From September 24 to October 28, the Red Bull Music Academy will touch down in Montreal for a deep and distinguished exploration of Canadian and international music culture, featuring events, club nights, performances, public lectures and a special VR exhibition throughout the city. Here are a few events that got our attention.

SEPT 26: Conversation with IGGY POP

(8PM at Monument National, tickets here)

Iggy Pop was punk before punk even existed. Channeling rock & roll and Chicago blues influences with his band The Stooges in the late 1960s and early 1970s, the Michigan native created some of the most potent rock music the world had ever heard, influencing virtually every generation of punk, garage rock and grunge artists that was to come. Pop’s high-wire collaborations with David Bowie in the latter half of the ’70s are the stuff of legend and spawned some of both artists’ most enduring hits. In 2016, he affirmed his position in the pantheon of rock music with his celebrated Post Pop Depression LP. Red Bull Music Academy is honored to welcome Pop at Montreal’s Monument National: Ludger-Duvernay Theatre, Canada’s oldest theater, for a lengthy conversation about his colossal career with noted Canadian music journalist Carl Wilson.



(From 4Pm to 11PM, at L’atrium le 1000. Tickets here)

Music and roller skating rinks have long been a fertile combination. But with the Red Bull Music Academy taking place in Montreal, we thought we’d take the proceedings to a different type of surface. Esteemed selector Patrick Mocan and friends will provide the soundtrack to our very first Super Samedi Soir. It will all go down at Atrium Le 1000, the picturesque rink housed inside of Montreal’s tallest building on October 1, so lace up your skates, brush up on your Salchow and get ready to party on ice.


(9m, at Le Belmont. Tickets here)

Comprised of Colin Stetson on saxophones, Shahzad Ismaily on bass and synths, Greg Fox on drums and Toby Summerfield on guitar, EX EYE makes music that will leave a lasting impression on you and your eardrums. Their roaring, metal-informed sound is the result of the immense force each player unleashes on their instruments but also of the intricate interplay at work in this unholy union. The band will be joined by Deradoorian, former member of art rock outfit Dirty Projectors and now an acclaimed solo artist in her own right, as well as part of this year’s team of studio tutors at the Red Bull Music Academy.

Ex Eye (Colin Stetson, Greg Fox, Shahzad Ismaily, Toby Summerfield), Deradoorian, Merk, & Sofie Winterson.



(8PM, Cinquième Salle de la Place-des-Arts. Tickets here)

Cinquième Salle (Place des Arts) hosts a meeting of harmonious musical minds on October 5th. Featuring French-Canadian pianist Jean-Michel Blais and Montreal’s emotional electronics whiz CFCF, the debut collaborative live performance will interpret the similarities and differences of their respective crafts, highlighting shared tendencies towards playful minimalism. Jean-Michel Blais began playing piano at age nine, but his original compositions only started to earn wider acclaim in 2016 via debut album II. CFCF has taken a similarly slow-burning path, releasing on 1080p and RVNG Intl. en route to a Grammy nomination in 2015 for his remix of a Daniel Hope performance of a Max Richter violin composition. That formidable skill for re-interpreting classical music is a sign of what’s to come at Place des Arts, where CFCF will create live remixes of Blais’s piano performances.


OCT 7: 1080p

(9PM at Artgang. Tickets here)

We close the curtain on its first term of Red Bull Music Academy Montreal with a celebration of one of Canada’s most exciting record labels. 1080p is based in Vancouver, but many of its artists are making skewed house, techno and godknowswhat in Montreal, including Project Pablo, RAMZI, Riohv and Adam Feingold. Representing the NYC wing of the imprint will be Max McFerren. RBMA Montreal participant Keita Sano from Japan, whose Holding New Cards cassette is a 1080p highlight, will also perform. It’s hard to say that there is a particularly coherent 1080p sound, but that’s part of the point: Each artist has a distinct take on the usual structures of dance music, pushing and pulling them into strange and danceable new forms. Expect a night of unexpected dancefloor sounds that will no doubt confuse and delight in equal measure.

