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Montreal Bistro Closes

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Thought some of you Toronto Jazz-people might like to know this:

A highly respected Toronto jazz club where such artists as Oscar Petersen and Diana Krall have performed shut its doors this week.

The Montreal Bistro, a staple of the Toronto jazz scene for 25 years, closed on Wednesday.

Would-be patrons were greeted with a note on the door that said: "The Montreal Bistro has closed its doors for good. Thank you for all your support and loyalty for so many years."

Owners Lothar and Brigitte Lang decided to retire after a disagreement over the lease with their landlord, the Toronto Star reported.

The development comes one year after another Toronto jazz club, Top 'o the Senator, changed its format.

The loss leaves a big hole in the jazz scene for musicians like Roberto Occhipinti.

"I mean, it's a loss, because last year we lost the Senator, and it was one of the few places where you could play more than one night at a time," Occhipinti told CBC Radio.

The Montreal Bistro customarily hired artists for weeklong gigs, giving opportunities to unknowns, as well as established musicians such as Jay McShann, Phil Nimmons and Joshua Redman.

The 120-seat bistro was a music lovers venue, with the Langs insisting on quiet during the performance so that everyone could hear the music.

The Langs won a lifetime achievement award at the National Jazz Awards earlier this year.

Several recordings have been made in the club, including albums by Kenny Wheeler and The Dave McMurdo Jazz orchestra and 2003's Wholly Cats, featuring Jim Galloway and Bob Barnard.

The "Montreal" connection was the menu, which featured tortiere and pea soup.

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What a kick int he balls. First the Senator and now the Bistro.

We now have no premier venues for top notch Jazz talent.

The Rex is OK, but it will never host major jazz stars.

The jazz community in Toronto is really in trouble.

Someone needs to step up with fresh ideas, a fresh venue and a more inclusive vision of what jazz is in this town.

Lame. :(

Edited by Guest

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