SUMMER TRAVEL: The Montreal Jazz Festival

Each year the Festival International De Jazz De Montréal (aka Montreal Jazz Festival) brings in over a million spectators to the French Canadian city. The Couch Sessions returns to Montreal this week for our 3rd year covering the festival which has included such acts as Lionel Ritchie, Stevie Wonder, Tony Bennett, Public Enemy, and Wu-Tang.

More than just Jazz, the festival has always brought in a diverse selection of electronic music, hip-hop, and world sounds. And this year proves even better than the last, with John Forte, Bilal, and the legendary Roots crew on the bill.

The Couch Sessions will be in Montreal from June 30th through July 4th.


John Forte – It’s been a long road for the Grammy nomninated producer, who was released from prison after servicing time for distribution of cocaine, but he has instantly cemetned himself as one of the undergrounds best live performers. He dropped an album Water Light Sound, earlier this year and has toured with the likes of K’Naan and Tabi Bonney. June 30th at Club Soda, 7:00 PM (Buy Tickets)

The Roots– What can you say about The Legendary Roots crew that hasn’t already been said? The hardest working group in hip-hop music is back with another live album–the incedible How I Got Over–in addition to serving backing band duties for The Jimmy Fallon Show. And somehow they’re able to make it across the border to tour? June 30th at Metropolis, 8:30 PM (Buy Tickets)

Jose James – After spending years in Europe, Minneapolis based-Broolyn living jazz crooner Jose James is back in North America touring in support of his new album … and his EP Blackmagic. Jose is playing multple dates at the Jazz Festival July 1st – Scène TD Stage, 9:00 PM and 11:00 PM, FREE

Anti-Pop Consortium – Before it was cool to be avant garde in hip-hop (I’m looking at you Kid Cudi!) the Anti-Pop Consortium was blending skilled lyrics with electronica for years. The group might not be popular on the mainstream, but they’ve gotten the respect of everybody from Radiohead to Public Enemy, and their reunited stage act (most recently seen at SXSW 2010) is set to blow minds. July 2nd – Club Soda, Midnight (Buy Tickets)

Robert Glasper and Bilal – The combination of pianist Robert Glasper and soul crooner Bilal is more than powerful. Playing several dates together before, the duo’s work has almost become legendary. July 3rd – Hyatt Regency Montreal , 6:00 PM (Buy Tickets)

20 Annerversary of Ninja Tune with Andreya Triana, Bonobo et Mr. Scruff- Even though this venerable UK label might be known on this side of the pond, Ninja Tune has been one of the most progressive outlets in muisc, providing a home for electronic, hip-hop, drum and bass and everything in between. On the bill is the vernable Mr. Scruff and their newest signee Andreya Triana July 3rd – Métropolis, 8:30 PM (Buy Tickets)

Rakim – This concert started off as a Gang Starr reunion, uniting the late Guru with Dj Premier. Unfortunately with Guru’s passing it was not meant to be. However, another legendary artist–Rakim–has stepped up to the plate and is going to pay tribut e their legeacy as well as his own. July 3rd – Club Soda, Midnight (Buy Tickets)