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Press Release                                                                                   

Festival International de Jazz de Montréal Announces First Concerts of 2016 Program
Joey Alexander, Wynton Marsalis, Gregory Porter, Ms. Lauryn Hill, Chick Corea Trio w/Christian McBride, Melody Gardot, Stacey Kent, CéU, Tord Gustavsen, Nir Felder, Bilal, Florence K, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Emilie-Claire Barlow Orchestral, Jay-Jay Johanson, Avishai Cohen trio and Fred Hersch

February 10, 2016 (New York, NY) — The 2016 Festival International de Jazz de Montréal (presented by TD in collaboration with Rio Tinto Alcon) is already commanding attention, with concerts from an array of A-list and buzz-worthy talent booked for this 37th edition of the world’s biggest jazz festival, June 29-July 9.  The first 17 concerts confirmed for 2016 include recent Grammy-winner Gregory Porter, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra featuring Wynton Marsalis, (for the first time in 14 years) Ms. Lauryn Hill, and the current jazz world darling, Joey Alexander, in his FIJM headlining debut.

Gregory Porter — June 29, 8 p.m., Théâtre Maisonneuve, PdA — A worthy descendant in the lineage of the great American voices of the ’60s and ’70s, Gregory Porter has swiftly established himself in the contemporary jazz vocal pantheon.  He took home a Grammy Award for his last album, Liquid Spirit (2013), released on the prestigious Blue Note label, and after thrilling a Club Soda audience two years ago, the artist returns to FIJM at the Théâtre Maisonneuve to showcase the full measure of his immense talent.

Melody Gardot — June 29, 7:30 p.m., Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, PdA — An absolute revelation when she appeared on the jazz scene in 2008, the American singer-guitarist- pianist and songwriter returns to FIJM with her magnificent voice, her incredible charisma, a new album, Currency of Man, and her unique ability to hold sway over an entire room from the moment she takes the stage.

Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra featuring Wynton Marsalis — June 30, 7 p.m., Maison symphonique — Led by virtuoso composer and trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra has undoubtedly ranked as one of the most highly regarded Big Bands in the world since its inception in the late 1980s, brilliantly taking on the challenge of championing jazz by marrying tradition and modernity. The group and its illustrious leader invite us to join them in the extraordinary environment of the Maison symphonique for a sublime Jazz experience.

CéU — June 30, 6 p.m., Club Soda — One of the hottest Brazilian artists of the moment, the sparkling CéU is causing a sensation with a tropical pop sound dominated by her irresistible voice and intense rhythms grooving between samba, electro-jazz and Afrobeat. After a sold-out show at Club Soda in 2012, her eagerly-awaited return is heralded by a live album, Ao vivo, with a rougher, more rocking sound than her previous releases.

Joey Alexander Trio — July 1, 8 p.m., Ludger-Duvernay Theatre, Monument-National —At barely 12, the Indonesian pianist already boasts an impressive curriculum vitae, with acclaimed performances at Jazz at Lincoln Center and the Newport Jazz Festival, front page coverage in The New York Times and a fan base to rival his mentors.  Alexander brings his debut album, My Favorite Things, to his first headlining slot at FIJM leading his own trio.

Chick Corea Trio with Christian McBride and Brian Blade — July 1, 7 p.m., Maison symphonique — The legendary pianist’s last visit dates back to 2012, when he shared the bill with Gary Burton. As part of a tour marking his 75th birthday, Chick Corea arrives this time with the trio of Christian McBride on bass and Brian Blade on drums, longtime collaborators as part of the famed Five Peace Band, with whom he released the Grammy-winning album Trilogy (2014 Best Jazz Instrumental Album).

Avishai Cohen trio July 2, 8 p.m., Monument-National — The illustrious Israeli double bassist Avishai Cohen returns to his Montreal audience accompanied by pianist Nitai Hershkovits and drummer Daniel Dor, with whom he shares a rare creative chemistry. He will unveil pieces from the album From Darkness, music of remarkable finesse featuring 11 rich and eclectic jazz compositions that shimmer with bold playing and subtle harmonies.

Stacey Kent — July 3, 8 p.m., Théâtre Maisonneuve, PdA — A current darling of vocal jazz, American singer Stacey Kent has conquered a huge audience in Europe and America with a sparkling discography comprising several gold albums. She’s back with her latest, the aptly named Tenderly, a lovely album recorded with one of the fathers of bossa-nova, guitarist-composer Roberto Menescal. The menu features a heartwarming musical fusion of timeless American standards steeped in sensual Brazilian influences.

