Norah Jones, Ray Charles, Mark Knopfler, and Ben Harper have been tapped to headline the 24th edition of the Montreal Jazz Festival, one of the world's largest musical gatherings, according to organiz

Norah Jones, Ray Charles, Mark Knopfler, and Ben Harper have been tapped to headline the 24th edition of the Montreal Jazz Festival, one of the world's largest musical gatherings, according to organizers. The festival, which overtakes downtown Montreal, runs June 26-July 6.

Grammy darling Jones will perform on July 2, while R&B's elder statesman Charles and his big band are set to appear June 26. Harper returns to Montreal on July 2, Bobby McFerrin will perform June 28, and Knopfler will play on the event's July 4 bill.

Organizers have long plucked artists from outside the traditional jazz idiom, presenting styles as diverse as salsa, blues and, ska throughout the event. Last year's Montreal Jazz Festival drew 2 million fans in this mainly French-speaking city of 3.5 million people. Thrown into the mix are usually some 350 outdoor events and 150 indoor, ticketed concerts.


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