Montreal, and all that Jazz
Montreal knows how to throw a party. Gay, straight, or everything all mushed up together, events in our near northern neighbor are well-organized, well-programmed, and, well, just incredibly fun. The 31st edition of the Montreal International Jazz Festival takes place June 25 through July 6, 2010, and is one of the finest such festivals in the world.
If you're a jazz addict, Montreal's jazz fest is the ultimate high. You'll find jazz legends like Herbie Hancock, Dave Brubeck, George Benson, Cassandra Wilson, The Manhattan Transfer and Bobby McFerrin.
The surprising news about this festival is the huge range of non-jazz performers. Pretty much every genre is represented from rock to hip-hop to R&B. Pop-icon and gay-rights champion Cyndi Lauper is scheduled to perform.
Besides the fabulous Miss Lauper and a few other gay performers, there's nothing specifically gay about the festival. You'll just have to get your gay on outside the event. Luckily Montreal is one of the great LGBT-friendly North American cities with scads of bars, clubs, restaurants, boutiques, strip joints, and more to delight lesbian and gay locals and visitors.
Here's a link to a recent piece originally published in brother outlet Out Magazine, "When in ... Montreal," with a handful of suggestions for where to eat, sleep, and play. Out Traveler offers a Montreal travel guide with lots more information.