Jazz-Free Jazz Fest Features

The open secret about the Jazz Festival is that it’s not just about jazz; the programming includes plenty of acts tangentially connected to the genre. Here are our picks for the best of the jazz fest – without all that jazz.

Gilberto Gil
A hero in Brazil, Gil helped create the ’60s Tropicalia movement, and for that he was locked up by the country’s repressive military regime. Times have changed: he’s now Brazil’s Minister of Culture. Thursday June 26, at 9:30 pm; Théâtre Maisonneuve, 175 Ste-Catherine Street West, $41.50 – $54.50.

Jamaica to Toronto
When DJ Sipreano (a.k.a. Kevin Howe) investigated the reggae and funk/soul scene of the Toronto ’60s and ’70s, he unearthed a treasure trove. Last year’s Jamaica to Toronto showcase at POP Montreal was the highlight of the festival. Sunday June 29 at 9 pm and 11 pm; Scène General Motors, Ste-Catherine Street W. and Jeanne-Mance, free.

Montreal’s Jewish rapper/beatmaker/accordion player/mensch Socalled, a.k.a. Josh Dolgin, always brings a wonderfully raucous assortment of musicians and magic tricks for his stage show. Sunday June 29 at 11:59 pm; Club Soda, 1225 St-Laurent Blvd., $22.50.

Poni Hoax
This dark French electro-pop outfit scored an underground club hit with their violin-assisted Budapest. They bring their Italo-disco-flavoured sound for a late-night showcase. Thursday July 3 at 11:59 pm; Club Soda, 1225 St-Laurent Blvd., $22.50.

Orchestre Baobab

These Senegalese legends, known for their fusing of Afro-Cuban stylings with West African musical traditions, reunited in 2001 and have been on fire ever since. Wednesday July 2 at 7 pm; Club Soda, 1225 St-Laurent Blvd., $32.50.

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