Montreal International Jazz Festival: Friendship and sensuality to the end

The last evening of the 2022 edition of the Montreal International Jazz Festival, Saturday, was marked by friendship for the double bass player Michel Donato from Montreal and was full of sensuality with the concert by Bebel Gilberto.

On the small stage of the Gesù, Michel Donato opened the celebrations for his 80th birthday (which he will actually be celebrating on August 25th) in the company of a good fifteen musician friends.

The composer François Dompierre, whose public appearances are rather rare, exceptionally played a short piano piece as an appetizer for the program for this anniversary.

The bassist then delivered a smooth and nuanced duet with Pierre Leduc. Later it will be with another of his faithful accomplices, Alain Caron on bass. What a great idea to bring André Leroux, Yannick Rieu and Jean-Pierre Zanella together for a great saxophone trio.

The dynamic and catchy quartet, consisting of James Gelfand, Guy Boisvert, Paul Brochu and Ron Di Lauro, took up a composition by Donato before pianist Lorraine Desmarais, whose 40-year career the FIJM celebrated the previous day, dedicated her piece to. Andante”, “one of Michel’s favourites”, she emphasized, accompanied by the double bass player Frédéric Alarie.

François Bourassa, Frank Lozano, Pierre Tanguay and Michel Donato continued with a track from their album in homage to American jazz musician Bill Evans, with whom the bassist has already played, followed by “Special Love” included on the new album “Michel “ appears Donato and his friends from Quebec“.

At the Théâtre Maisonneuve, the long-awaited meeting with Bebel Gilberto is finally here, three years after the original date.

The Brazilian singer – who won the Antônio Carlos Jobim award at the start of the festival – was gorgeous in her bright red one-piece suit and opened with her classic “Deus America” ​​before thanking the audience for their patience. Her joy at being in Montreal was so enthusiastic that she went so far as to embrace the Maisonneuve stage. The table was set for a colorful concert.

Accompanied by a guitarist and a drummer, to whom we added two small palm trees, she then interpreted the grandiose “August Day Song”, “Simplesmente” or “Baby” alternating between Portuguese and English.

Then she had the audience sing the opening melody of the song “Bananeira,” which she recorded in chorus with the audience. Unfortunately, our deadline came just as she was beginning the first notes of the sentimental “Harvest Moon.”

In the first part, the young Spanish singer Maria José Llergo let her extraordinary and magnificent voice ring out to resolutely contemporary flamenco pop melodies. A name to remember.

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