Jazz Fest and festivals galore!

Apologies all! I thought this was posted mid-July, but it wasn’t. Here it is now, without further ado!

Summer is festival season in Montreal, as many of you many know, and so we’ve been trying to hit as many as we can. I mentioned a couple entries ago that Jon’s sister, Ashley, fresh from high school graduation, has come to stay with us for a few months. She’ll be taking classes in Ohio for a couple years before transferring up here to get a degree in photography. While she’s here, Jon has set her up internships with photographers so she can get her feet wet while learning the city.

Yesterday, she watched the set-up of the International Jazz Festival while shadowing a photographer from the Montréal Gazette. It’s huge (the largest jazz festival in the world),  attended by 2 million people each year according to Wikipedia. I also learned from the Wikipedia entry that there are more than 500 concerts typically offered, with 350 of those outside and free to the public. The festival started June 30 and ends July 12.

The festival opened with the legendary Stevie Wonder on June 30, which we definitely had to check out. He was actually one of the outdoor, free-to-the-public concerts. Can you believe it?

Stevie Wonder... picture from the Montreal International Jazz Festival website.

Stevie Wonder (photo thanks to the Montreal Jazz Fest website, linked here.)

The concert was packed by the time we got there, so we ended up on a spill-over stage with a giant screen showing the concert. It was awesome, even if we had to watch on a screen. We left mid-way through after it started to rain, but still enjoyed the show. He made a beautiful tribute to Michael Jackson, and even played a few Michael Jackson songs.

more after the jump

Jazz Fest logo

For more information, including maps, travel and accomodation information, concert listings, and even free desktop wallpapers, check out the official website here.

We did attend a smaller music festival last weekend in Old Port, and found that the smaller stages that were tucked away actually had the better musicians. Isn’t it funny how that works? We were also highly entertained (at least I was) by a street magician whose act I still can’t figure out.

We’ve also seen two movies being filmed, both of which we think must be smaller films. One was downtown near Old Port, and they were trying to transform Montreal into New York for the movie, complete with posting a sign in a park that read “Central Park”, NYC cabs (not official ones), and cars with New York plates parallel parked along the street. The other movie was actually being shot in our neighborhood, with a very long line of trailers parallel parked down the street for a couple days. One was marked “make-up”, and others had the actor’s names on them, which was definitely exciting. No one we recognized, and we’re not all that hopeful that we’ll find out what movies were being filmed. If you know, though, please leave a comment!

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1 Comment

Filed under Adventures, Home, Local News, Random

One response to “Jazz Fest and festivals galore!

  1. Bess Anderson

    hello Jen and Jon !!!
    Its Bess ..your Canadian friend from CG !!
    Seems like you both have been adjusting and loving your new life. I have been meaning to contact you for a while ….would love to speak in person and was wondering if you have time to talk. It is a private manner . Thank you so much !
    my cell number is 614 403 8735.

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