Sting, Costello to salute Leonard Cohen year after death

Top musicians, fans and Canadian prime minister to attend benefit concert for late singer-songwriter in his native Montreal

Leonard Cohen in concert at London’s O2 Arena, September 15, 2013. (Brian Rasic/Getty Images/JTA)
Leonard Cohen in concert at London’s O2 Arena, September 15, 2013. (Brian Rasic/Getty Images/JTA)

MONTREAL, Canada — One year after Leonard Cohen died, top musicians including Sting, Elvis Costello and Philip Glass will remember him with a concert in his native Montreal, his family announced Monday.

The November 6 tribute at Montreal’s Bell Centre arena will benefit Canadian arts groups and is expected to be attended by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Inviting the legendary songwriter’s fans from around the world to visit Montreal for the concert, his son Adam Cohen said his father had given him instructions only to bury him in the city alongside his parents and to keep his memorial service small.

But he said, “‘if you want a public event do it in Montreal,'” the younger Cohen, also a musician, said in a statement.

“I see this concert as a fulfillment of my duties to my father that we gather in Montreal to ring the bells that still can ring,” he said.

Costello and Sting, like Cohen, are both songwriters known for their literary sensibilities, while Glass is among the most influential living composers.

This file photo taken on July 18, 2013 shows British singer-songwriter Sting performing during the 53th music festival “Jazz a Juan”, in Juan-les-Pins, southeastern France. (AFP PHOTO / Jean-Christophe MAGNENET)

Other performers will include the fellow Canadian singers k.d. lang and Feist, the dark retro chanteuse Lana Del Rey, and folk rockers Damien Rice and Wesley Schultz, who is the frontman of The Lumineers.

Cohen died at age 82 in his adopted home of Los Angeles on November 7 last year — one day before Donald Trump’s shock election victory.

An accomplished poet before he set his words to song, Cohen wrote songs that yearned to understand both love and the nature of the divine.

While never a major star in terms of his chart performance, Cohen was a favorite among artists with his spiritual odyssey “Hallelujah” becoming a classic through its frequent covers.

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