Montreal Jazz Fest is so big at this point, it’s hard to walk around the dedicated entire neighbourhood blocked off for it. So many people, from locals to tourists, flock to listen to a variety of music from the dense programming. And why not? You don’t have to spend money to hear great music here. Yes, you can go see indoor paying shows. But the outdoor free shows at constant! There are several stages throughout closed off streets and squares. And one can just hop from one show to another, without missing a beat (pun intended, hehe).

Jazz Festival Opening Day

Yesterday marked the opening of the festival with some great acts. Among the several that played (there were 4 bands playing at the same time on different stages at one point!), I ran around between 3 stages, and was not only able to hear great music, but also build up some leg muscles!


An act we have seen last year during the Festival Nuits d’Afrique. We love him here.
The turn out was amazing, there must have been thousands of people there. And boy were they enthusiastic! Don’t get me started on the diversity among the crowd, from nationalities to age. Everybody was enthralled by the charisma Touré brought on.

Although the sound was too saturated and the vocals weren’t clear enough, the music was just as it usually is: amazing!

The trio composed of drums, bass, and Daby on guitar and vocals, were able to pull a lot of people together through humour and great musicianship.

The perfect mix of West-African music, reggae, folk, and even some pop through great melodies is definitely Touré’s signature.
He will be playing again at the Festival des Nuits d’Afrique this year, check out our future articles coming up right after Jazz Fest is over.

daby touré©FrederiqueMenardAubin-0084


Angel has some incredible energy! She comes on stage as if she just had 3 espressos. But it doesn’t come off as frantic either. She’s just feeling it that badly. The musicians around her were also completely present and happy to be playing. As a theme, the album Forrest was playing is called Angel’s 11, so they were 11 on stage. Three guitars, horns, percussions, drums, bass, keyboards, it was a big band!

Full with amazing guitar solos from the band’s players, but also guests, the crowd was cheering, and screaming to this high octane fed Janis Joplin descendant.




Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings… An institution. The privilege to see her, and all these legendary musicians, was touching and emotional. Or was it sensual because soul tends to do that to you? I never know!

All in all, Sharon Jones remains the boss on stage. Cancer or no cancer, she owns it and the public. The crowd was so dense, I couldn’t see where it began or where it ended.

This lady touched everyone when she mentioned her cancer, and the fact that she was not letting it rule her. That she was here, with her mic, and her band, playing in front of thousands of people. And with an impression of Tina Turner to the song “Get Up and Get Out“, she was giving her cancer the boot!

FIJM 2016 par victor diaz lamich-3500

A fun and emotional evening I ended somewhat early to be able to continue going the rest of the time. You gotta know when to pace yourself!

All our Jazz Fest articles are here!

Images: Benoit Rousseau, Frederique Menard Aubin, Victor Diaz Lamich, Séverine Baron

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About The Author

Séverine Baron
Collaborator - RREVERB

Classical pianist in the great times of wearing braces, insomniac sound engineer with a headphone imprint on my skull, and also (mostly?) electro acoustic music composer during my existential self-questioning evenings. Mother to two garden gnomes, community manager and freelancer scribbler.