolve, typically it’s a must to let go and free your self” as an introduction to “Free Your self.” After briefly talking with Myriam Fehmiu, who effusively complimented his music, Fredy V. and the band swung right into a super-hot, “Ain’t Going Nowhere.” They continued with the soulful “Fly With Me” and “Intertwine.” He acknowledged, “I didn’t suppose we had been going to have a reside present this yr, but right here we’re. It’s a good looking factor y’all!” He ended his fabulous set with the outdated sign-off by Don Cornelius on the TV present Soul Practice, “Peace, Love, and Soul!” This was an actual dance occasion and a real crowd pleaser!

Following the set, there was a clip of vocalist Melody Gardot speaking about her experiences on the Competition, and the way she as soon as noticed not less than eight acts in a single night. This was adopted by a video of followers from everywhere in the world sending their love and hellos. It was breathtakingly stunning.

Carl Mayotte                                                       

Carl Mayotte – Courtesy of the Montréal Jazz Competition

Guitarist Carl Mayotte began enjoying bars and particular occasions on the age of 16. He has performed with ensembles of all sizes and labored with singer Bruno Pelletier.  Carl’s live performance started with some pulsing fusion. The subsequent track began with an incredible solo by Mayotte, and the opposite band members, drummer Stephane Chamberland, keyboardist François Grégoire, and saxophonist Damien-Jade Cyr, all had moments to discover the dialog on this island-influenced tune. The closing was a haunting ballad that quickly picked up the tempo, altering tempos all through, and all of the gamers introduced their “A” sport!




Jack Broadbent

Jack Broadbent – Courtesy of the Montréal Jazz Competition

British vocalist/slide guitarist/singer Jack Broadbent grew up listening to Radiohead, Robert Johnson, Joni Mitchell, and Davey Graham, and these legends had been a giant affect on his distinctive fashion. He has opened for Peter Frampton, Johnny Hallyday, and Tony Joe White, and he’s headlined sold-out exhibits worldwide. Jack began his set by saying, “Hello, that is Jack Broadbent in Montréal. I need to say large thanks to the Jazz Competition, and a giant hi there and heat welcome to everyone who’s listening on the market. Peace.” Then he jumped proper into the music with “On the Highway Once more.” Subsequent, he performed “If” from his CD, Moonshine Blue, the place he gave the impression of an ensemble, though he was enjoying the slide guitar alone on stage. Subsequent got here a track Broadbent wrote in London, “She Stated,” which he performed and sang with energy and magnetism. Jack prefaced his final track by saying, “Thanks very a lot for listening, and due to the Jazz Fest for having me. With the present context everywhere in the world proper now, it’s time we sat all the way down to have an actual dialogue earlier than it’s too late.” It was an introduction to the delicate finale, “Too Late.”


Elisapie – Courtesy of the Montréal Jazz Competition

Elisapie is a Canadian Inuk singer/songwriter, broadcaster, documentary filmmaker, and activist. She’s the recipient of a Juno Award for Aboriginal Tune of the 12 months “Taima,” and a nomination for the Canadian Display screen Award for Greatest Unique Tune, “Far Away.”  She began her present with the elegiac “Darkness Convey the Mild.” Elisapie stated, “I’m so delighted, and so proud, and it feels so good to be with these superb musicians on this stage in Montréal.” Her band members had been guitarist Jean-Sébastien Williams, bassist Joshua Toal, and drummer Pascal Delaquis, they usually gave her robust assist. She coated “Asuguuq” by the late Inuk country-folk singer Charlie Adams. Her music had a hypnotic feeling, casting a spell over the listeners.



Jean-Michel Blais

Jean-Michel Blais – Courtesy of the Montréal Jazz Competition

Composer/pianist Jean-Michel Blais has been influenced by many pianists, together with Frédéric Chopin, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Maurice Ravel, Steve Reich, and Philip Glass. Jean-Michel’s debut album, II, was launched in 2015 and named certainly one of Time Journal’s High Ten Albums of the 12 months. Throughout his set, Blais commanded the stage alone at his piano, enjoying with beautiful musicality, method, and simple expertise. Jean-Michel didn’t speak, however with music this stunning and calming, no phrases had been crucial.



Miles Davis Treasures of the Competition 1985 Live performance

Miles Davis – Courtesy of the Montréal Jazz Competition

Miles Davis was an American jazz trumpeter, bandleader, and composer, and one of the vital acclaimed and influential musicians in jazz historical past. In his five-decade profession, he carried out with a Who’s Who of imminent artists, together with Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, Purple Garland, Sonny Rollins, Invoice Evans, Ron Carter, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, and John McLaughlin, and lots of different notables in music. Davis received eight Grammy Awards, and had 32 nominations. He acquired a number of Greatest Trumpeter honors from DownBeat Journal and was inducted into their Corridor of Fame in 1962. His recording profession included the basic albums Type of Blue, Sketches of Spain, Beginning of the Cool, and Miles Forward. Davis improvised the compelling rating for the 1958 French movie, Ascenseur Pour L’Echafaud (Elevator to the Gallows). In 1994, FIJM created the Miles Davis Award, to honor an incredible worldwide jazz musician for his or her whole physique of labor and affect in regenerating the jazz idiom.

