Rising Sun

Black and white printed paper flyer with large bold title Rising Sun, picture of Zydeco singer Clifton Chenier singing.
Rising Sun flyer, late 1970s.


286 Sainte-Catherine West, Montreal, Quebec, Canada



Roué Dou Dou Boicel, originally from Guyana, opened the Rising Sun in 1975 with a mission to revitalize what had become a moribund jazz and music scene after the closing of venues such as the Rainbow and Esquire Show Bar.

Through the 1970s, the venue became a haven not just for jazz fans, but for blues and reggae fans as well, presenting legendary artists such as Nina Simone and Big Mama Thornton and reggae acts from abroad such as Chalice, as well as locals such as Jah Cutta. The first ever Jazz Festival to be held in Montreal was organized by Dou Dou in 1978.

Summer 1979, Rising Sun Festijazz advertisement.

After temporarily moving the Rising Sun to the former Rockhead’s Paradise location after the latter club closed in 1981, the Rising Sun on Ste. Catherine St. became one of the most eclectic venues in Montreal through the decade of the 80s. While there was always a place for jazz, blues and reggae at the Rising Sun, during this period it also presented countless concerts by local punk, hardcore and “alternative” bands.

Following an unfortunate fire in 1989, Boicel tried to keep the Rising Sun going in a new location on St-Laurent Blvd. in the Mile-End district, but this version of the club closed in 1991.

Advertisement for the Rising Sun during its brief relocation to the former Rockhead’s Paradise building in 1981.
Advertisement for concerts at the short-lived Saint-Laurent location for the Rising Sun, February 1991.

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