Porchfest NDG 2018 – Montréal/Canada
Montréal is a diverse & cultural city. Creativity is all over the place. Lots of artist live here and make it a melting pot of artists. Spring and summer are the time of the year were streets are full of all kind of art in form of festivals. One of them is our NDG Porchfest.
The Porchfest NDG is a music festival hold in the lovely neighbourhood of Notre-Dame-de Grâce (NDG) in Montréal. This year we were celebrating it’s fourth edition. Once a year in May local bands and musicians are giving concerts at their front porches! Concerts are about 45 minutes and it’s all free. 2018’s goal was raising funds to bring back the Multicultural Choir offered by the Walkley Community Centre. All organised and realised by volunteers!
This year more than 120 bands were playing and transformed the area in one big stage for two days (ok three because of the rain). Their repertoire is as diverse as NDG itself.
This year I went on a mission to learn more about music, music styles and my neighbourhood to share with you. I studied the schedule and the bands playing, to make a pre-choice where to go. Firstly, not to miss what I like and secondly to make sure to catch up some genres, I have never heard about before like Bluegrass or Cajun. Did you? But let’s talk about that later.
Obviously my first concert was the opening at our Notre-Dame-de-Grâce-Park better known as Girouard Park. Hanorah was the opening act and the park was filled with locals, local TV station, press and politicians.
In those two days I saw 14 concerts. And it was a colourful bunch of styles, such as Rock, Post Punk Pop Rock, Alt Rock, Indie Rock, Reggae, Rap, Soul, R&B, Funk, Jazz, Blues and the before mentioned Blugrass & Cajun.
Out of those fourteen I decided to tell you a bit more of my top 3 including an interview!
Eleuthera & the Melrose Mob
Eleuthera is a Montréal based soul, blues, jazz singer and songwriter who lives across the street from our house. So of course, I joined here, but not only therefore. I have heard her and her combo two years ago for the first time, so it was a must-do on my list. Her voice is incredible, and I was happy to hear, that she is finally launching her first album this June in Montréal.
Curiosity is part of my personality, so I took my chance to interview her to get it satisfied.
Here comes the short version of the original interview:
- What brought you to Music?Music came to me from a young age. It always seemed to me a gentle, secret language with which I could communicate my inner world and dialogue with plants, animals and soft summer breezes. […] As I grew older it would come to be a means of releasing intense emotions and experiences, […].
2. Since when have you made music?
[…] I had Music class in school with […] and took piano lessons with a friend of the family from the age of six. […]
- At what age did you compose your first song?I would compose songs from time to time from about the age of twelve, but it was never a regular part of my life. […]
When I was thirty-two I had a series of powerful dreams about a cabin in the woods and a real piano. The dreams were so vivid and recurrent that I knew I had to listen to them, that they were the key to unlocking the next phase of my life. […] Once I moved out there the songs started flowing quickly and my first solo album, […] was written. […]
- What are/were your biggest struggles?In the past I would say my biggest struggle as an artist was wanting to compose regularly and feeling the muse was almost never at my side. […]
Right now I struggle a lot with mine and my culture’s relationship to art and money […] reality is that bills and rent must be paid and I would like the main focus of my life to be that creative process, so time must be put aside for it. […] The fact that very few people see the work that goes into the art they love. Everyone wants live music at their parties but very few are willing to pay for the time and energy that goes into composing, arranging, rehearsing, promoting, setting up, performing, and taking down a show. We can’t live off of publicity and pints!
I also struggle with the amount of time artists nowadays have to put in to administrative work: […] As these hours of admin work are unpaid, we have to work day jobs as well to pay the bills and perform at night. This makes for work days that are far too long and very little time that can actually go towards the creative work.
(The full interview will be published on littlebigvoyager.com soon!)
Especially the last part is something we should think about, when looking for bars with free entrance, but live music.
Juliana & Jesse
Juliana & Jesse are a sibling’s duo based in Montréal.
From the very first moment I was impressed of Juliana’s voice and how Jesse seem to be one with his guitar while playing. The audience was thrilled, too, everybody was dancing in the street.
Since 2014 they write their own songs together, which are based on folk sound, with influences of Blues and Latin genres. During the last two years they became well known in the provinces of Quebec and Ontario, after they performed at “The Voice”. I hope they keep on going with music!
This voice is incredible! If you like Alt Rock mixed with Hypno – Pop – Rock, this is your band. I stayed the full concert, enjoying and dancing! The singer reminded me a bit to Kurt Cobain, the voice, his moves and how he was interpreting songs! They play small concerts every now and than in Montréal, so check out their FB Page, not to miss it.
At the end of the weekend I was still thrilled about the great performances I have seen! Not just that I had learned about new genres, no it was more. The weekend once more showed how amazing living in NDG is. Indeed, it is the greatest community I have every lived in! I will miss you NDG!
The showdown was planned to take place at the Walkley Community Center with no less than King Shadrock, a well-known Reggae musician.
So, if every you are in Montréal in May make sure to check out, if Porchfest is on!
For all music lovers among us: have a look at littlebigvoyager on youtube, I uploaded all the short videos I took to show the wide range of treasures we hold in NDG!
by Ulrike Jeute (littlebigvoyager.com)