Montreal, Canada

Take Introduction to Jazz (MUS 112) in Montreal, Canada

Learn about jazz and discover exciting artists within the context of a major international festival. This Wake Tech AHSS Study Abroad course will cover the origins and trends of American jazz from the 1800s to today. This course is offered mostly online during Summer Term I (May 18-July 13, 2020; dates of travel July 1-7). Students will receive College Transfer course credit for MUS 112.

The main focus of our time in Montreal will be spent enjoying the musical performances of the Festival International de Jazz (Montreal JazzFest). Centered in the Quartier des Spectacles, afternoons and evenings will feature hundreds of artists in a staggering array of jazz styles, most of which are free! Based on availability we’ll also attend three exclusive, ticketed performances in venues like Le Belmont, L’Astral, and the Théâtre Maisonneuve. We’ll stay in the internationally recognized brand Holiday Inn Centreville Downtown, barely five minutes walking distance from the festival grounds. Beyond music, we’ll delve into the spirit of the city’s multicultural influences through its history, language, and most of all, its exquisite food! We’ll visit historic landmarks as well as clubs and venues that helped make jazz in North America what it is today. We also realize the importance of freedom, so we’ve built in ample time for you to explore the city on your own. We’ll be available to make suggestions, but there will be no shortage of markets, churches, museums, neighborhoods, parks to pique your interest and capture your heart. Daily breakfast at the hotel is included, and affordable dining options abound with a wide variety of international cuisines. By the end of the trip, you’ll have a comprehensive knowledge of a major North American capital, an authentic international travel experience, and hopefully a deeper passion for jazz!

For our class, course content will be delivered online and we will have two pre-departure meetings to cover travel information as well as to preview course material.

Faculty Leaders

The course will be taught and led by two Wake Tech faculty members: Dr. DeMar Neal and Dr. Adrien Re. We love travel, jazz, and food and are most excited to share these passions with you! Our extensive musical knowledge and adventurous spirit mean that participants will gain comprehensive insights into the music, cuisine, and culture of Montreal in ways that few others can achieve!


We will stay for six nights in the centrally-located Holiday Inn Centreville Downtown.  Breakfast is included every day, and low-cost meal options will be available in area markets, stands, and restaurants.


$2899 (includes roundtrip flight from RDU to Montreal). 25 students or more will lower the price to $2799. Students may wish to make their own flight arrangements for a possibly lower price.

What's Included

  • Hotel with private bathroom and breakfast daily.

  • All ground transportation (charter buses and metro passes to give us easy access to anywhere in the city).

  • Farewell dinner and a show at the historic Le Balcon.

  • All ticketed concert entrances and fees. 

  • All walking food and historical tours.

Not included: 

  • Standard WTCC course fees and tuition ($240).

  • Optional brunch outing to Diese Onze or Jardin Nelson ($40).

  • Required Wake Tech International Health Insurance through GeoBlue ($12)

  • Airline-Imposed Baggage Fees (if applicable)

  • Cost of passport (if applicable)

  • Incidental expenses

  • Travel will be booked through WTCC's logistical partner and arrangements made through course leaders.

Full Itinerary

We will have two on-campus meetings to prepare for departure and to review course materials

Day 1 - The Journey Begins

Meet at Raleigh-Durham Airport for our 2-hour flight to Montreal. Arrive at Montreal Airport and take a charter bus transfer to our hotel. We’ll stow luggage at the hotel or check-in if rooms are ready. Then we’ll explore the Montreal JazzFest site with a local tour guide. Dinner is on your own and the rest of the evening is open to attend one of the free Montreal JazzFest performances.  

Day 2 – City Introduction
After breakfast, we’ll orient ourselves to the city with a 2-hour Jazz History Walking Tour courtesy of historian and professional tour guide Leah Blythe. She’ll tell the story of jazz and its connection to the city from the 1920s until the foundation of the Festival International de Jazz in 1980. We’ll investigate the city’s niches and discover what has become of former clubs such as Rockhead’s Paradise, the Rising Sun, and Chez Parée. Lunch and the afternoon are on your own to explore more of the free JazzFest performances. After dinner, we’ll meet to attend the first of three ticketed concerts in one of the Festival’s famous venues.

Day 3 – International Influences 

Today we’ll explore the intersection of food, music, and culture. Only a light breakfast is recommended because we’ll spend 3 hours with Mélissa Simard of Round Table Tours as she takes us on a culinary adventure through Montreal’s Chinatown neighborhood. Bahn mi, dim sum, Chinese barbeque, and of course tea and desserts will delight your senses as we also visit public art, historical landmarks, and even a Chinese-owned jazz establishment with a “black performers only” policy. Again the afternoon is open to check out more of JazzFest, while after dinner we’ll meet for our second of three ticketed concerts.

Day 4 – Feeling French

Another early start as we take the metro’s orange line to Vanier College, where we’ll have a chance to learn some actual French along with some opportunities to discuss cultural differences between French Canada and America. Lunch can be taken on-site, or you can take the metro back to downtown, where you might want to exit at Bonaventure and see some of Montreal’s famous Underground City. In the afternoon we’ll visit one of the Festival’s satellite sites (if available) in the borough of Verdun, complete with a 45-minute walking tour and free jazz performances. Dinner is on your own, but we’ll meet once again for our third and final ticketed JazzFest concert.

Day 5 – Recovery Day 
The pace of the trip slows with a day that’s mostly free for you to explore the city on your own. You might want to take the metro to Peel Street to the Mont-Royal Chalet for a stunning view of the city, or visit the Biodôme, ascend the Olympic Park Tower, or enjoy the Botanical Gardens. An optional outing for a Jazz brunch will be offered (personal expense), but we will meet officially for another union of jazz and food with dinner at either the House of Jazz or Upstairs (availability pending).

Day 6 – Last Looks and Listens
Our last full day in Montreal also gives you the freedom to catch any sights you might have missed. You could explore Marché Jean-Talon, one of the city’s most popular farmers’ market located in the heart of Little Italy or find some rest and repose in the Basilique Notre Dame. We’ll gather one last time for a luxurious meal and show at the famed Le Balcon.

Day 7 – The Journey Home 
We’ll check out of the hotel, with breakfast anytime 6:30-10:30 AM. Capture any last-minute souvenirs before we take a charter bus transfer to the airport. We’ll have another 2-hour flight back from Montreal to Raleigh, where the travel experience concludes.

Interested? Have questions? Want to register?

Contact us today:

Dr. DeMar Neal ([email protected])

Dr. Adrien Re ([email protected])


For further program inquiries:

Dr. DeMar Austin Neal, IV
Assistant Professor, Music
Foreign Languages & Fine Arts Department
Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (AHSS)
[email protected]