Montréal International Jazz Festival

Montréal International Jazz Festival

Montréal International Jazz Festival
4.5
About
Since the festival was first inaugurated by the great Ray Charles in 1980, thousands of musicians and public entertainers from around the world gather every year to indulge in their passion for jazz music in the heart of downtown Montreal. Over ten days, more than two million music lovers can enjoy the choice of 1,000 concerts and activities. Between shows there is a plethora of food to explore, from fine dining by world-class chefs to food trucks, and a variety of shopping options. It's the perfect event that everyone can enjoy, with plenty of family-friendly shows and activities. Best of all, most of the shows are free!
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.5
103 reviews
Excellent
76
Very good
19
Average
6
Poor
1
Terrible
1

digitalroc
Calgary, Canada1,816 contributions
Jul 2022
I arrived in Montreal on the last day of the Jazz Festival and it wasn’t the reason why I was in Montreal. There were thousands of people in the downtown area, several stages to view performing artists. I am not a jazz fan; however, it was nice to see a festival in the city as festivals generally puts everyone in a good mood.
Written August 14, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

John P
New York City, NY2 contributions
Jul 2023 • Couples
We have been coming to the festival for 12 years always enjoyed everything about Montreal, the festival and the food. This year the music was a disappointment bought the Metlus pass.3nights cancelled
The performances have changed The construction everywhere has made getting around a problem for the past four years.
Will try it again only if schedule of entertainment improves.
Written July 11, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Lindsay Earle (Goncalves)
Fredericton, Canada93 contributions
Jul 2017 • Couples
Nice lil surprise on our trip. Set up nicely for free entertainment. Bring a lawn chair or enjoy a dinner while listening on a patio. Get there early enough to get a seat though as there are limited restaurant seats. Music was outstanding and it was amazing. Connected to the name brand shopping and close to underground world. I'd plan a trip around it next time :) definitely worth a stroll through
Written July 4, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Tom-2009
Toronto, Canada530 contributions
Jun 2017 • Friends
Jazz festival takes place in fairly concentrated area around St. Catherine. All are accessible by walking. It is not all jazz, the music of 2017 was so far mostly Rock and roll, but with sooooo many free show, you can pick and choose. I do not like the main stage too much, as it is more a show place with pyrotechnics. I like the best the Casino stage, with small less known bands, or the Blues stage and adjacent World music stage.
The jazz festival introduced me to a lot of Quebec artist, who seldom come to Ontario, where I live. One problem is in the 2017 festival the daily rain. Other problem is public transportation. I found in Montreal that the buses have long intervals. The STM is really dropping the ball of adequately serving the festival goers, but that is a topic for another review.
Written July 3, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Wayne-DebC
Edison, NJ21 contributions
Jun 2016 • Couples
Montreal and Quebec City June/July, 2016

Day 1. Arrived at hotel Le Germaine Montreal after an early fight. Walked to the Place des Arts, site of the Montreal Jazz Festival, an approximate 15-minute walk from the hotel. Watched some of the bands playing in the Esplanade. Hotel recommended a restaurant near the festival - Monsieur Bar on Rue (street) Bleury. Restaurant was very good. After dinner attended the festival's opening night concert with Melody Gardot. Opening act was Lisa Simone, daughter of Nina Simone and she put on a very good show. Melody Gardot was outstanding (we are big fans). Her concert was filled with excellent arrangements of many of her songs.


Day 2. Walked to the View Port (old town). Moved through the narrow streets and stopped in the Basilique Notre-Dame De Montreal. The beautiful church was finished in the 1800's and contains many statues, including a rendering of the Last Supper in stone. The $5 admission was worth it. Lunch at the restaurant Jardins Nelson in Place Jacques-Cartier near the Piers in the old town - a popular (crowded) restaurant with a beautiful garden patio in which we ate. Walked back to the hotel finishing a "heavy walking" day around town. Dinner at Bouillon Bilk on Rue Saint Laurent. A high-end restaurant where we enjoyed a delicious meal (highly recommended). After dinner, watched free concerts at a number of venues in the Place Des Arts.


Day 3. Took the Metro subway to the Montreal Botanical Gardens located near Olympic Park, site of the 1976 Olympics. Gardens feature over 14000 roses, a greenhouse with Orchids, a Chinese garden (under construction until September, 2016) and a Japanese garden. The Japanese garden featured a large assortment of Bonsai trees and a collection of photos of Japan. Returned to the Peel street Metro Station and had lunch at Le Pois Penche (nice place). As it was Canada Day, most of the stores were closed (yeah!), but all main attractions were open. Dinner at Z Tapas Restaurant, a new restaurant that has only been open for two months. As the name implies, the specialty is tapas. We had four creative and tasty dishes. Highly recommend this restaurant. While in Montreal, we got tickets for another show - Blue Note record's 75th anniversary band. The band consisted of six musicians, who are jazz stars in their own right - pianist Robert Glasper, trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire, saxophonist Marcus Strickland, guitarist Lionel Loueke, bassist Derrick Hodge and drummer Kendrick Scott played some great songs, a combination of jazz classics and recent ones they had written individually. The opening act was a band from Quebec called 5 4 Trio. A late night stop at the House of Jazz for more live music rounded out a music-filled day.


