40TH MONTREAL JAZZ FESTIVAL BIDS AN EMOTIONAL AU REVOIR

There were tears, Saturday afternoon, at the closing press conference for the 40th Montreal International Jazz Festival.

MONTREAL, QUE: Crowds watch as Matt Holubowski performs during the closing blowout of the 40th Montreal International Jazz Festival in Montreal, Quebec July 6, 2019. (Christinne Muschi / MONTREAL GAZETTE) ORG XMIT: 62807

There were tears, Saturday afternoon, at the closing press conference for the 40th Montreal International Jazz Festival.

Organizers had just shown a short video of interviews with different performers at this year’s event — from veterans Richard Galliano and Eric Truffaz to new schoolers Charlotte Cardin and Elisapie — singing the praises of our city’s premier music fest and the two men who put it together, saw it through its first four decades and are now taking their final bow as they settle into retirement: Alain Simard and André Ménard.

During the applause that followed, Ménard, a few seats away from this reporter, wiped his eyes dry then collected himself as he and his old partner in good times stepped up to the front of the room to bid a final farewell in their official capacities.

“These things are not easy,” Ménard began. “How do you say…”

He stopped, overcome by emotion.

“I think we were facilitators of a nice love story between music and Montrealers.”

A few more tears escaped, and applause filled the room.

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