Every summer, music lovers from all over the world flock to downtown Montreal to attend the unparalleled Montreal International Jazzfestival. Located in the heart of the Quartier des spectacles, the festival site occupies a quadrilateral area bordered by St. Laurent Boulevard and De Bleury Street from east to west, and Ste. Catherine Street and President-Kennedy Avenue from north to south.
The Montréal International JazzFestival was founded in 1979 by Alain Simard in partnership with André Ménard, Denyse McCann and Alain de Grosbois. The first edition of the festival brought together around a hundred artists, including Chick Corea, Gary Burton, Vic Vogel and Ray Charles in Île-Sainte-Hélène, attracting around 12,000 attendees. Since then, it has grown to become one of the most renowned jazz festivals in the world. The Montreux Jazzfestival opened on June 18, 1967 and was founded by Claude Nobs, Géo Voumard and René Langel with the help of Ahmet and Nesuhi Ertegun of Atlantic Records.
The Montreal International JazzFestival began with very little funding from Alain Simard in 1979 as a two-night show with two artists at the Theatre-St-Denis. From May 10, 1980, a Montreal Jazzfestival was organized with funding from Alain de Grosbois of CBC Stereo and Radio-Québec. He has worked for the Montréal International JazzFestival, the FrancoFolies de Montréal and MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE since autumn 1999, and is now Vice President of Programming for the three events. The Montreal International JazzFestival has grown to become one of the most renowned jazz festivals in the world, bringing together some of the best musicians on the planet.