The jazz and blues festival towards international recognition

Now that the Saguenay Jazz and Blues Festival is over, the organizers – who do not hesitate to talk about an edition marked by several “home runs” – are looking to the future. For its 25th edition next year, we are already talking about this desire to cross the borders and to prove to the world that the little Racine street festival has become big.
The 24th edition, which ended on Saturday evening, saw a multitude of artists perform throughout a fifty shows from April 23 to 27, which took place on a host of stages, mainly in Chicoutimi. Real success at the counters, according to the organizers, the event has attracted so big names that the task of matching the mark reached this year looks arduous in the coming months.

“Our challenge is always to find out what’s in the music news when we present the event. It is necessary that the artists that are attracted are passing through Quebec City, Montreal, Toronto or New York at a pinch. That’s the challenge, “says programming director Jacques Dubé. He cites, for example, the arrival of Australian Sarah McKenzie, who made a mini-tour whose course Berlin-Quebec-Saguenay-Santander-Rome is frankly unusual.

The passage of Victor Wainwright and the Train nevertheless constitutes Jacques Dubé’s weapon, since his arrival coincides with his nomination at the next Grammys gala for the best contemporary blue’s album.

“To have it with us the same year as his nomination is a hit, a homerun. We already have guests named to the Grammys, but the same year, it’s candy, “adds the mastermind of programming.

Wallace Roney at Discount

The passage on the Bell stage of the hotel Chicoutimi American trumpeter Wallace Roney, who is in some way the heir of the legendary Miles Davis, may be difficult to repeat. “When we signed him, he was with a Quebec agent,” says Jacques Dubé. A few weeks later, it was an American agent who took over the contract from Roney and the latter. When he looked at the contract, he made it clear that a show for that price would not happen in Quebec.

“We were lucky on this,” admits Jacques Dubé. We had some good shots. On paper, it’s good, but on stage it’s better. [These good shots] have proven wise and we are happy with the edition. ”

Partnerships

Another sign that the festival is eyeing visitors from outside, several producers of national festivals (Montreal, Moncton or Rimouski) and international festivals (Haiti) came to visit the region last week in search of links to develop with the Jazz Festival and blues of Saguenay.

“Programmers and festival leaders came to our invitation. This is a part that has asked us a lot, but it will allow us to shine nationally and internationally. We want to be known, but also feed with their ideas and their projects. In the region, people know us, but here we want to take the next step, “says Jacques Dubé with a big smile.

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