12 July 2012

festival international de jazz de montréal

Last Friday evening we packed our bags, grabbed burritos for the road and drove up to Canada to stay with Chris' grama for the night before continuing on to Montreal for the Festival International de Jazz de Montreal. Woot! It was a nice break from routine and one I likely wouldn't have taken without some nudging from Chris. Thanks, dude. It was so worth it.

We got to Montreal early and wandered around before the first few shows started. Good Lord were they good. With my SPF30 on and a few cold beers, we putzed around in the sunshine soaking up the jazz, swing and blues.

Of course, we got some poutine. I know the gravy wasn't vegetarian, but I really didn't care. I had to have those fries with the gravy and cheese curds on top.

Now I know most of you aren't going to watch these videos, but you really should. We were so impressed with the great shows that we happened to catch during our day there. The festival lasts something like two weeks, so we weren't sure what the odds were of catching lots of great shows when we were only there for 12 hours. But it was awesome. We saw great blues, swing and jazz bands all day long and into the evening. Because I love you very much, I've hunted down videos of most of the ones we saw for your viewing and listening enjoyment.

The Record Company- Los Angeles

Super cool, bluesy band that packed the house twice a day at the Heineken Lounge. That guy's voice, it's something.

Mike Essoudry's Mash Potato Mashers- Ottawa

Fun little marching jazz band that rocked it street-performance style. Check out the guy in the soccer shorts. He's got some moves, eh? I was particularly pleased not to get sunburned during this performance, as it felt like my skin was literally being baked right there in the plaza.

  Parc X Trio- Montreal

Great jazz trio. We caught them towards the end of our day there, after we had filled up on dinner and were soaking up the last few hours before heading back over the border.

  Francois Jalbert Quartet- Montreal

Who's that Bieber frontman? I kid. They guys were great too and there is nothing better than watching a group have fun performing. Makes me smile. That bassist's faces also make me smile.

We saw a great swing group- Early Jazz Band- featuring a kick-ass female trumpet player. For those of you that don't know, I use to throw around the trumpet in jazz band and wind ensemble. True story. Ask me about the awkward "Most Musical" photo from my high school yearbook. This chick  recently inspired me to play a few notes now that we have a basement and don't share our building with seven other apartments. I squeaked out a few scales last week but generally... I now suck. Anyway, they were great but I can't find any videos from the Jazz Fest.

Enjoy the music. We scrambled back to the U.S. around midnight and stayed the night with Chris' parents in Plattsburgh. Good to get away for a little bit and unwind.

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