After a few years of COVID inflicted chaos, POP Montreal is triumphantly returning in 2022! The festival takes place from Sept 28 to Oct 2 and as always it is chock full of surprises!
Making a splash for its 21st Edition
Highlight’s of this year’s line-up includes post-rock icons Tortoise, the Canadian premiere of 1970s U.K. funk pioneers Cymande, Reggae icon Sister Nancy, Rupaul’s Drag Race winner Priyanka, Ghanaian electro rapper Ata Kak, teenage punk rockers The Linda Lindas, local sensation Martha Wainwright and a huge homecoming for Folk Alliance Artist of the Year and Juno award winner Allison Russell.
Music pioneers Cymande embark on a rare tour run
Full confession: when I read the announcement that they had booked Cymande, I literally jumped for joy and began dancing around my apartment. I never imagined I would get the chance to see them perform! Their mix of funk, jazz, calypso, Afro-beat, soul and rock is totally unique. Much like Black Sabbath, Cymande is one of the most important bands of all time due to how their influence led to the birth of new genres of music. Cymande were a seminal influence in the creation of Disco, Hip Hop and House Music.
Formed in 1971 by nine Afro-Caribbean men living in London, they released three albums before their break up in 1974. Despite charting low in in the top 100 of Billboard’s RnB charts and performing on Soul Train they never blew up to the level they deserved. But instead of fading into obscurity, early Hip Hop DJ’s like Kool Herc & Grandmaster Flash and disco DJ’s like Nicky Siano used their music as one of the foundations of their sets. They played their breaks so often that it led to Cymande becoming one of the most sampled bands of all time.
Cymande became one of the major building blocks of Hip Hop, sampled by Sugarhill Gang, De La Soul, EPMD, The KLF, MC Solaar, Soul II Soul, Heavy D, The Fugees, Wu-Tang Clan, Gang Starr, Queen Latifah and so many more. They are sampled in some of the first house music anthems like Raze’s “Jack the Groove” and in many other genres of electronic music.
In fact, it’s due to sampling that new generations discovered them, which led to a popular greatest hits album in 1991 and the group eventually reforming in 2014. As an extra treat, Pop Montreal will host the Montreal Premiere of the documentary Getting it Back : The Story of Cymande.
The Pop Montreal mission
Pop Montreal was launched in 2002 by friends and colleagues who had the desire to create an important and unifying cultural festival. Now entering its 21st year as an integral part of the Montreal festival circuit and the international music world. Taking place in a bilingual environment, each edition offers an eclectic program of 200+ multidisciplinary artists, including 150+ musical artists and 50+ Quebec musicians to more than 45,000 spectators during 5 days. The 21st edition of the festival will be held from September 28 to October 2, 2022.
During the day, POP presents mostly free events including barbecues, conferences, films, exhibitions, craft fairs, and indoor and outdoor concerts. In the evening, the festival presents dozens of concerts, openings, film premieres and special events.
The POP Montreal International Music Festival has become the trusted platform for local and international audiences to discover Montreal and its artists alongside cutting-edge headliners in an inclusive and community-driven environment.
At various venues in the Plateau Mont Royal
September 28 to October 2
In 2019 I interviewed Pop’s founder and Creative Director Daniel Seligman. Click here to get a glimpse into the mind of the driving force behind this fantastic event…
Simon is 20 years into a life sentence in the music biz. He's performed at major international festivals and worked with Grammy Award winners. As Music Curator for BKM he gives you a sneak peek behind the curtain...