Festival International de Jazz de Montreal 2008: Days 9-11
Perhaps one of the most amazing aspects to the logistical control of the festival is how clean its staff keeps the site. Even more incredible is that by the morning after the show's closing party, the large main stage was already well on its way to being torn down. With the organization that runs the festival L'Équip Spectragetting little in the way of a break before its next festival, Les Francofolies de Montréal running from July 24 through August 3, there's little time to waste in winding down Festival International de Jazz de Montréal.
As always, the festival managed to deliver more than enough jazz content for those looking for it, while also providing plenty of other acts in other spheres (some intersecting, others not) to ensure that the festival continues to draw in audiences with broader tastes. As ever, it's a challenge to pick highlights of a festival that's filled with so many high water marks, but for the 2008 festival, some of the best performances were a hotter than anticipated Steely Dan, the sublime intimacy of Jean Vanasse/Miroslav Vitous and the humor and stylistic dexterity of Steven Bernstein's Millennial Territory Orchestra.
Every festival faces the inevitable task of making each year better than the one that preceded it. With its 30th anniversary coming up in 2009, Montréal is faced with an even greater challenge. But with a remarkable programming staff that always finds creative ways to push the envelope year-after-year, there's little doubt that Festival International de Jazz de Montreal 2009 is going to be an exceptional one.