Written by Scott Simpson on 10.06.14

The Montreal International Jazz Festival wears its name proud and boasts the 2004 Guinness World Record as the largest jazz festival in the world. Already in its 35th edition, taking place from June 26th to July 6th this year, expect the city to be taken over by music lovers and tourists coming from all over the globe to appreciate this world-class event. With over 3000 musicians representing over 30 countries, no wonder the Montreal International Jazz Festival has become the staple of Montreal’s festival season. We’ve decided to give you a little hand in picking where to go and what to see in our 2014 Jazz Festival Guide.

Non-Jazz Events

While the Montreal International Jazz Fest is the biggest of its kind in the world, they have also built a reputation for booking an eclectic group of performers that pushes the boundaries of what is considered “jazz”. While some purists have made no qualms about showing their discontent of this trend, it has also allowed the festival to flourish the way it has by attracting a much wider audience. With this year’s edition boasting performances by Snoop Dogg, Elvis Costello, and Hercules & Love Affair, they’ve certainly got something for everyone.

Friday, June 27th: Hercules & Love Affair + Andy Butler (DJ Set) / Club Soda / 11:00pm / $27.50 (buy tickets)
Sunday, June 29th: Elvis Costello solo / La Maison Symphonique / 7:00pm / $67 – $77 (buy tickets)
Wednesday, July 2nd: Of Montreal / Club Soda / 11:00pm / $37 (buy tickets)
Thursday, July 3rd: Violent Femmes / Metropolis / 8:30pm / $47.55 (buy tickets)
Friday, July 4th: Snoop Dogg / Metropolis / 11:00pm / $82 – $93.50 (buy tickets)
Saturday, July 5th: St. Vincent / Metropolis / 8:30pm / $41.55 (buy tickets)
Sunday July 6th: Andrew Bird / Théâtre Maisonneuve / 8:00pm / $42 – $49 (buy tickets)

Notable Venue

The Upstairs Jazz Bar & Grill provides us with sweet jazz grooves all year long and should not be ignored during Jazz Fest. Offering a series of shows that are all being performed at both 7:00pm and 9:45pm throughout the entirety of the festival, you’d be a fool not to stop by for a good glass of wine and some great music.

1254 Mackay St, Montreal, QC H3G 2H4
(514) 931-6808

Top Notch Lineup Venue

The Salle Wilfried-Pelletier at the Place Des Arts is always host to some of the biggest shows during Jazz Fest, and this year is no different. While most are not technically jazz performers, they always deliver the goods while also being huge draws. This year’s Beck performance on June 25th is already sold out, but with shows by Pink Martini, Earth, Wind & Fire, Tony Bennett, Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross, Maxwell, and a special performance by B.B. King & Gary Clark Jr., you’re not lacking in other options.

Sunday, June 29th: Pink Martini with special guest The Von Trapps / 3:00pm & 8:00pm / $70.50 – $94.50 (buy tickets)
Monday, June 30th: Earth, Wind & Fire / 7:30pm / $96.50 – $120.50 (buy tickets)
Tuesday, July 1st: Tony Bennett / 7:30pm / $112.50 – $146.50 (buy tickets)
Wednesday, July 2nd: Aretha Franklin / 7:30pm / $104.50 – $154.50 (buy tickets)
Thursday, July 3rd and Friday July 4th: Diana Ross / 7:30pm / $95.47 – $138.96 (buy tickets)
Saturday, July 5th: B.B. King & Gary Clark Jr. / 7:30pm / $103.50 – $123.50 (buy tickets)
Sunday, July 6th: Maxwell / 7:30pm / $68.50 – $90.50 (buy tickets)

Théâtre du Nouveau Monde’s 2 Artist Residencies

This year the Jazz Fest offers us two interesting residencies at the Théâtre du Nouveau Monde. They first welcome Rufus Wainwright performing solo from Friday, June 27th to Sunday, June 29th, followed by local favourite Coeur de Pirate performing from Thursday, July 3rd to Saturday, July 5th.

Friday, June 27th to Sunday, June 29th: Rufus Wainwright / 8:00pm / $61.45 – $76.45 (buy tickets)
Thursday, July 3rd to Saturday, July 5th: Coeur de Pirate / 8:00pm / $45.45 (buy tickets)

Free Outdoor Shows

While this year’s free outdoor lineup might not be as impressive as years past, there are still quite a few gems to be discovered, including a festival-opening night with Woodkid, the return of Diana Krall, and hip-hop supergroup Deltron 3030.

Thursday, June 26th: Woodkid / TD Stage / 9:30pm
Friday, June 27th: Boogat / Bell Stage / 10:00pm
Saturday, June 28th: Random Recipe / TD Stage / 9:00pm & 11:00pm
Sunday, June 29th: Diana Krall / TD Stage / 9:30pm
Friday, July 4th: Susie Arioli / TD Stage / 9:00pm & 11:00pm
Sunday, July 6th: Deltron 3030 / TD Stage / 9:30pm

Again, this is but a very limited snapshot of this year’s offerings and we strongly suggest heading over to the Montreal International Jazz Festival website to get a complete list of all of this year’s performers. See you at La Place des Spectacles!

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