Woody Allen On stage for the First Time in Montreal

This summer, the Festival International de Jazz de Montral proudly presents beloved American director, actor, writer and musician Woody Allen in his grand Montreal premiere! For one night only, surrounded by his New Orleans Jazz Band, the incomparable New York legend sets his filmmaker persona aside and allows the passionate jazz clarinetist to step forward, revealing another facet of his talent. Join us for this unique concert June 30, in Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, Place des Arts.

He dreamed of being a basketball or baseball pro; however, a little self-reflection (and a reality check) led him into film, as a writer, actor, director and all-around genius. But he's always maintained that he might just as easily have been a musician; he saw (and heard) himself in Sidney Bechet, Charlie Parker and certainly Woody Herman... Wait a minute - might have been? But Woody Allen is a musician, and how! This real-life Zelig was not going to content himself with filmmaking alone: a clarinetist since the age of 15, he's been performing with a like-minded group of comrades equally devoted to pre-war standards, the big band sound, and New Orleans jazz in his hometown New York since way back when. That passion is reflected in most of his films, whether discreetly in the soundtrack or overtly in the story itself, as in Radio Days and Sweet and Lowdown. In fact, Allen's love of jazz led him to play his regular bar gig with his group rather than attend the Academy Awards ceremony where Annie Hall was winning four Oscars!

Although he rarely strays from the Cafe Carlyle in New York--where he often performs with the New Orleans Jazz Band, led by Eddie Davis--the 73-year-old clarinetist did undertake a European tour in 1996, playing such prestigious venues as La Fenice in Venice, the Liceu in Barcelona, the Megaron in Athens, the Sporting Club in Monte Carlo and the Munich Philharmonic, as well as the Chtelet, the Theatre des Champs Lyses and the Olympia in Paris. The Festival is proud to finally welcome this extraordinary artist to Montreal, doubly so since the famed filmmaker has had to turn down numerous previous invitations to perform at the Festival, given his summer filming schedule usually conflicts with our own. Monday, June 30, 7:30 p.m., Salle Wilfrid Pelletier, PdA (Pleins feux General Motors series).

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