The Vocalist Magazine SPRING 2013 ISSUE - Page 76

INTERVIEW TVM: So what sort of things does that mean you are looking for in an artist? Well, originality, freshness. Even those that have a very long career- it depends, some people will repeat their formula and it’s normal because you don’t ask Tony Bennet to come out with a totally renewed show every year because he has standards and staples of a big repertoire. But for those who are younger, new artists, obviously you don’t want to see them doing the same performance over and over. So when they have an active recording career and we can follow their evolution, obviously we don’t mind having them as often as we can because they are still in that phase where they have something new to showcase every year. TVM: What major artists are you hoping to book for this year? Well there are some that we have booked that we are happy to have: Aretha Franklin, it is the second time she will do the Festival. We have this double bill of vintage pianist and singers, Dr. John and Dion Russel, who are artists that are very respected, they are going to do two nights at Theatre Maisonneuve, that I am very happy with. Uh, George Minson is returning. The last time he played for us, he has a large orchestra, and the music that he played that night (from the late 50’s, early 60’s) was all music from my childhood that I would hear on my parents radio. I thought he was so fantastic, because he really did them to the letter, it was beautiful. Um... She & Him are booked, very happy with that. Belle & Sebastian as well. Trumbone Shorty from New Orleans. Oliver Jones is gonna do solo concerts. And then a lot of jazz people, obviously Ravi Coltrane, Courtney Pine from England, we have an old time band from New Orleans , we have not had that kind of repertoire band for a while now, and also Sharon Jones at the Metropolis. TVM: What are your biggest hopes for the Jazz Festival this year? Anything in particular you want to accomplish that may be different from previous years? Umm... (pauses). I would not say that there is any difference from previous years at this point... Next year we have the 35th so obviously we are going to draw some funny cards for the 35th but this one will have a very large encompassing program. It’s hard to say at this point- the program is about 2/3 of the way there, but we still have lot of empty slots to fill (chuckles). But what I am looking forward to most is the day that we open. Because the whole feeling is like you are building this big jumbo jet and you keep wondering (even if you are very experienced) is it gonna take off? Is it gonna go in the air? Then on the first day when you hear all the engines ‘Vrommm” (sound effect) and the thing takes off and it’s up there for ten or eleven days. It’s still a bit of a mystery that all these people convene at the same place to have a good time and listen to music. The fact is that the whole free portion of the Festival creates some kind of magic for Montreal, but we have to think of the individuals there because it is not groups that attend, it’s a bunch of individuals and families. But still there is no separation or VIP area in the Festival, the unemployed guy gets to stand next to stand next to the president of the sponsor company (chuckles). There is something very democratic and like I said earlier, utopian. Music is for everyone to enjoy. . So I hope to share this for many more years to come. TVM: And lastly, what do you hope the Festival will do for the audience? Like I said, always pleasant, full of discoveries. Obviously there are things that they come to see, because they know them and they love them, but the mix of a good time for the sake of seeing artists that you love and then discovering new artists that you never heard of, and then becoming a fan. So we try to maintain a very opened mind towards the programming. And I hope the crowds can also retain that. Because without an open mind there is no discovery or fun as far as I’m concerned. I think that being challenged and discovering new things and getting excited about them, that’s the main part of going to a festival or to organize one as well. 76