Day 4. Walked around neighborhood near our hotel - some nice shops and restaurants in the area. Took Metro to Old Town (much faster and easier than walking). Dinner at Jatoba, a highly rated Asian fusion restaurant that turned out to be another excellent meal. Four for four in Montreal. Saw outstanding show by Avishai Cohen, a jazz bassist. He played with his trio - Omri Mor on piano and Daniel Dor on drums. After the show walked around the festival and watched two free performers at outdoor stages. The free shows we have seen have been excellent and we can see why the Montreal Jazz Festival is one of the largest and most attended in the world - a must for Jazz fans of all types.


Day 5. Checked out of Le Germaine Montreal and boarded a train to Quebec City, a 3-1/2 hr. ride. Pleasant journey through the Canadian countryside. Checked into the Le Germaine Quebec. After walking around the Lower Town of View Quebec, had a traditional Quebecois dinner of rabbit and duck at Le Lapin Sauté - outstanding meal.


Day 6. Walked around View Quebec, both the lower town, where we were staying and the upper town. Quebec City is beautiful, but not an easy town to walk as it is very hilly, but it is a very historical area with a great deal to see. Walked to the St. Roch section, where we had never ventured. This is a growing area consisting of reconverted factories, which now house boutiques and places to eat. Had lunch at Cotes a Cotes in the lower town. Good for lunch with a nice view of the St Lawrence River. Dinner at Echaude, around the corner from our hotel. We had eaten there before and with the added recommendation of the hotel concierge, we decided to go back. Seems repetitious, but yet again, another great dinner.


Day 7. Another day exploring the old town. Focused on the Le Petit Champlain section in the lower town. Had lunch at one of the restaurants on the Le Petit Champlain "stairway", Resto Le Repaire. Good Quebec meats and cheeses hit the spot after another "walkfest". Dinner at Quay 19 next to the hotel. The restaurant has a limited menu, but everything is local and fresh. Seven for Seven!


Day 8. Taxi to Quebec City airport and flight home.
Written July 11, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kevin C
Montreal, Canada79 contributions
Jul 2015 • Friends
THE must-see festival if/when in Montreal over the festival period. if you're not then adjust your schedule so that you are ;). The 2015 festival was the best in years, IMHO, and the acts just keep getting better and better. While there are many ticketed shows well worth seeing there are PLENTY of open-air free acts that are top-notch. Great venue to discover talent you've previously missed. Beautiful Summer evenings, great crowd of people, plenty of food venues. It's all good.
Written May 11, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

My-name-is-Ann
Mississauga, Canada165 contributions
Jul 2015 • Solo
I was so impressed by how huge this festival was--until I realized there were about a dozen more stages! Not to be missed if you love drinking beer outdoors, great jazz and blues by 'name' artists (buy tickets) and lots of free artists that were really amazing. What a great party! I'd suggest you by pass the bad food (hot dog stands, overpriced sandwiches) and head to LeViet nearby on St. Catherine St. for healthy Vietnamese sandwiches/soup/spring rolls and frozen yogurt bar--you'll need your energy to keep up!
Written July 4, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

wonderlust_10
Boston, MA55 contributions
Jul 2019
Free concerts not the same quality as years gone by.
Air was fill with the reek of marijuana made it hard to breathe.
Streets were littered with plastic.
Not worth going unless you have tickets for a show you really want to see!
Written July 8, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Paula-Jo H
San Francisco, CA19 contributions
Jun 2019 • Friends
Chucho Valdez, Edmar Castenada, Ravi Coltrane pay or Charlotte Cardin, Begonia, L Teez and Mississippi Heat watch free. Add a
vibrant Montreal jazz community of musicians of exceptional talent! Hear university orchestras that make The Duke and Count rise up in ovation. If the range of range of what represents in this century, including infusion of hip hop/spoken word and techno vibe collaborations (Manu Katche), gives you an energy surge for days and days, come get your fix here. Plus the neighborhoods are way cool, murals insanely gorgeous, and people happy and helpful. We started off with Road Scholar. Learned a ton.
Written June 30, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Travelling Beaver
London, UK9 contributions
Jul 2018
Montreal’s international jazz festival is the best music festival I’ve been to. The music, the arts and crafts kiosks, the souvenirs... literally, this place is really legit, and I would recommend it for music and art lovers. By the way, it’s adult and kids friendly; there are a lot of arts and crafts kiosks for kids, there are some face painting tents, there is a playground for them to play, a giant piano they can step on... Really cool place!!
Written June 18, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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