A Grand and Festive 15th Edition!
Montréal, April 2, 2015 – The 15th edition of Jazz en Rafale ended on a high note last Saturday, with the return on stage of Michel Cusson, the event’s spokesperson. L’Astral was filled with music lovers eager to hear and see “Solo”, the latest project of the famous guitarist and composer. All in all, from March 19 to 28, nearly 1,000 people attended the two jazz weekends, enjoying the shows and getting a chance every day to win a guitar, courtesy of famous Montreal guitar maker Godin. A succession of great names in jazz took to the stage, including Rufus Reid and the Jazzlab Orchestra; Donny McCaslin; Tevet Sela and Gilad Hekselman; Enrico Pieranunzi; Martin Levac; the Maxime Bender Quartet from Luxembourg; and, from Rennes (France), Maxence Ravelomanantsoa, accompanied on the piano by Emie R. Roussel. This anniversary edition was filled with moments of intense emotion and joy, and many wonderful surprises.
This year, Hugo Mayrand, a talented emerging guitarist, won the 10th edition of the Jazz en Rafale New Talent Contest. The young prodigy took 1st prize—the recording of a full album (a $20,000 value)—and also received a Recognition Award for most distinguished artist’s performance, with a $400-study grant to Camp Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean. Hugo Mayrand performed with longtime friends Jérôme Beaulieu at the piano, and Maude Bastien on the drums. The Night:Clock, a band directed by guitarist Maxime Rhéault, took 2nd prize: the recording of a three-piece EP at the Mayk Music Studio.
Jazz en Rafale is pursuing its mission of promoting and disseminating jazz, and of helping Quebec musicians raise their profile and improve their work conditions. The 16th edition will be held March 10-19, 2016 and is not to be missed!
A Heartfelt Tribute
The world of jazz is in mourning. Jazz en Rafale President, Françoy Roberge, died during the night of March 25, his birthday, right in the middle of the Festival. Françoy was a great lover of jazz, a highly-knowledgeable connoisseur, the real thing! He was familiar with every jazz era, style and current, and with all of its great performers. Françoy was an efficient and passionate communicator, who was generous in sharing his vast knowledge of jazz, mainly through his program on Radio Ville-Marie, where he had a loyal audience. A truly devoted president to Jazz en Rafale, committed and loyal to the cause, he was, above all, a sincere friend, always available, always ready to listen. The whole Jazz en Rafale team wish to express their deepest condolences and sympathies to his wife Michèle and to his children, Julie, Cédric and Gaël. Long live jazz!