Luminato 2017: Jean-Michel Blais solo piano
Jean-Michel Blais is a 33-year-old pianist from Montreal whose enchanting instrumental compositions pair melodic pop sensibilities with the breathtaking technical skill of classical minimalism.
Blais grew up in a rural French Catholic town in Quebec bereft of formal music training. At age 11, he began tinkering on his familys organ, improvising and writing original compositions. A natural talent, by 17 he was invited to the Trois-Rivires Music Conservatory and began training as a classical pianist. Gravitating towards experimentation, he left the school after three years. He later attracted the attention of playwright-director Robert Lepage, before heading to Europe and taking a break from music.
Blais released his debut album of original compositions, Il, in 2016 on Arts and Crafts, condensing two years of daily improvisations into a blindingly bright exploration of piano textures that bridges ethos and musical styles. Il received fantastic reviews, and was one of TIME Magazines top 10 albums of the year.
The heart of Luminato festival this year will be David Pecaut Square June 14-25 featuring The Famous Spiegeltent, a 1920s heritage travelling pavilion which provides an intimate performance space. Accompanied by a licensed bar and outdoor patio, fun activations and food trucks. It's the perfect place to unwind and discover.
Organised by Luminato Festival;
Photo by Isis Essery/Arts & Crafts.