Balmy summer breezes in a bustling city bursting at the seams with live music. It’s not too early to start thinking about the Montreal International Jazz Festival, which recently announced a dozen concerts. The world’s biggest jazz fest will serve up its 41st edition June 25-July 4.
Here’s a look at some of the highlights (Canadian prices; taxes included):
June 25: Hiromi
Two years after performing at Monument National with Colombian harpist Edmar Castaneda — captured for the 2017 duo album, “Live in Montreal” — Japanese pianist Hiromi Uehara returns to Monument to perform solo.
Called “a beacon for jazz to come” by All About Jazz, Hiromi, 40, performs in support of a new solo album. “Spectrum,” released in October, is Hiromi’s 11th studio album and second solo set.
“Remarkable in its scope and vivid in its illustration,” added All About Jazz, “‘Spectrum’ once again personifies the brilliantly gifted pianist’s extraordinary skill set.”
Monument National, 8 p.m. $60.90
June 25: GoGo Penguin
GoGo Penguin, an acclaimed Manchester-based left field piano trio, returns to the fest for the first time in two years. The talented trio is currently recording a follow-up to its excellent 2018 album, “A Humdrum Star,” which is scheduled for release in 2020.
Theatre Maisonneuve, Place des Arts, 8 p.m. $44.25-$54.65
June 25: Femi Kuti & the Positive Force
Nigerian Afrobeat giant Femi Kuti brings his longstanding band, Positive Force — a sizable ensemble of musicians, singers and dancers — and his electrifying live show to the intimate Club Soda.
Kuti performs in support of his 10th album, “No Place for My Dream,” released last year. The stellar set reveals the 57-year-old charismatic singer and multi-instrumentalist to be in top form as he returns to his roots in Afrobeat, the buoyant polyrhythmic music with soul and jazz influences that was pioneered by his legendary father, Fela Kuti, in the late 1960s.
“Impeccably sequenced, it runs from strength to strength, dazzling with expansive sonic textures, killer arrangements, and a musical genre palette that exists seemingly without boundaries,” said the All Music Guide. “As a recording artist, Kuti has been reliably consistent, but this date is his masterpiece.”
Club Soda, 9 p.m. $44
June 27: Bebel Gilberto
The daughter of legendary Brazilian singer-guitarist João Gilberto and beloved Brazilian singer Miucha, Bebel Gilberto serves up an intoxicating mix of samba and bossa nova with pop, jazz and electronic music. Gilberto, 53, is scheduled to release a much-anticipated new album — her first studio set since 2014’s “Tudo” — this spring.
Theatre Maisonneuve, Place des Arts, 8 p.m. $39.65-$54.65
June 30: Christian McBride, A Christian McBride Situation
The master bassist brings his new jazz-funk project, which pays tribute to his friend and mentor James Brown. The drumless sextet includes Ron Blake on saxophone, Patrice Rushen on keyboards, Alyson Williams on vocals, and DJ Logic and Jahi Sundance Lake on turntables.
McBride, 47, was recently nominated for three Grammy Awards, including Best Jazz Instrumental Album, for “Christian McBride’s New Jawn,” released in October.
The album “feels as fresh as anything he’s ever done,” said PopMatters about the album. “If McBride’s profile as an artist has been almost aggressively mainstream and accessible, his ‘New Jawn’ seems like an act of letting go and taking more chances. It’s a cool breeze of daring that still hits a sweet spot of swing and soulfulness.”
Monument National, 8 p.m. $58.80
June 28: Walk off the Earth — MTELUS, 8:30 p.m. $54
July 2: Al Di Meola — Theatre Maisonneuve, Place des Arts, 8 p.m. $66-$78
July 2: Charlie Cunningham — Club Soda, 9 p.m. $33.25
July 3: Marcus Miller — Theatre Maisonneuve, Place des Arts, 8 p.m. $62-$71
July 3: Soran — Club Soda, 9 p.m. $30.50
July 4: Gregory Porter — Maison symphonique de Montreal, 7 p.m. $54.65-$79
July 4: Joss Stone and Macy Gray — Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, Place des Arts, 7:30 p.m.; prices unavailable at press time (tickets went on sale Dec. 13)