Our Man in Montreal: The 23rd Montreal International Jazz Festival (Part 2-2)
Back to what makes the festival great. More than the great and not-just-French food and wine, the value in the favorable exchange rate, the kid-friendly activity areas, the stealthily surprising free events, the plethora of reasonably priced accommodations and the quality and breadth of performers, the sheer organizational skill is just off the hook. The governments of Quebec and Montreal obviously make this event a priority on every level, and it translates to each musician and fan. Credit is also due to the events publicity/public relations team, L’Equipe Spectra ( www.equipespectra.ca ) who offer the media every available tool and courtesy at their disposal. I would especially like to thank Antoine Ducharme from L’Equipe who not only helped me out immensely, but was virtually everywhere during week two (which evidently is part and parcel of a good publicist’s job description). More than all that though, it just seems like the attitude of the indigenous Montrealers, whether it be the non-jazz-loving pedestrian or the young "security" or "event" staff, becomes more tolerant, flexible and helpful for the Festival weeks. I mean, where else on the continent will perceptive populace offer you tips on everything from street directions to menu choices without even being asked (or do I always look that perplexed?) . So here’s to Montreal. We had a ball.
Visit the Montreal International Jazz Festival website at http://www.montrealjazzfest.com .