Montreal Jazz Festival 2018

Le Festival International de Jazz de Montreal: A 2018 Profile

Montreal Jazz Festival 2018 dates are June 28 to July 7, 2018.
••• Montreal Jazz Festival dates for the 39th edition are June 28 to July 7, 2018. Here are some of the Montreal Jazz Festival's 2018 lineup highlights. Rick Friedman / Corbis / Getty Images

Montreal Jazz Festival 2018: The Largest Jazz Festival in the World

Named the largest jazz festival in the world in 2004 by the Guinness Book of World Records, Montreal Jazz Festival organizers claim the fest attracts roughly 2.5 million visitors to every edition, offering attendees the choice of hundreds of concerts spread out over 11 days.

The Montreal Jazz Festival 2018 dates are June 28 to July 7, 2018  with pre-opening shows anticipated on June 26 and post-closers on Jul 8, 2018.

The best part? Most of those shows are free of charge, roughly two-thirds of the fest's programming. There are also special activities geared towards kids and the whole family, also generally free.

All That Jazz? It's a Bit of a Stretch

Covering the gamut of jazz genres since its debut edition in 1980, the fest also features related genres such as blues, Latin jazz, soul, Brazilian, Cuban, African, R'n'B, reggae and electronica.

Rock, pop and every other genre you could possibly dream of end up on the roster too, to the ire of more than a few purists who lament the Montreal Jazz Festival not being jazzy enough. But there's something to be said about keeping an open mind. Ironically, it's the non-jazz shows that have arguably made the Montreal Jazz Festival as big as it is.

The astute-minded might also point out that crowds wouldn't be in the seven figures without all of those free, taxpayer-funded shows coupled with the festival's auspiciously centralized location.

But if pure, unadulterated jazz is all that you seek, then head to Montreal's hottest jazz clubs either before, during, or after the festival. International talent is especially present during the fest and jazz is guaranteed, whether freestyle, standards, covers, or new compositions.

Free Outdoor Shows: A Montreal Jazz Festival Tradition

A blessing to music fans on a budget, hundreds of free shows are held at the Montreal Jazz Fest's downtown hub.

Consult the Montreal Jazz Festival's official website for the full lineup.

Montreal Jazz Festivals: Years Past

An eclectic bunch of A-listers, up-and-comers and jazz icons have passed through Montreal over the last few years. Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald, Oscar Peterson, Charlie Haden, Ray Charles, B.B King, Oliver Jones, Aretha Franklin, and Pat Metheny are among the fest's most lauded highlights. 

Unforgettable Prince appearances, Stevie Wonder in the free outdoor show to beat them all, Tony Bennett gracing audiences year after year, seeing Diana Krall get discovered, watching the iconic Allen Toussaint sharing stories on a grand piano or Earth Wind & Fire killing it over 40 years after their first hits were released, the Montreal Jazz Festival features an almost countless roster of best-of moments and memories.

From Out of Town? Here's Where to Stay

This Montreal Jazz Festival hotels roundup proposes accommodations at every price point within a ten-minute walk of the festival's outdoor site. 

For big spenders, consider booking a room or suite at one of Montreal's five-star hotels.

For a slightly more affordable price, go with Montreal's hottest boutique hotels

And for the European experience, stick with Old Montreal's top-rated hotels.

It's a bit more of a walk to the outdoor site, but you can easily call a cab or hop on the subway. Both means of transportation shouldn't take more than 10 to 15 minutes from the historic centre.

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