The live performance started with some funky fusion that absolutely raised the roof on the live performance corridor. Subsequent got here a shocking rendition of Michael Jackson’s “Human Nature,” adopted by one other incendiary quantity with a number of excellent solos. Miles was brilliantly backed by guitarist John Scofield, percussionist Steve Thornton, drummer Vince Wilburn Jr., saxophonist Bob Berg, Robert Irving, III on synthesizer, and bassist Darryl Jones. The present included a superbly romantic model of Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time,” “Jean Pierre,” “Code M.D.” “One Telephone Name,” and “One thing’s on Your Thoughts.” Close to the tip of the present, Miles introduced every of the musicians to the entrance of the stage to benefit from the explosive ovation they acquired, one after the other. It was a basic and unforgettable present.

Tuesday, June 30

Jacques Kuba Séguin                                                                                                                     

Jacques Kuba Séquin
© Kevin R. Mason

For the final 10 years, trumpeter/composer Jacques Kuba Séguin has toured extensively in Jap Europe. In 2016, a 13-concert tour of Poland, Lithuania, and Germany was the kickoff for the discharge of album, JKS Litania Projekt With The Bozzini Quartet. He was twice nominated for the Prix Opus in 2015, for each the Jazz Album of the 12 months, and Live performance of the 12 months for his efficiency on the FIJM. He simply received a Juno Award for Jazz Album of the 12 months: Solo. He has carried out with a number of musicians on the Montréal jazz scene, together with Phillipe Côté, and he took half in Jazzlab and Papagroove. At his live performance, after a dialog with host Myriam Fehmiu, the group jumped proper into the swing of issues with a strong track that put Jacques’ robust trumpet chops to glorious use. He was accompanied by drummer Kevin Warren, bassist Rémi-Jean LeBlanc, and keyboardist Jonathan Cayer. Their music was typically darkly intense and percussive, and at different occasions it was melancholy. This was a really emotionally shifting live performance that included “Blues pour les CT,” from his album Odd Lot – Compilation 15 ans, “L’écrivain” and (from the Juno Award-winning album MiGRATIONS), “Transit,” “By no means Say Hopeless,” and “I Bear in mind Marie in April” (additionally from MiGRATIONS).

Naya Ali

Naya Ali – Courtesy of the Montréal Jazz Competition

Ethiopian-born, Montréal-raised hip-hop artist Naya Ali burst on to the music scene in 2017 along with her debut single, “Ra.” Naya has been retaining very busy, enjoying festivals equivalent to Osheaga, Competition d’été de Québec, Competition Worldwide de Jazz de Montréal, La Noce, Le Festif!, Up Right here, NXNE, Mural Fest, Montreal en Lumière, Santa Teresa, Montreal Pleasure, OUMF and FME.  She was joined by DJ John Brown for a set that was stuffed with passionately forceful hip-hop, the place Naya alternated between singing and rapping.


Alain Caron Trio with Paul Brochu and John Roney

Alain Caron – Courtesy of the Montréal Jazz Competition

French Canadian Alain Caron is a bass guitarist who began enjoying on the age of 11, and he began pursuing jazz at 15. He was member of UZEB, a jazz-fusion band, and has carried out with Leni Stern and Gino Vannelli. He’s a member of the Order of Canada, a winner of two Félix Awards, and with UZEB, he acquired the Competition’s Oscar Peterson Award in 1991. Caron performs a particular bass made by luthier George Furlanetto.

Paul Brochu is extensively thought of certainly one of Canada’s high drummers. Together with Alain Caron, he was a part of the group UZEB. He’s a professor on the College of Montréal.

Pianist/composer John Roney is likely one of the most lively artists on the Montréal music scene. He’s collaborated with Chet Doxas, Effendi JazzLab, Rémi Bolduc, Bernard Primeau, Christian McBride, Peter Erskine, Donny McCaslin, and lots of others.

Earlier than the set, there was a video of bassist Marcus Miller, who voiced his disappointment at not with the ability to carry out reside at this yr’s Competition, however he emphasised that he’d be there in 2021. Then Miller launched the Alain Caron Trio. The group began with compelling, straight-ahead jazz, adopted by a stunning ballad. Their finale was a fusion of latest jazz and bebop, and it made for a fantastic closing.

Dominique Fils-Aimé

Dominique Fils-Aimé
© Kevin R. Mason

Dominique Fils-Aimé is a vocalist from Quebec. In 2018 she launched her debut album, Anonymous, and she or he received the 2020 Juno Award for Vocal Jazz Album of the 12 months for Keep Tuned!

