The Festival

Founded in 1979 by Alain Simard, in association with André Ménard, Denyse McCann and Alain de Grosbois, the Festival International de Jazz de Montreal (FIJM) is a non-profit organization. The FIJM’s mission is to promote and popularize jazz and its related musical forms by making it more accessible to the general public and supporting the development of artists.

For over 40 years, the FIJM has been synonymous with musical passion. It is the largest cultural event in Montreal and one of the most important in the world in its field, representing a real engine for the national and international cultural scene due to its four decades of experience and artistic commitment!

Every summer, the Festival brings the city to life by hosting thousands of artists over a period of ten days, with concerts on nearly a dozen free outdoor stages on a site that is unique in the world, designed to meet all the needs of festival-goers, and in nearly a dozen downtown venues.

There’s not doubt, for ten magical days, Montreal is the heartbeat of Planet Jazz!

Guinness World Record. 2004. Largest Jazz Festival.

Festival International de Jazz de Montréal's history


The first edition of the Festival gathers approximately one hundred artists, including Chick Corea, Gary Burton, Vic Vogel and Ray Charles on Île-Sainte-Hélène, attracting some 12,000 festival goers.


The Festival becomes a non-profit corporation and moves to St. Denis Street.


With over a thousand musicians on the program, the Festival launches its first large-scale free event, which was to become the midway event of every festival thereafter.


The Festival definitively establishes its official site around Place des Arts.


At its 10th anniversary, the Festival reaches a million visitors.


The Festival site continues to expand, integrating for the first time the De Maisonneuve boulevard axis.


The Festival's gallery is born, with works by Miles Davis, Tony Bennett and Yves Archambault.


The Festival launches a new series of music presented all year long: Jazz All-Year Round.


With 2 million visits, the Festival celebrates its 25th anniversary by entering the Guinness World Records as the world’s largest jazz festival.


The Place des Festivals, new epicentre of the event, is inaugurated.

The FIJM celebrates its 30th anniversary, and officially inaugurates the Maison du Festival de jazz, a non-profit organization located at 305-307 Sainte-Catherine Street West, in the heart of the Quartier des spectacles.

The FIJM fulfills its dream of having a year-round venue and permanent infrastructure that allows it to better promote jazz and its related music.


Guide Leah Blythe organizes two-hour walking tours on the history of jazz in Montreal. Tours begin at Windsor Station and incorporate sound effects along the way.


Montreal has the chance to commemorate Billie Holiday's centenary with the Canadian artist Molly Johnson and her show Because of Billie.


40th anniversary of the Festival and a successful special edition in the Verdun district.


Special edition in a 100% digital (virtual) format due to the Covid-19 pandemic.


Inauguration of a new stage/space named Club TD Montreal. A real open-air venue, anchored in its urban landscape, the Club TD is deeply rooted in the Montreal spirit, both on stage and in your plate!

The famous band The Roots closes the 43rd edition in front of a huge crowd.

This edition marks Laurent Saulnier's change of role, who becomes a consultant for the Festival after 23 years of directing its programming, and the appointment of Maurin Auxéméry as Director of Programming.


France Margaret Bélanger [email protected]

Media Relations
Christine Montreuil [email protected]

[email protected]

Mathieu Gagnon [email protected]

Public Partnerships
Maude Brouillette [email protected]

Branding and creative services
Vincent Croteau [email protected]

Production and operations
Vincent Testard [email protected]