La Scena Musicale

Monday, 29 June 2015

This Week in Montreal: June 29 to July 5

Jean Derome (Photo: Jean-Claude Désinor)

This Week in Montreal: June 29 to July 5

L’année Jean Derome
Figurehead of Québec’s musique actuelle, composer, multi-instrumentalist and ideaman Jean Derome is celebrating his 40-year career. The inaugural concert was held on May 14 at the Festival internationale de musique actuelle de Victoriaville. Until June 2016, the richness and variety of his work as a musician, improviser, composer and archivist will be highlighted during many concerts and events. He will appear at the Festival international de Jazz de Montréal with the Trio Derome Guilbeault Tanguay, who will perform his compositions. L’Astral, 29 June at 6 pm.

ONJM at the FIJM
A recent arrival, the sixteen-piece Orchestre national de jazz — Montréal made its debut in July 2013 at the city’s summer jazz festival. Since then, it has completed two seasons of performances, 14 in total, including last year with special guest trumpeter Terrence Blanchard and his quintet. While all cities, both big and small, have big bands, this one is a bit different. Some play stock arrangements and limit their activities to rehearsals when others are vehicles performing original music by a composer, most often of its leader, but the ONJ – Mtl embraces both, repertoire and original material alike.
The Orchestre National de Jazz - Montréal performs July 1 at the Festival international de Jazz de Montréal, 9 PM and 11 PM.

Renee Rosnes
Since the 1980s, this native Canadian pianist has established herself comfortably on the American jazz scene. An early record deal with Blue Note was a boon to her career, which lead her to several plum jobs backing stars like Freddie Hubbard, Joe Henderson and Wayne Shorter. In 2004, she began a tenure with the high profile San Francisco Jazz Collective while tending to her own projects, like the piano duo she shares with her current partner Bill Charlap. Her return home this month will be an auspicious one, as she hits five Canadian festivals fronting a quartet including vibraphonist Steve Nelson. In Montreal, she appears twice, with bassist Avishai Cohen on June 27 and guesting in the trio of legendary bassist Ron Carter on July 4.

Pianos Caméléon
The main architects of this pianistic adventure, which got its start two years ago, are Mat Herskowitz and John Roney. Oliver Jones invites them along with their colleague Julie Lamontagne for the FIJM’s closing show on Sunday, July 5. Two by two with their host, they will perform a cross-section of evergreens from the classical and jazz repertoires. Quite a … pianorama!

Montreal’s comedy festival Just For Laughs, presents GREASE (in French) this summer, at Théâtre St-Denis. Tickets were selling out so fast that as of mid-April producers had to extend the run in order to meet demand. Grande dame of Quebec theatre and cinema, Denise Filiatrault, serves as artistic advisor, while Toronto-based Andrew Shaver directs. Set in 1950s Chicago, the cast of working-class characters comprises a cross-section of youth subculture called “greasers,” hence the title. Local singers Annie Villeneuve and Jason Roy Léveillé play lovestruck teenagers, Sandy & Danny. The musical score invokes early 50’s rock ‘n roll and features a 17-member cast, which includes Normand Brathwaite (as Vince). Translated and adapted by Yves Morin, with musical direction by Guillaume St-Laurent. June 17-July 25.

Mtl en Arts - July 1 to 5
Formerly FIMA and now Mtl en Arts, this festival brings together over 120 visual artists on the pedestrian mall of Ste-Catherine East between St-Hubert and Papineau streets, including Monique Saintonge, Winston McQuade, and Michel Trembay. Every day beginning at noon, the public is invited to browse the various exhibits, interact with the artists, and purchase artwork (credit card purchases possible). “My First Art Gallery” is exclusively for kids under 13.

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