Tord Gustavsen — July 3, 8 p.m., Ludger-Duvernay Theatre, Monument-National — Acclaimed Norwegian pianist and composer Tord Gustavsen released his seventh album for ECM Records this January, titled Hymns and Visions which features a newly formed trio with Afghan-German singer Simin Tander and drummer Jarle Vespestad. The repertoire focuses on interpretations and elaborations of ancient Norwegian hymns, translated into the hauntingly beautiful Pashto language, along with newly composed musical settings for Sufi poetry.

Ms. Lauryn Hill — July 5, 7:30 p.m., Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, PdA — Catapulted to fame as a member of the Fugees, grande dame of R&B Ms. Lauryn Hill returns to the Festival after a 14 year absence. Since then she has enhanced her already rich repertoire of rap, soul, reggae and R&B with two new major projects: the acoustic concert series Small Axe, and her recent homage to Nina Simone, which folds her magnificent voice into the music of the queen of jazz.

Fred Hersch solo — July 5, 10:30 p.m., Gesù — “When it comes to the art of solo piano in jazz, there are currently two classes of performers: Fred Hersch and everybody else” (All About Jazz).  With some 50 albums to his credit as a bandleader or accompanist, Fred Hersch is considered one of the most talented composers on the current jazz scene, recognized for the immense beauty and sensitivity of his style.  Combine the intimacy of the venue Gesù and a player of such caliber, and this is a musical event not to be missed.

Emilie-Claire Barlow Orchestral — July 6, 7 p.m., Maison symphonique —This newest star of Canadian jazz became the darling of the Festival after her revelatory 2007 debut, winning over critics with her exacting, airy voice.  On her latest album, Clear Day, the artist displays an eclectic repertoire including Brad Mehldau, Simon & Garfunkel, Coldplay, Van Morrison and Queen with orchestral arrangements, strings, brass and piano.  Barlow brings her gem of an album to the Maison symphonique, where she will perform in that orchestral format.

Jay-Jay Johanson — July 6, 6 p.m., Club Soda — Quite simply astonishing in the Gesù in his last Montreal visit back in February 2015, Jay-Jay Johanson arrives with material from his latest album, the 11th in a marvelous 20-year career spent exploring the boundaries of otherworldly sound. A master melancholist weaving a musical world between electro, jazz and trip-hop, the Swedish artist once again invites us to a magical evening of delicate melodies and airy rhythms from the soul of a man possessed.

Bilal — July 6, 10 p.m., Club Soda — A leading contemporary R&B artist and immensely talented singer, Bilal treats us to his first solo visit to the Festival. After collaborating with pianist Robert Glasper, and having worked with everyone who matters in contemporary African-American music, from Erykah Badu to Jay-Z, D’Angelo to Beyoncé, Bilal brings us a 5th album, In Another Life, driving us to a crossroads of futuristic funk, free jazz and soul influences.

Nir Felder — July 7, 9 p.m., L’Astral — A rising star in jazz guitar on the New York scene, Nir Felder came to prominence playing alongside Esperanza Spalding, Terri Lyne Carrington and Jack DeJohnette. Admired for his creativity and personal style, the musician follows memorable appearances at the Festival in 2013 alongside Mark Guiliana, Greg Osby and Aaron Parks with a show at L’Astral spotlighting his new album, Golden Age, which harmoniously blurs the boundaries of jazz, pop, hip-hop and rock.

Florence K, Buena Vida — July 9, 8 p.m., Théâtre du Nouveau Monde — Following the publication of her book, Buena Vida, Florence K decided to adapt the human and literary experiences contained in its pages for the stage. Seated at her piano, accompanied by a multi-instrumentalist, she throws wide the doors on this deeply personal journey to the limits of her being, with a few new songs added in, completing the creative and human cycle that is Buena Vida.

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds — July 9, 7:30 p.m., Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, PdA — Soaring in the same supremely talented ether of Britpop predecessor Oasis, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds continue their UK hit-making trajectory with their 2nd album, Chasing Yesterday (2015), which topped the charts straight out of the box. Here we find Noel fully inspired and surrounded by a handful of excellent musicians digging into supremely catchy pop-rock that matches classicism with new musical energy. Co-produced with evenko.
The 37th edition of the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal will be held from June 29 to July 9, 2016.
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Liza Prijatel Thors | Rebecca Davis Public Relations | 917.673.2048

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