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Montreal’s Jazz Festival

Even though many of us are still bundled up in coats and hats, it’s not too early to be thinking about summer fun.

 

If you’re a jazz aficionado, it doesn’t get much better than the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal. This year, Montreal will welcome world-renowned jazz musicians from June 28th- July 7th 2012.

 

It’s best to book scoop up cheap flights and lodging now, since many music lovers plan their trips to this annual festival well in advance. Each summer, Montreal welcomes approximately 3,000 artists from over 30 countries.

 

Throughout the ten-day festival, visitors can choose from over 650 concerts, including 450 outdoor performances (most of which are free!).

 

Be prepared for crowds, since the festival has been known to draw up to 2.5 million visitors (approximately 40% of whom are tourists).

 

The thirty-third Montreal Jazz Festival will take place in the Quartier des Spectacles in downtown Montreal, an area bordered by St. Laurent Boulevard and De Bleury Street from east to west, and Ste. Catherine Street and President-Kennedy Avenue from south to north. Within this area, artists perform at various outdoor stages and indoor jazz clubs and concert halls (ranging from intimate venues to auditoriums that hold over 100,000 people.

 

Due to the fact that many of the streets surrounding Quartier des Spectacles are blocked off, the festival coordinators recommend that you access the performance venues on foot or using public transportation.

 

This year, jazz greats B.B. King, Al Di Meola, Amelia Curran, Beirut, Buddy Guy and Carcol will headline the festival. However, there will also be opportunities to hear up-and-coming jazz stars like Nina Attal, Ornette, Sophie Alour and Soul Rebels Brass Band. More information about the festival venues, this year’s line up and links for purchasing tickets can be found at:  http://www.montrealjazzfest.com/default-en.aspx

 

CC Flickr photo credit: Yannick Charlet

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