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Innovation, experimentation are Victoriaville festival buzzwords

May, 2011

VICTORIAVILLE – The celebration of new, innovative and experimental music known as Victo is back, and the lineup should draw fans from across North America to this quiet town halfway between Drummondville and Quebec City.

The full title is Festival internationale de musique actuelle de Victoriaville—the 27th edition of this premiere showcase of free jazz, electro-acoustic, avant-rock, Noise and you-name-it genres, and it starts May 19 with 20 concerts over four days.

This year’s lineup, according to artistic director Michelle Levasseur, reflects a return to the festival’s roots, with more international artists than last year’s more Quebec-focused roster.

Attractive package deals—$107 for hotel, double occupancy, breakfast, and two evening shows—are available. It’s the highlight of my spring.

Here are some highlights:

* The Ex & Brass Unbound unites the Dutch avant-punk group with jazzy-blowers Ken Vandermark and Mats Gustafson (saxophones), Walter Wierbos (trombone), Roy Paci (trumpet) May 19, 10pm.

* Improvising pianist Paul Plimley returns from Vancouver for a solo concert May 20, 1pm.

* Electric guitarist Nels Cline improvises with special effects as Norman Wisdom paints on a constantly evolving canvas May 20, 8pm.

* The cream of Montreal improv musicians—including Jean Derome, Lori Freedman, and Tom Walsh—join forces in the Ratchet Orchestra May 21, 3pm.

* German saxophonist Peter Brötzmann in a trio May 21, 10pm.

* U.S. saxophonist Anthony Braxton, with trumpeter Taylor Ho Bynum and guitarist Mary Halvorson in a septet May 21, 10pm.

* Saxophonist Peter Brötzmann solo May 22, 1pm.

* Dutch viola player Ig Henneman leads her euro-improv sextet with clarinetist Lori Freedman and pianist Marilyn Lerner May 22, 8pm.

General info: 888-758-9451

Package info: 866-969-0533

Ticket info: 819-752-7912


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