Project Pablo, Max McFerren, Riohv, Adam Feingold, RAMZI, Keita Sano


Oct 15 to Nov 12: BJÖRK DIGITAL

(At Phi Center. Info Here)

Far from being solely a musical innovator, Icelandic icon Björk has consistently been at the forefront of artistic advancements in interactive technology. Following the creation of a universe of apps for 2011’s Biophilia, since the release of 2015’s Vulnicura she has collaborated with the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Sydney’s Vivid festival, London’s Somerset House and Tokyo’s Miraikan on a series of groundbreaking virtual reality music videos. Now, Björk teams up with Red Bull Music Academy and Phi, premiering a new VR video film from Vulnicura for “Family,” – as well as collaborating on the Björk Digital Exhibition to be held at DHC/ART Foundation for Contemporary Art from Saturday, October 15th through Saturday, November 12th. Featuring immersive screenings of the Vulnicura VR videos (including the debut of the new “Family”), an interactive collection of Biophilia apps, a cinema room screening Björk’s enviable music video oeuvre and much more, the exhibition is both a continuation of Björk’s boundless experimentation and a window into the mind of one of today’s most interesting creators, musical or otherwise.



(9PM at Theatre Plaza. Tickets here)

RBMA brings back its Round Robin event, this time for its debut in Montreal. The format? Simple. One musician starts a solo improvisation lasting five minutes. Another musician then joins for five minutes of duo improvisation. After those five minutes, musician #1 leaves the stage and musician #3 joins musician #2 for another five minutes, and so on and so forth for two hours. You’ll hear artists from the realms of jazz, electronics, experimental rock and everything in between as you’ve never heard them before. Featured artists include electronic experimenter d’Eon, the Roc Nation-signed Afro-centric Young Paris, Arcade Fire collaborator Sarah Neufeld, cellist Rebecca Foon, BRAIDS drummer Austin Tufts and more.

Austin Tufts, d’Eon, FOXTROTT, Mark Haynes, Mauro Pezzente, Rebecca Foon, Richard Reed Parry, Sandro Penni, Sarah Neufeld, SoCalled, Young Paris, Craig Pedersen, & more



(9PM at Thâtre Paradoxe. Tickets here)

Montreal’s status as disco’s second city may be an unlikely one, but the DJs, record labels and clubs that sprouted up back in the late ’70s know the truth: The genre was the soundtrack to the city, in both French and English. To pay tribute to the enormous impact that disco had in Montreal, Red Bull Music Academy will invite some of the city’s most important DJs along with some very special guests to relive the glory days in a special one-off event. Held at the opulent Théâtre Paradoxe, it will be a night that puts Montreal disco back on the map for those who knew about it way back when, and those who are finding out about it for the very first time.

OCT 25 and 26 : BJÖRK DJ SET

(At Cirque Éloize. Sold Out)

Over the last three decades, few musicians have matched the electrifying output and restless reinvention of Björk. On albums like Post, Vespertine, Medúlla and 2015’s Vulnicura, the Icelandic artist has used the transformative power of her voice to construct unforgettable sonic worlds, prizing collaboration as an essential tool for creation and linking ideas from across disparate generations and cultures. She has also established a strong stance on genre boundaries: There aren’t any. As part of Red Bull Music Academy Montreal, the world-renowned artist will translate that idiosyncratic approach to create a different sort of immersive experience, DJing all night long on back-to-back nights on October 25th and 26th. A DJ set from Björk is as much education as it is celebration – expect the collision of music you have never heard before and might never hear again, merging abrasive electronics with the singular vocals of artists from around the world. One thing is for sure: You’ll leave the party thinking even more than ever that there is no one quite like Björk.

OCT 26: LE GONZERVATOIRE (avec Chilly Gonzales)

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Pianist, composer, and entertainer Chilly Gonzales is no ordinary musician. Originally from Canada, Chilly Gonzales moved to Europe in 1999 and has lived in Berlin, Paris and Cologne ever since. In the time it has taken him to create his vast body of work, Chilly has also broken a Guinness world record (for the longest solo piano concert), and scored a Grammy for his contribution to Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories. The last few years have seen him become a mad professor of music, through the book Re-Introduction Etudes (2014) and his Pop Music Masterclasses on YouTube. Gonzo’s musical talents are such that he seamlessly switches from working with Boys Noize to Feist to Drake to Jarvis Cocker. Anchoring all of this is the minimalist pianism found on his Solo Piano albums (2009, 2012), also complemented by string quartet on the most recent Chambers (2015).

Chilly Gonzales as a performer pushes the boundaries of what is considered entertainment, continuously tackling the high brow-low brow dichotomy. This year, Gonzo coaches a handful of Red Bull Music Academy students in the art of entertainment during a week-long, first-ever Gonzervatory class, culminating with the “Gonzervatory Masterclass Concert” on October 26, 2016. Expect a night of the unexpected as Chilly Gonzales conducts this collaborative concert by the first graduating class of the RBMA Gonzervatory.


Texts from Red Bull Academy’s website. More info here.

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