Ranked as the largest jazz festival in the world by Guinness World Records, the Montreal International Jazz Festival has been synonymous with passion and excitement for over four decades. Every summer, music lovers from all over the world flock to downtown Montreal to attend the incomparable event. Originally just a jazz and blues festival, the Montreal International Jazz Festival has grown to include reggae, African, Latin and other world music artists, as well as pop and electronic artists. The festival takes place in early summer and is held in a wide variety of locations throughout the city, although it focuses on the Place des Artes, a large performing arts complex in downtown Montreal.
The Montreal International Jazz Festival is the largest jazz festival in the world and attracts more than 2 million visitors a year. The festival usually starts during the last week of June or the first week of July and lasts 11 days. Many of the bars and clubs in the city center participate in the festival by presenting local musical performances and live tours. With a truly international flavor, the festival has welcomed luminaries such as Argentine tango master Astor Piazzolza, American R&B star Norah Jones and Cuban salsa legend Ibrahim Ferrer.
Its first edition at Île-Sainte-Hélène in 1980 attracted some 12,000 festival attendees to enjoy the talent of some 100 artists, including Chick Corea, Gary Burton, Vic Vogel and Ray Charles. The Montreal International Jazz Festival began with very little funding from Alain Simard in 1979 as a two-night show with two artists at the Theatre-St-Denis, a historic theater in downtown Montreal. Since then, the festival has won consistent government monetary support and corporate sponsorship and now hosts more than 3,000 artists from around the world every year. The JFC network brings together 20 member events taking place across Canada, from Halifax, Nova Scotia to Victoria, British Columbia. Learn more about our members and find a JFC event in your part of the country.
Jazz Festivals Canada is a national network of 20 member festivals committed to the development and vitality of jazz performance in Canada. The Montreal International Jazz Festival has initiated a year-round jazz program that brings together international jazz and music artists from around the world to the city throughout the year. The Festival · Program · Tourism and Accommodation.