Experiencing the Montreal International JazzFest - Day 2

Modern Mississauga is in Montreal for three days to experience the renowned Montréal International Jazz festival along with Brigitte Hasbron from The Food Tease. In this three-part series, we’ll be sharing our experiences with you.

Venice Restaurant

Located in the heart of Old Montreal and Downtown, Venice, much like its name offers its patrons refreshing meals in a very Californian atmosphere. Healthy meals are at the helm of this restaurant as the dishes are meant to provide sustenance with an abundance of flavours without making you feel too full. We had the pleasure of sitting outside on the patio on a very sunny afternoon. Both the patio and the inside of this quaint restaurant were very busy as guests were trying to get in, to place their orders.
Everything vibrant, healthy and popping with colors are on the menu. Venice’s specialties are their pokes (tofu, tuna, salmon and shrimp) and one can easily see why. They are a bowl packed with the most refreshing ingredients, think fresh ginger, watermelon radishes and mangos! Their menu also places focus on smoothies, cold pressed juiced, gourmet salads, tacos and soups.
So it goes without saying that we tried their poke (salmon and tuna) and they did not disappoint! I was actually afraid that we would still be hungry afterwards, but not a chance. With the rice, fish, fruits and multitude of mouthwatering ingredients that added to this beautiful art work of a meal, we were pleasantly content and satisfied.  A true gem in the heart of Montreal!

NYKS Bistro Pub

Taking in late night concerts at the Montreal Jazz festival can easily lead to some late night food cravings.  So the hunt for a bistro that would still be open after the concerts was first deemed as a hurdle, but luck would prevail. Located right outside of the Montreal Jazz festival, NYKS Bistro Pub was open and bustling with patrons. 

Comfort food was on our mind and since it was the witching hour it triggered it in a big way. The NYKS menu caters to all tastes as their menu is very diverse, dishes ranging from beef carpaccio, mussels to kangaroo burgers. Sitting outside on the patio is where the action is, it’s the perfect location to people watch as crowds of people were making their way on the streets when we sat down to eat. So in true late-night eating fashion, we opted for their hamburger platters and decided to add some calamari for indulgence sake. It should be noted that as the evening progresses, the restaurant's more popular dishes sell out fast – something to keep in mind when you pay a visit late in the evening. Something to be said about this restaurant, even as we left some guests were still waiting to be seated in this popular late-night bistro. I guess we weren’t the only one’s craving some comfort food!

Charlotte Day Wilson

Toronto based R&B singer Charlotte Day Wilson has had an exciting 2017 so far that included a Canadian Music Week gig and her single Work has been licensed for an iPhone commercial and the Netflix series Grace And Frankie. Her appearance at the Montreal Jazz Festival in an opening slot for indie-Queen Feist was well received by the nearly full audience. With Wilson alternating between the guitar and bass guitar she steadily churned out well written songs with a relaxed yet catchy feel. 
In between one of her songs, she reflected on how this was a surreal moment for her as she grew up listening to Feist and being influenced by her so much so that Feist was one of the main reasons she became so involved with music. 
Her accompanying drummer and keyboardist rounded up the trio who’s short yet well-played set which saw a truly impressive vocal solo by Wilson where she hit Mariah Carey-esque notes near one of her final songs. Keep an eye and ear out for her as she’s a great Canadian talent that’s going places.


Canada’s Queen of indie-pop, Feist, graced the stage at Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier of Place des Arts and the packed house hung on every note she sang and every word she spoke. 
In a bold move, she started off her two-hour set by performing all 11 tracks of her new record released in May, Pleasure, in sequence. As she so aptly put it “it’s a jazz festival, which means we can do whatever we want.” The engaged audience, who gave thundering applause after each tune, didn’t seem to mind one bit. Alternating between an acoustic and electric guitar, Feist and her minimalist 4-piece band gracefully danced through each number as if they’d been playing them for years opposed to months with grace. There was a great call and response moment where the audience became part of the performance, along with a few ‘clap on one and three” moments that really got the crowd going.
Track 11, “Young Up” saw her invite audience members to come to the small space separating the stage from the folks in the front row to slow dance to the tune. And of course, several dozen of them accepted her invitation.
Personally, while I really enjoy that kind of crowd interaction, most, if not all, of the slow dancing folks stayed up at the front after track 11, which no doubt would’ve frustrated the paying folks in the front few rows. They paid for prime seats and to have that “I paid for the best seats and I expect those seats to be the best throughout the show” taken away wouldn’t have gone over well with me.
However, it didn’t seem that anyone visibly minded as the crowd got louder with each additional song.
Songs 12 through 17 saw more familiar tunes, including My Moon My Man and Let It Die. And of course, the two-tune encore consisted of Mushaboom and the massive hit 1234.
Throughout the show, Feists staccato-esque guitar playing, minimalist guitar solos and fluttering vocals were held together nicely by her talented drummer, bassist and keyboardist. 
The Queen is most certainly back.

1. Pleasure
2. I Wish I Didn’t Miss You
3. Get Not High, Get Not Low
4. Lost Dreams
5. Any Party
6. A Man Is Not His Song
7. The Wind
8. Century
9. Baby Be Simple
10. I’m Not Running Away
11. Young Up
12. My Moon My Man
13. Sealion
14. The Bad In Each Other
15. How Come You Never Go There
16. I Feel It All
17. Let It Die
18. Mushaboom
19. 1234

Aura at the Notre-Dame Basilica

Taking place at the beautiful Notre-Dame Basilica, Aura is a brilliant light show that sees various multimedia aspects come together to transform this historic church into a kaleidoscope of colours while stimulating you visually and aurally.
The show, which runs a little over 20 minutes is simply stunning as it takes you through different seasons and vibrant colours displayed on the ceiling, altar and pillars through a complex system of lights and lasers.
The absolutely massive pipe organ chimes in past the half way mark to add an exclamation mark to an already stunning show.
To get your tickets, visit http://www.aurabasiliquemontreal.com/en/

Read about our day 1 here: https://www.modernmississauga.com/main/2017/7/4/experiencing-the-montreal-international-jazzfest-day-1

Read about our day 3 here: https://www.modernmississauga.com/main/2017/7/6/experiencing-the-montreal-international-jazzfest-day-3