Best Free Concerts at the Montreal Jazz Festival in 2018

2018 Montreal International Jazz Festival
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A blessing to music fans on a budget, hundreds of free shows are held over 10 days at the 39th annual 2018 Montreal International Jazz Fest's. Most outdoor performances take place in the downtown entertainment hub, Quartier des Spectacles, from noon to midnight each day of the festival.

A full scheduled line-up of music will make all jazz lovers rejoice. You could literally spend the entire festival catching dozens of outdoor shows without paying a penny for the entertainment. Free headliners include breakthrough artist Jessie Reyez, and Grammy-award performers The War on Drugs, and the Spanish Harlem Orchestra.

The jazz festival holds the "Guinness Book of World Records" title as the world's largest jazz festival.  Every year it features about 3,000 artists from 30 countries. The festival has more than 650 concerts at 20 different stages, which include free outdoor stages and indoor concert halls. The event welcomes more than 2 million visitors per year. To give you a sense of the scope for running this event, the preparations for 2019's 40th annual festival were underway before the 39th annual had even begun.

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Jessie Reyez

2018 Montreal International Jazz Festival
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Reyez is a singer-songwriter from Toronto, Canada, who won Breakthrough Artist of the Year at the 2018 Juno Awards. Colombian-Canadian Reyez is considered the rhythm and blues Canadian revelation this year. She is scheduled to perform on July 3 at 9:30 p.m.

Her debut album, "Kiddo," exploded in the musical scene, powered by her haunting vocals as on singles "Figures," "Shutter Island," "Hard to Love," and "Gatekeeper."

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The War on Drugs

The War on Drugs Performs at the 51st Festival d'ete de Quebec
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The War on Drugs, an American indie rock band, won the 2017 Grammy Award for Best Rock Album for their fourth album, "A Deeper Understanding." They will be closing the show on July 7 at 9:30 p.m.

On world tour during the jazz festival, the Philly quartet made the Montreal Jazz Festival one of the stops on their major world tour. The band is renowned for their captivating live show, powerhouse sound, and sublimely contemplative songs.

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Nomadic Massive

2018 Montreal International Jazz Festival
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A terrific example of multiculturalism and creativity, this Montréal-based supergroup assembled members from around the world to create a unique rap-jazz fusion unique with lyrics in English, French, Créole, Spanish, and Arabic. The band is expected to perform on July 2.

You can expect to hear a mix of Haitian, Brazilian, and North American rap with boisterous dancehall chatting and soaring R&B vocals. 

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Spanish Harlem Orchestra

SF08 - Jazz In The Domain
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The Spanish Harlem Orchestra, a renowned Latin group from the New York neighborhood affectionately known as the barrio returns to the festival on June 30 to rev up salsa fans with a typical, flavorful Nuyorican party.

The two-time Grammy-winning salsa and Latin jazz band sets the standard for excellence for authentic, New York-style salsa. 

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Davina and the Vagabonds

Davina and the Vagabonds is a jazz blues band based in the Twin Cities, Minnesota, that formed in 2006. Davina and the Vagabonds have traveled extensively throughout the United States, United Kingdom, and Europe. Davina and the Vagabonds' music has a New Orleans sound, featuring elements of blues, jazz, R&B, soul, and gospel; there are no guitars, only horns, piano, and drums. 

The effervescent singer-pianist Davina with a nod to burlesque whips up quite the show with the supercharged Vagabonds laying out the rhythm and brass. 

The band performs on the Rio Tinto Stage on June 29 at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. and is the opening act for jazz diva Dee Dee Bridgewater on June 30 at 8 p.m.

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Afrikana Soul Sister

Afrikana Soul Sisters is the meeting point of Western techno and traditional African music. It’s a happy blend of two musical worlds, born under the impetus of Jean-François Lemieux. Last year, the group delivered its eponymous debut, a genuine gem of Afro-electronica. You can hear them perform on the Monde Stage on July 2 at 10 p.m.

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Check out the musical styling of the Boulevards, described as “incarnating the funk revival in a direct lineage from Prince and Rick James," at Place des Festivals on June 29.

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Magda Giannikou

Bossa nova, that delicate and sensual rhythm from Brazil, will come to the festival by way of Greece through the dulcet tone of Magda Giannikou and the instrumental accompaniment of her band, Magda Banda, at the Rio Tinto Stage on June 28.

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David Myles

Singer-songwriter David Myles of New Brunswick will “unfold a sound often called folk-jazz” from the Rio Tinto Stage on July 5. He resides in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and describes his style as "roots" music. 

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Hannah Williams & the Affirmations

2018 Montreal International Jazz Festival
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Hannah Williams & the Affirmations, described as “the finest English jazz musicians of the moment," are scheduled to go on the Rio Tinto Stage on July 6. Williams is a funky, deep soul diva with a 70's vibe ala Al Green.

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