The tragedy that struck Louisiana last year sent a global shock-wave throughout the jazz community, profoundly moving everyone who loves the musical form that owes so much to the people of Louisiana and New Orleans in particular. Naturally, this touched a chord among the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal organizers, so it’s quite natural for them to come to the aid of the birthplace of jazz and so many of its pioneers and exponents.
“It’s good to see that Louisiana has responded so courageously to the disaster,” notes president and co-founder of the Festival Alain Simard. “Much has been done since the tragedy struck and the city is now ready to welcome tourists. Their return is essential for the overall re-birth of the region that’s been so gravely affected. Our Festival has always enjoyed a direct link to Louisiana. We’ve always closely watched the New Orleans Jazz Festival for up-and-coming musicians for our Montreal stages. So now it’s our turn to help”
“It goes without saying that we’ll be doing what we can to help the warm, accommodating citizens of the state. Offering a free outdoor special event in honor of New Orleans to open this year’s Festival is the least we can do,” adds Laurent Saulnier, vice-president of programming for the Festival.
That’s why the Neville Brothers—synonymous with Louisiana culture and music—have been selected to kick off the Festival’s 27th edition. It’s going to be a free mega-show, presented by the Festival in collaboration with the State of Louisiana and providing Montrealers an extraordinary opportunity to enjoy a free outdoor concert by the group that was born in New Orleans way back in 1977. Only last year, The Neville Brothers gave their first show in 12 years at a packed Metropolis. So it’ll be happening all over again when the legendary group takes the stage to deliver hits from their most recent CD, entitled Walkin' In The Shadow Of Life (probably their best since Yellow