Press release for immediate distribution

Smokey Robinson

Recipient of the

Montreal Jazz Festival Spirit Award

Montréal, Monday, June 28, 2010 - The Festival International de Jazz de Montréal is proud to announce the awarding of the Montreal Jazz Festival Spirit Award to legendary R&B and soul singer, songwriter, music producer and executive Smokey Robinson. The prize will be presented to him by André Ménard, artistic director and co-founder of the Festival, at his concert tonight at 7 p.m. at the Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier at Place des Arts as part of the Événements spéciaux series.

Smokey Robinson will be the fifth artist to receive the Montreal Jazz Festival Spirit Award. Created especially on the occasion of the 27th edition of the Festival, in 2006, this special award underlines a popular artist’s extraordinary contribution to the musical world.

His very first single accompanied by the Miracles, Got a Job, was released the day he turned 18. And 50 years later, Smokey Robinson is still going strong! Instantly recognizable: how else to describe his falsetto, and any one of the 27 hits he and the Miracles gift-wrapped for pop music, including Shop Around, Tears of a Clown and I Second that Emotion. But that’s just one facet of the career of the titan of American R&B. Aside from serving as vice-president of legendary Motown Records, he discovered, produced and wrote songs for artists who would become legends, including the Temptations and Marvin Gaye , including such classics as You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me, covered by The Beatles, and My Girl. No less a figure than Bob Dylan described the singer-songwriter as “the world’s greatest poet”! A solo artist since the ’70s, Robinson has continued to release albums and perform live with a youthful presence and passion. According to Smokey, the title of his latest album, Time Flies When You’re Having Fun, is a perfect description of his life: “You want to talk about 50 years flying by like they were a single night? That’s exactly what happened!”

As winner of the Montreal Jazz Festival Spirit Award, Smokey Robinson follows in the footsteps of Stevie Wonder (2009), Leonard Cohen (2008), Bob Dylan (2007) and Paul Simon (2006).

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