Chloris Bates

Written by Chloris Bates

Modified & Updated: 31 May 2024

Jessica Corbett

Reviewed by Jessica Corbett


Key Takeaways:

  • The Montreal International Jazz Festival is the largest jazz festival in the world, attracting over 2 million attendees and showcasing over 800 concerts in a vibrant, diverse atmosphere.
  • The festival, which began in 1980, celebrates various styles of jazz, hosts renowned musicians, and offers free outdoor concerts, creating a vibrant festival atmosphere in the heart of Montreal.
Table of Contents

The Montreal International Jazz Festival is the largest of its kind in the world.

With over two million attendees each year, the Montreal International Jazz Festival holds the title as the biggest jazz festival in the world. It attracts jazz lovers and music enthusiasts from all corners of the globe, creating a vibrant and diverse atmosphere in the heart of Montreal.

The festival was first held in 1980.

Since its inception in 1980, the Montreal International Jazz Festival has grown exponentially. What began as a modest gathering of jazz musicians has evolved into an iconic event that showcases the best talents in jazz and a wide variety of other musical genres.

It spans over two weeks.

The festival takes place over a period of two weeks, during which attendees are treated to an extensive lineup of concerts, workshops, and outdoor performances. This extended duration allows visitors to fully immerse themselves in the world of jazz and experience the vibrant energy of the festival.

The festival hosts over 800 concerts.

With more than 800 concerts taking place throughout the festival, there is no shortage of musical performances to enjoy. From intimate jazz club settings to large outdoor stages, the Montreal International Jazz Festival offers a diverse range of venues to cater to different musical tastes.

It attracts renowned jazz musicians from around the world.

The festival attracts some of the biggest names in jazz from around the world, making it a must-attend event for both established and emerging artists. Musicians such as Herbie Hancock, Ella Fitzgerald, and Miles Davis have graced the stages of the Montreal International Jazz Festival, creating unforgettable performances that resonate with audiences for years to come.

The festival offers free outdoor concerts.

One of the unique features of the Montreal International Jazz Festival is its offering of free outdoor concerts. These open-air performances take place in the heart of the city and allow both locals and tourists to enjoy live jazz music without any cost. It’s a wonderful opportunity to soak in the atmosphere and experience the joy of jazz music under the summer sky.

It celebrates various styles of jazz.

The festival celebrates the diversity of jazz by showcasing a multitude of styles and sub-genres. From traditional swing and bebop to fusion and contemporary jazz, attendees have the chance to experience a wide range of musical expressions within the jazz genre.

The festival showcases local talent.

In addition to attracting renowned international artists, the Montreal International Jazz Festival also serves as a platform for local talent. It provides an opportunity for emerging musicians to gain exposure and share their unique voices with a global audience, contributing to the growth and development of the jazz community.

It offers a vibrant festival atmosphere.

Beyond the music, the Montreal International Jazz Festival creates a vibrant festival atmosphere in the city. Streets come alive with bustling crowds, outdoor terraces, and artistic installations. The festival becomes a celebration of not only jazz but also the culture and spirit of Montreal itself.


The Montreal International Jazz Festival is a renowned event that draws music lovers from around the world. With its rich history, diverse lineup, and vibrant atmosphere, the festival has established itself as a must-visit for jazz enthusiasts and people seeking a memorable summer experience. From its humble origins to becoming the largest jazz festival in the world, Montreal continues to shine as a hub for musical talent and cultural celebration. So mark your calendars and get ready to immerse yourself in the captivating sounds of jazz at the Montreal International Jazz Festival!


1. When is the Montreal International Jazz Festival held?

The festival usually takes place in late June and early July, running for around 10 days.

2. Where is the festival held?

The main outdoor stages are located in the Quartier des Spectacles in downtown Montreal, with additional indoor venues scattered throughout the city.

3. How can I purchase tickets for the festival?

Tickets can be purchased online through the official festival website, or you can also buy them at various ticket outlets in Montreal.

4. Are there any free performances at the festival?

Yes, the festival offers a range of free outdoor concerts, allowing everyone to enjoy the music and atmosphere without needing to purchase a ticket.

5. Can I bring my own food and drinks to the festival?

Outside food and drinks are not allowed on the festival grounds. However, there are numerous food vendors and beverage stations available for attendees.

6. Are children allowed at the Montreal International Jazz Festival?

Absolutely! The festival is a family-friendly event, and there are even special activities and performances geared towards children.

7. What other activities are there besides performances?

In addition to the live concerts, the festival also features workshops, exhibits, and street performances, creating a vibrant and lively atmosphere throughout the city.

8. Can I attend the festival if I’m not a jazz enthusiast?

Definitely! While jazz is at the heart of the festival, the lineup features a diverse range of musical genres, ensuring there is something for everyone’s taste.

9. Is there parking available at the festival?

While limited parking options are available around the festival area, it is recommended to use public transportation or utilize designated park-and-ride locations to avoid parking difficulties.

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