The free outdoor program of the 29th edition of the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal - Let the summer begin!

    MONTREAL, June 2 /CNW Telbec/ - The Festival International de Jazz de
Montréal is thrilled today to unveil the exciting free outdoor program of its
29th edition-dedicated to the late Oscar Peterson, who passed away last
winter- set once again to bring the streets of Montreal to life, from
Thursday, June 26 to Sunday, July 6, 2008! As we prepare for the 30th
anniversary of the Festival, organizers have once again conceived and created
a rich and varied program of exhilarating and original concerts and
activities. Over 11 days and nights, the downtown core of our metropolis
throws its arms open to fans of jazz and its root musics, as we celebrate our
love for music together.
    Drawn by a program of 701 performances - 376 of them free - offered by
3000 musicians from 30 countries, over 250,000 tourists from five continents
will fill the downtown core in a few brief weeks, ready to transform a year's
worth of anticipation into 11 days of celebration! Whether it's to join in the
daily Louisiana Parade, dive into the crowd during one of the three free
Grands événements mega-concerts, groove to a jam session, join Armand
Vaillancourt in painting an immense mural along Jeanne-Mance Street, start the
day with the Petite école du jazz, end the evening with a jazz cruise or to
hear the greatest jazz legends and up-and-coming artists from near and far,
Montrealers and guests will be musically fulfilled!

    A Festival bursting with new additions!

    The program and the outdoor site have both undergone some changes for
this edition. Please note expanded entertainment, especially on Jeanne-Mance
St., the Pavillon Heineken, a magical 100% collapsible venue inspired by
antique Spiegel Tents, and even more gigantic screens strategically placed
throughout the site to optimize enjoyment of our outdoor shows-including our
three renowned major mega-concerts. And let's not forget the revamped Parc
musical Rio Tinto Alcan, which not only offers a greater range of games for
children, but invites young and older kids to a continuous slate of brand-new
activities all day long, from noon to 10 p.m.! Thanks to a collaboration with
Jeunesses Musicales Canada-and entirely in keeping with the Festival's
broadened mandate to promote and encourage musical practice, notably through
the SIMM-children aged 0-6 will be invited to Parc musical tent for an
exciting "musical awakening"; meanwhile, older kids (aged 7-12) can visit the
tent next door to join in group percussion, all under the supervision of JMC
teachers. Now that's the perfect way to get them started on music!
    The Festival site will feature a dozen stages for free open-air
concerts-in addition to over 15 indoor concert venues-offering Festival fans
50 concerts per day in ideal conditions. The square formed by the streets
bordering on Place des Arts will be closed to automobile traffic for the
duration of the Festival, allowing everyone to move freely among the many
activities available in the downtown core.

    The indoor concerts already on sale!

    The range of major names on the 29th edition marquee is breathtaking:
from Aretha Franklin to Woody Allen and including the likes of Leonard Cohen,
Return To Forever, Abbey Lincoln, Dianne Reeves, James Taylor, Lee "Scratch"
Perry, The Wailers, David Murray, Michel Donato, Guy Nadon, Ravi Coltrane,
Coral Egan, Steely Dan, Katie Melua, Yael Naim, the double program featuring
Al Green / Lizz Wright, and the return of Lewis Furey, the Festival hosts a
galaxy of greats! From the purest jazz to the most inspired hybrids, from
classics to newcomers, this Festival is where the greatest living jazz
musicians meet!
    This year, Festival organizers will dedicate the 29th edition to the late
Oscar Peterson, who passed away last winter. The absence of this great
Canadian and jazz colossus will be marked notably by the Invitation Rio Tinto
Alcan series, featuring a number of illustrious pianists, with Hank Jones,
McCoy Tyner and Dave Brubeck splitting up nine concerts, and welcoming Brad
Mehldau and Oliver Jones, among others. Moreover, this year, a different type
of "invitation" was extended to selected artists: Daniel Lanois and Brad
Mehldau will perform in their favourite venues, offering different musical
perspectives in different settings throughout the Festival!

    Info-Jazz Bell: indispensable information tools

    Grouped together under the banner Info-Jazz Bell, information tools for
the Festival are easily accessed by anyone who wants to know everything that's
happening at the biggest jazz festival in the world. The general public is
cordially invited to call the Bell Info-Jazz Line at:

    - Montreal Region: 514 871-1881
    - Long-distance calls made from within Canada (toll-free): 1 888 515-0515
    - Or visit

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For further information:

For further information: Media: Marie-Eve Boisvert, Senior Director -
Media Relations, (514) 523-3378, ext. 5666,; Greg Kitzler, Press Attaché, (514)
523-3378, ext. 5622,; Hugo Leclerc,
International and Travel Media Relations, (514) 523-3378, ext. 5642,; Source: Festival International de Jazz de
Montréal, (514) 523-3378

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