Leonard Cohen homage show in Montreal to feature Elvis Costello, Sting, k.d. lang
Beloved singer-songwriter's son, Adam Cohen, invites Montrealers to share their Cohen playlist with him
CBC News Posted: Sep 18, 2017
Calling on Leonard Cohen fans: The son of the beloved singer-songwriter and poet, Adam Cohen, is inviting you to let him know what songs of his father's they would like to hear on Nov. 6, when the elder Cohen will be commemorated in style on the first anniversary of his death.
The tribute concert, titled Tower of Song: A Memorial Tribute to Leonard Cohen, will take place at the Bell Centre, kicking off a week of events to celebrate Cohen's life.
Adam Cohen, the show's co-producer, will perform, along with Elvis Costello, Sting, Lana Del Rey, Feist, Philip Glass, k.d. lang, The Lumineers, Damien Rice, Patrick Watson — and others still to be announced.
"I would love to know what your audience is interested in," Adam Cohen told CBC Arts reporter Nantali Indongo.
"What songs would they like to hear? What artists that are not listed on the poster at the moment — what artists do you see that we don't have yet?" he asked, directing Leonard Cohen fans to the @CommanderCohen Instagram account.
Adam Cohen said he's been planning the Nov. 6 tribute concert for his father since the day Leonard Cohen died last year. (Charles Contant/CBC)
"I have a very clear idea of the playlist — the songs we can't not feature in the evening," Adam Cohen said. "But I don't want to dictate to anybody what they walk out humming in their souls."
"The most important thing to my old man, and the thing he was most proud of and thanked his audience for, is that they were keeping his songs alive. This is the next chapter of keeping my old man's songs alive, in the world."
Although the tribute concert was just announced today, Adam Cohen says he's been planning it since the day his father died.
"I've been the motor, the engine. It's been a passion quest," he said.
"My father left me with a list of instructions before he passed: 'Put me in a pine box next to my mother and father. Have a small memorial for close friends and family in Los Angeles…and if you want a public event, do it in Montreal,'" said Cohen earlier Monday, in a news release.
Cohen's love affair with Montreal has been well-documented. He grew up in Westmount and had a home just off the Main in the city's Plateau–Mont-Royal neighbourhood until he died.
Golden Globe winning director Jack Bender, known for his work on Game of Thrones, Lost and The Sopranos, will film the event for an upcoming special.
Tickets for the show go on sale Saturday, Sept. 23 at noon. Prices range from $40.25 to $276.50, fees not included.
A week of Leonard Cohen love
Cohen was 82 when he died.
The announcement of his death last November came two weeks after his final album, You Want It Darker, was released on Oct. 28, 2016.
Proceeds from the show will be shared by several of Canada's arts organizations, a cause near to Cohen's heart.
Leonard Cohen – A Crack in Everything will also debut that week. The exhibit at the Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art will feature commissioned work by filmmakers, visual artists and musicians including Quebec stars Ariane Moffatt, Jean Leloup and French singer Lou Doillon.
The exhibit was approved by the late songwriter before his death and will celebrate Cohen's life and work. It opens Nov. 9.
CBC/Radio-Canada is co-creating several original productions for the exhibition and broadcasting some special events and concerts.