Jamming With Buskers in Montreal’s Metro

by Joey deVilla on December 4, 2009

While walking back to the Queen Elizabeth Hotel from Centre Mont-Royal through Montreal’s network of underground shopping malls and Metro tunnels, we passed by this pair of buskers, who were burning up their frets with some very fast-paced jazz:

Upright bass player and guitar player in Montreal Metro

Christian suggested that I join them, and moments later, the bassist, guitarist and I agreed to do some high-speed 12-bar blues in E flat minor (they actually play in E, but they were tuned down a half-step).

Joey deVilla playes accordion with an upright bass player and guitar player in Montreal Metro

I’m actually pretty terrible at improvising in that key, but I did my level best to keep up.Joey deVilla playes accordion with an upright bass player and guitar player in Montreal Metro

As I played, my co-worker Vivian snapped these photos with my camera.

Joey deVilla playes accordion with an upright bass player and guitar player in Montreal Metro

These guys were quite good and played at a blistering pace.

Joey deVilla playes accordion with an upright bass player and guitar player in Montreal Metro

I really should work on the keys in which I’m terrible at jamming: C sharp/D flat, D sharp/E flat, G sharp/A flat and A sharp/B flat. I have no idea why I’m better at other keys but not these ones. I suppose it just boils down to practice, practice, practice.

Joey deVilla playes accordion with an upright bass player and guitar player in Montreal Metro

After a couple of minutes’ worth of jamming, we wrapped it up and shook hands. Christian threw a ten-dollar bill into their guitar case as a way of saying “thanks” for letting me join them in an impromptu performance and we continued on our way south through the tunnel.

Joey deVilla playes accordion with an upright bass player and guitar player in Montreal Metro

In case I don’t say it enough: I love the accordion and what happens when I bring it along.

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