By VICTOR E. SASSON
MONTREAL -- I won't bore you with the list of great jazz singers and musicians I've seen in the five years we've been attending the International Jazz Festival in this French-Canadian city.
But on Thursday night, I saw the worst performance by a singer ever -- and that includes all of the shows and concerts I've attended in the past 50 years.
Now in its 38th year, Montreal's jazz festival has long been considered the world's greatest.
The 11-day party began on Wednesday and will run through July 8, offering more than 500 concerts -- two-thirds of them free -- and nearly 3,000 musicians from around the world.
Even though the "jazz" festival developed years ago into a world music festival, the noisy performance by singer Xenia Rubinos on Thursday night defies all classification -- except to say it was just awful.
She shouted to be heard above two other musicians, but most of her words were incomprehensible, and her herky-jerky dancing wasn't even sexy, as my wife pointed out.
Early in her set, she shouted, "I know this is a jazz festival ..., but do your own thing."
Then she jumped off the stage, and climbed back on.
|GIVE ME SHELTER: Lounge Heineken is the only venue for free concerts that provides shelter from the elements, especially important this year, when rain is forecast through the weekend. Showers also fell on Thursday.|
|SOGGY SOUNDS: On Thursday night, only a couple of hundred hearty souls stood in the rain to see a free concert on one of the main outdoor stages in Montreal's Quarter of Spectacles.|