Festival International de Jazz de Montréal
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Great musical families

In some families, musical talent seems to pass from generation to generation. For 30 years, the Festival has received visits from some of the most famous musical clans, whose members have appeared separately or together.

The Marsalis clan

Ellis Marsalis Branford Marsalis Wynton Marsalis

Is jazz a matter of genetics? Based on the musical pedigree of the Marsalis family tree, one is inclined to think so. The father, Ellis, opened the door. He, whom some consider to be the best pianist from New Orleans, has been invited by the Festival several times. In 1996, he played alongside his eldest son, Branford, a top notch saxophonist. The latter has long been a member of the quartet of his younger brother, Wynton, a trumpet emeritus. Together, the brothers have already come to visit us several times in the early 1980s. In 2009, they both agreed to participate in the 30th edition of the Festival.

The Haden clan

Charlie Haden

Double bass player Charlie Haden is a veteran of the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, which he assiduously attends since the mid-1980s. In 2009, the musician will come to present the show Family and Friends and the disc Rambling Boy, which he will perform with his entire family: wife Ruth, son Josh, daughters Tanya, Rachel and Petra, as well as some illustrious friends.

The Kutis, father and son

Fela Kuti Femi Kuti Seun Kuti

Brothers Femi and Seun Kuti are following in the footsteps of their famous father, Fela, the inventor of afro-beat. After playing for a few years with his father's legendary group, Egypt 80, Femi assembled his own outfit, Positive Force. He has already made a few visits to the Festival, most notably in 2007 as part of a tribute to Fela, who had passed away 10 years earlier. Seun was also there to celebrate his eminent father.

The Brecker brothers

Randy Brecker Michael Brecker

Together, trumpeter Randy Brecker and saxophonist Michael Brecker joined the jazz rock band Dreams in the late 1960s, and later, they formed the Brecker Brothers, a jazz-funk fusion group that recorded several albums during the 1970s. The brothers split up in 1982, but reunited again during the 1990s. In 1995, they combined their talents at the Festival. Sadly, Michael passed away from complications of leukemia in 2007.

The Pizzarellis, father and son

John Pizzarelli

In 1996, the Festival welcomed the combined talents of the Pizzarelli family. Guitarist-crooner John returned to serenade festival-goers, transforming the Théâtre Maisonneuve into a New York-style cabaret from the 1940s. At his side: father Bucky, the famous guitarist from the big bands of Benny Goodman, and younger brother Martin, a double bass player. While papa Pizzarelli had the honour of playing with famous guitarist Stéphane Grappelli at the Festival in 1991, John has been drawing in festival-goers since 1992.

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