Keith Jarrett - FIJM_2004-07-01-033 Denis Alix

35 Years of Legends: Keith Jarrett

American pianist Keith Jarrett, considered by many to be a genius, is among the most creative musi­cians working in contemporary jazz. He burst onto the scene in the early 1960s, first with Charles Lloyd and then with Miles Davis.

He went on to launch a prolific solo career marked by several phases and rich collaborations. Jarrett’s improvisational solo concerts from the 1970s are widely viewed as classics. He has also made scores of straight-up jazz recordings with his trio as well as classical recordings. Keith Jarrett enjoys a virtual cult following all over the world.

Hello Montreal

On the heels of a few memorable solo concerts in Montreal, Keith Jarrett made his debut visit to the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal in 1987. Jarrett marked a return to the city with his popular trio, featuring Jack DeJohnette on drums and Gary Peacock on bass.

In 1990, Keith Jarrett returned to the Festival as a solo artist, performing a program peppered with “standards.” The solo standards program was offered only in two other cities worldwide.

On each of his subsequent visits, however, Jarrett played alongside bandmates Peacock and DeJohnette, forming what many hailed as the top trio of the 1980s.

Jarrett’s unique performance style-complete with nasal vocalizations, swaying and an almost trance-like state-is like that of no one else. Peacock and DeJohnette pick up and maintain the tempo with a spirit of adventure and empathy not seen since the glory days with Miles Davis.

This year, in 2014, we’ll live a truly signature evening in the company of a living legend of the Festival, considered by many to be one of the most important musicians of the past half-century.

In 2004, he marked the 25th anniversary of the Festival by performing with his Standards Trio. That a musician of his stature should headline this very special edition was only fitting. Six years later,  the pianist offered Jasmine, an album recorded with double bassist Charlie Haden. The same year, he returned to the Festival, playing alongside Gary Peacock and Jack DeJohnette.