Montreal is well known today for its annual International Jazz Festival held at the end of June and beginning July.  However, Montreal jazz roots dig deeper in its great jazz artists who grew up and played in the area known as Little Burgundy.  Dig deeper into Montreal’s jazz history, and you’ll find it goes back as far as the 20s (1920s) and beyond.  Such were the times in Montreal, dubbed in history as the Paris of North America, and to some in the jazz world, the Harlem of the North.  But, you won’t find traces of the nightclubs that many jazz greats would have visited.  Now, on the famous St-Antoine strip where most of those places existed, and bordering Little Burgundy, you’ll find parking lots or condominium complexes.   If you want to learn more about Burgundy Jazz, checkout out the documentary Burgundy Jazz. –  from Radio Canada.

About Burgundy Jazz

“Burgundy Jazz explores Montreal’s incredible contribution to jazz music history through the legendary Black musicians of Little Burgundy – the neighbourhood that was a hub of musical creativity, private clubs and speakeasies from the Jazz Age 1920s to the Golden Era of Jazz in the 1940s and 50s. Oscar Peterson, Oliver Jones, the Sealey Brothers, Nelson Symonds, Charlie Biddle, and Louis Metcalf are among the greats who lived or played in “Burgundy”.

The web doc offers a rich cinematic and interactive experience that explores the music, community and artists of Little Burgundy. Watch all fourteen web capsules continuously or stop to explore the themes of each chapter in more depth through photo galleries, audio extracts, extra video, an interactive timeline and an index of musicians.”

Gone are the great Jazz rooms of St-Antoine, now reduced to parking lots or dug up to home residents in towering condominiums.  Get a sense of the liveliness of the neighbourhood, what attracted such talent from south of the border, what inspired and became home to many Montreal Jazz greats.

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