On tape, Chris Illingworth of GoGo Penguin expressed his regrets at not with the ability to carry out on the Competition this yr, and stated he was wanting ahead to subsequent yr. Then he launched Dominique Fils-Aimé, who was joined on stage by drummer Salin Cheewapansri and keyboardist David Osei-Afrira. Dominique began her present by solemnly reciting Maya Angelou’s poem, “Nonetheless I Rise.” Then she carried out a stirring “Anonymous.” Her shifting set included “Birds,” “Massive Man Do Cry,” “Gun Burial,” and the ardently church-infused “Pleasure River.” Ms. Fils-Aimé is an distinctive musical storyteller, and her distinctive voice actually pulled the viewers in with the vivid photos her efficiency painted.


The Barr Brothers

The Barr Brothers – Courtesy of the Montréal Jazz Competition

The Barr Brothers indie people band contains brothers Andrew Barr on vocals/drums and Brad Barr on guitar/vocals, bassist Morgan Moore, and harpist/vocalist Eveline Gregoire-Rousseau. The group has been nominated for a number of Juno Awards, and their influences embody Delta blues, Appalachian songs, and African music. They starred twice on the Competition’s major, Scène TD stage, the place they carried out for crowds of over 50,000 folks.

Though they could be primarily based in people music, at their live performance, the performed a lot extra, together with rock. The present started with “Burn Card,” adopted by “You Would Need to Lose Your Thoughts.” Brad Barr stated, “It’s good to be enjoying music once more for folks apart from ourselves.” Brad mentioned not too long ago co-writing a track with composer Alfred Howard, titled “Co-Authors.” It was a strong protest track about inequality in North America, and it’s a part of Howard’s year-long venture, Alfred Howard Writes, the place Howard collaborated with quite a few musicians and is releasing songs every day for 365 days. The proceeds might be break up between the musicians and charities supporting social justice. To buy music, and for extra info, go to: www.alfredhowardwrites.com.

Sarah Vaughan 1983 Treasures of the Competition Live performance

Sarah Vaughan – Courtesy of the Montréal Jazz Competition

Legendary vocalist Sarah Vaughan had one of the vital outstanding careers within the historical past of jazz, and it began in 1942 when she received the Apollo Theater beginner evening competitors. Nicknamed “Sassy” and The Divine One,” she received 4 Grammy Awards, together with a Lifetime Achievement Award, and in 1989, she was honored with an NEA Jazz Masters Award. Her recordings included jazz, pop, Brazilian music, and the Nice American Songbook. Thought of to have one of many best and most recognizable voices in music, in 2012, The Sarah Vaughan Worldwide Vocal Competitors (The SASSY Awards) was established in her honor, and is held yearly on the TD James Moody Jazz Competition on the New Jersey Performing Arts Heart, persevering with the legacy of this famend singer.

On the live performance, the band began with a jaunty quantity, then Sarah got here out in a glowing black gown and sang a rapid-fire improvisation, then she segued into the stunning ballad, “I’m Glad There’s You.” Vaughan launched the band, pianist Mike Wofford, double bassist Andy Simpkins, and drummer Harold Jones, made just a few quips, then she sang a vivacious “I’ve Bought the World On a String.” She adopted up with a romantic “If You May See Me Now.” Subsequent got here a full of life “Simply Mates” the place Sarah scatted expertly, and pianist Mike Wofford’s solo was the proper accompaniment. Between songs, she regaled the viewers with witty banter. The present continued with a captivating medley that included “However Not For Me,” “Our Love is Right here to Keep,” “Embraceable You,” “Somebody to Watch Over Me.” It should have been sizzling on that stage, as a result of Vaughan dabbed perspiration all through, but regardless of that, she was unflappable in her singing. The subsequent track was an up-tempo “On a Clear Day.” She adopted with a Duke Ellington/Billy Strayhorn track with out phrases, “Chelsea Bridge” and stated she was channeling saxophonist Johnny Hodges.  She appeared to be having a blast! The present continued with the melodic “East of the Solar, West of the Moon” and a swinging “From This Second On.” After a loud ovation, Sarah completed with a poignant “Ship within the Clowns.” Though this live performance was within the later a part of Ms. Vaughan’s profession, she had misplaced none of her powers, and this efficiency strengthened her status as one of many best.

In these unusually unsettling occasions, this digital Competition was a fabulous reminder of the therapeutic energy of music. No matter is occurring on the planet, music provides hope. Every evening of the Competition, there have been completely different pairs of contest winners within the viewers at L’Astral, and weren’t they the fortunate ones? Truly, all of the viewers had been fortunate to have the ability to nearly get pleasure from this glorious music. Even those that weren’t capable of expertise the Competition reside will nonetheless have the ability see tapes of the occasions for FREE till July 30. To view the digital programming, go to: www.montrealjazzfest.com.

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