Jazz Night In America

A Toast To The Montreal International Jazz Festival At 40: Jazz, Blues & Much More


Aerial view of the Festival International de Jazz de Montreal.
© Victor Diaz Lamich, Courtesy of Festival International de Jazz de Montreal

Aerial view of the Festival International de Jazz de Montreal.

The city of Montréal in the Canadian province of Quebec is known for a number of things: Great bagels, a thriving art scene, a certain je ne sais quoi. It's also home to the largest jazz festival in the world, the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, which just celebrated its 40th anniversary.

For this episode of Jazz Night in America, we'll pay a visit to the festival with its co-founder and legendary artistic director, André Ménard. Since the beginning, Ménard wanted an international festival that presents jazz as a constantly evolving artform, with many branches and styles. A place where he could present not only the best of jazz but also, say, Argentinian tango master Astor Piazzolla, and American blues giants like Muddy Waters.

Join us as Ménard shares some of his favorite festival memories from the last four decades, including guitarist Pat Metheny's performance for an outdoor crowd of 100,000, Diana Krall's springboard to jazz-vocal stardom and unforgettable concerts by legends like Ella Fitzgerald, Dave Brubeck and Oscar Peterson.

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Set List

  • Ella Fitzgerald, "They Can't Take That Away From Me"
  • Oscar Peterson, "Cakewalk"
  • Oscar Peterson, "Bach's Blues"
  • Pat Metheny, "Are You Going With Me"
  • Dave Brubeck, "Tritonis"
  • Dee Dee Bridgewater, "Lonely Woman"
  • Diana Krall, "Dream a Little Dream of Me"
  • Christian McBride Quartet, "McThing"
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