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Montreal Jazz Fest Brings in Nexo

A concert-packed 11 days in late June, the Montreal Jazz Festival had some 30 countries represented with 500 concerts, attracting more than 2 million attendees, many of which travel to Montreal every year to join in the festivities. Legendary guests included Bob Dylan, Keith Jarrett, Harry Connick Jr., Cesaria Evora, Wynton Marsalis, Manu Chao, Zachary Richard and Francis Cabrel, to name a few.

Hugo Tardif has served as technical director responsible for the outdoor shows at the jazz festival for the past three years and joins Solotech as one of the two sound department’s technical coordinators, along with Daniel Rioux. Solotech again provided production this year for the three mega-stages, along with NEXO products provided by Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems Inc. “Having a very good understanding of the festival’s needs and after dealing with the architectural difficulties of a sound system bouncing against the downtown area buildings, the choice for a good line array system was clear,” says Tardif.

Many different brands of line arrays were used in the past but were difficult to
tune because the location is not a real open field situation,” Tardif continues. “The NEXO cabinets were much more manageable in this particular situation.” After discussing the matter with Yamaha’s Michel Trepanier, the opportunity was born. “When we installed the small, lightweight GEO D and T rigs, everybody was amazed with the power and clarity of the system,” Tardif continues. “To be able to provide such a clear and crisp-sounding system was a relief and a blessing for us. The lightweight aspect of the GEO T system was also very helpful for the festival’s team as this year two giant video screens were added, which limited the weight capacity of the mobile stage.”

NEXO gear included a NEXO GEO T rig (10 T4805s and a T2815 with six CD18s per side) for the main stage with Alpha EF sidefills on the stage. A NEXO GEO D rig (six D10s and two GEO Subs per side) with PS15 fills was used on a second stage, and a GEO S system (seven S805s and a S830 with four CD12s per side) with PS8 fills was provided for the third stage.

“This turned out to be one of the busiest festival periods Solotech has ever seen in our market, and the Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems Inc. staff provided a welcome assist with the NEXO hangs,” Tardif notes.

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