Montreal is climaxing culture these days. The loudest shout-out of the moment is the star-studded Festival International de Jazz de Montreal that scorches the already red-hot streets of our downtown core with its worldbeat blowouts. Teeming with tourists, you can yell out my name in the crowd, but you won’t find me.

I – am swinging my hips at the air-conditioned Montreal Jewish General Hospital, at the in-house JGH JAZZ; a yearly jazzbo hat-tip to the mother of all fests. Run by irrepressible music therapist Bryan Highbloom (who invites both Montreal and international artists to play), the festival banner reads: music is healing. It sure is. Two years ago, my husband and in-house music composer spent the duration of our big-city blowout at the hospital- horizontal- save for the joy of Bryan’s concerts in the cafeteria. In a time of need, these musical moments brought us such comfort and inspiration, words cannot express. If I was a musician, then I would play, and send you soaring through the wilds of your limitless soul, with the symphony of my gratitude.

Ned and Bryan have since cooked up the ace pilot project ‘Hospital Soundscapes’- using ‘original ambient music and soundscapes’ to help reduce the noise and stress of hospital life. Indeed. Check it out, and help heal what ails you.

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FAN THE FLAMES

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GOOD NEWS FLASH: My friend (and yours, if you met him on the dance floor) Rawi Hage has recently won the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award (the world’s richest literary prize), for his beautiful,  incendiary novel: De Niro’s Game. Mazel tov, Rawi!

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