The Montreal International Jazzfestival is the largest jazzfestival in the world and attracts more than 2 million visitors each year. Celebrating its 25th anniversary, the festival has earned a Guinness World Record for being the largest jazzfestival in the world. The event takes place in early summer and is held in a variety of locations around the city, with over 650 concerts featuring musicians from more than 30 countries. Most of these concerts are free to the public.The Montreal Jazzfestival was founded in 1979 by Alain Simard, André Ménard, Denyse McCann and Alain de Grosbois.
It began with two artists at the Theatre-St-Denis, a historic theater in downtown Montreal. Since then, it has grown to become one of the most renowned jazz festivals in the world, hosting big names such as Bob Dylan, Ray Charles, Ella Fitzgerald and Santana.The TD Grand JazzAward is a competition that offers a platform for emerging Canadian jazzmen. The JazzFest des Jeunes du Quebec series allows school musicians or amateur community groups to perform as part of the Festival, while the Envolées du Festival series is dedicated to talented university students. The main streets are closed to traffic throughout the festival so that jazz-lovers can fully enjoy the atmosphere of the city.Recent programs have included veteran jazz-statesmen such as Dave Holland, John Scofield, and Jack DeJohnette, as well as big names in the American mainstream such as Christian McBride, Marcus Miller and Gregory Porter.
With its 40-year history of artistic excellence and its reputation for bringing together some of the best musicians on the planet, it's no wonder why millions of people flock to downtown Montreal every summer to attend the Montreal International Jazzfestival.