The Montreal International Jazz Festival is the largest Jazz festival in the world. Held every year in downtown Montreal, Quebec, the Festival features top names and up-and-coming artist from around the world.
The first Festival was held in 1980 and drew some 12,000 people; today, more than 2 million visitors flock to Montreal each summer to enjoy the music, food, and fun.
2009 Montreal Jazz Festival Dates
The dates for the 2009 Montreal Jazz Festival are July 1 to July 12. It will be the 30th anniversary of the festival so it should be especially good this year.
In general, the Festival usually takes place from the end of June through the beginning of July. In total, over 500 concerts are held at numerous venues downtown, including small jazz clubs, open parks, outdoor stages, and large concert halls.
Because more than half of the shows are held outdoors and are free to the public, the city closes the area to traffic. Some of the concerts draw as many as 200,000, so whether you are an avid jazz enthusiast or are just out for a good time, the Montreal International Jazz Festival is certain to have something for everyone.
History of the Montreal International Jazz Festival
Organizers tried to put on the first festival in 1979, but couldn’t raise enough funding until the follow year. Since its inception in 1980, the festival has grown into one of the most famous jazz festivals in the world and has featured the biggest names in jazz, including:
- Ray Charles
- Dave Brubeck
- John Lee Hooker
- Bo Diddley
- Muddy Waters
- Chick Corea
- Vic Vogel
- Gary Burton
- and the list goes on…
Over 20 Years of Music is a 4-CD box set that features some of the best recordings at the festival from 1980-2000 and offers information about the artists and their music.
Where is the Montreal International Jazz Festival held?
The Festival is held within a four block area around Complexe Desjardins and the Place des Arts in downtown Montreal, between Ste-Catherine, President-Kennedy, Bleury, and St-Urbain streets.
Because much of the area is blocked off to traffic in order to make sure visitors can easily get around the Festival’s different venues, public transportation is the best way to get there.
You can find a map of downtown Montreal here.
Festival Contact Info
Address: Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, 400, de Maisonneuve West Blvd., 9th Floor, Montreal, Quebec, H3A 1L4.