WBGO Blog
  • Montreal Jazz Festival in photos: Christian McBride

    July 4, 2011. Posted by David Tallacksen.

    Add new comment | Filed under: FIJM 2011
    Christian McBride
    Christian McBride

    As always click on the photo to go to all our Montreal Jazz Festival photos.

  • Dispatches from Montreal Jazz Fest: Bela Fleck, Eric Bibb, Jake Shimabukuro and more

    July 4, 2011. Posted by David Tallacksen.

    Add new comment | Filed under: FIJM 2011

    Bela Fleck stopped by to share some great stories.

    Bela Fleck
    Bela Fleck

    Ukelele wizard Jake Shimabukuro brought along his instrument:

    Jake Shimabukuro
    Jake Shimabukuro

    And a video of his performance:

    Acoustic blues singer Eric Bibb stopped by for a great discussion:

    Eric Bibb
    Eric Bibb

    China Moses - not just a great talent but also daughter of DeeDee Bridgewater - dropped by.

    China Moses
    China Moses

    And local vibraphonist Jean Vanasse rode his bike to the Festival Mediatheque, what a great talent Montreal has!

    Jean Vanasse
    Jean Vanasse

  • Dispatches from Montreal Jazz Festival: Streetnix Performance, Terez Montcalm and more

    July 3, 2011. Posted by David Tallacksen.

    Add new comment | Filed under: FIJM 2011

    Singer Terez Montcalm is one of Michael Bourne's favorites, and after many years he spoke with her.

    Terez Montcalm
    Terez Montcalm

    Streetnix - a streetband that's been performing at the festival for years, joined us for an interview and performance (video below).

    Streetnix
    Streetnix

    And Jacques-Andre Dupont of the Montreal Jazz Festival spoke to us about an amazing Indiana Jones Exhibit.

    Jacques-Andres Dupont
    Jacques-Andres Dupont

  • Montreal Jazz Festival in Photos: Oliver Jones

    July 3, 2011. Posted by David Tallacksen.

    Add new comment | Filed under: FIJM 2011

  • Montreal concerts: GRUBB

    July 3, 2011. Posted by Becca Pulliam.

    Add new comment | Filed under: FIJM 2011
    © Frédérique Ménard-Aubin, courtesy FIJM
    GRUBB © Frédérique Ménard-Aubin, courtesy FIJM

    We live music, even if we sleep in slums.

    GRUBB is Gypsy Roma Urban Balkan Beats -- singing, dancing, hiphop accompanied by an onstage brass band. GRUBB is dizzying and ecstatic. It grabs you and shakes you. The performers bring up and face down cliché after cliché (the Montreal word, we would say stereotype) about gypsies -- that they (for them, WE) steal, smell, won't work. GRUBB produces official pronouncements of racism against Roma, repugnant quotes from the Nazis through today, and asks WHY are we stigmatized?

    GRUBB asks how it is that young women are forced into arranged marriages. Only three in the cast are women. The backdrop is a patchwork of bedsheets and tablecloths, rags hanging from the rafters. The sets are made of cardboard. The play is nonstop curtain to curtain, wall to wall action, message, confrontation, music. One hundred minutes goes by fast.

    GRUBB is  playing every night at 8 at this year's Montreal Festival. There is more of the story with a review from the Gazette here. A cut of music from the cast album is here:

    GRUBB is in Roma, an endangered language, with surtitles in English and French. Jazz has had to face down racism; in doing so, it moves the world. Presenting GRUBB at the Montreal Int'l Jazz Festival confronts a fundamental wrong. How can these fully alive young performers and the people behind them be denied?

    Caroline Johnson
    Caroline Johnson

    ADDENDUM: Caroline Johnson, the Festival's Director of Programming for ten years now (and photographed with a well-used grid of this year's performances), spoke with me about GRUBB, calling it "the best show I've worked on since I'm at the Festival." Here is our conversation about GRUBB, including the story of how it came to Montreal. I hope you'll listen!

    **This weekend on the Place des Arts, Roma is a subtext of another daily event. At 5pm, Roma Carnivale — 10 Montreal musicians playing in the Serbian tradition — faces off against Fanfare Severni with music from the Klezmer, Moldavian, Serbian, Bulgarian and Turkish traditions. For a slide show click here. Photos by WBGO's David Tallacksen.