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Press release for immediate distribution

Don Thompson receives the

Oscar Peterson Award

Montreal, Thursday, July 5, 2010 - Canadian jazz icon and virtuoso of many instruments, Don Thompson will be honoured today by the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal. The Oscar‑Peterson Award will be presented to him by Laurent Saulnier, vice president of Festival programming and production, during a press conference to be held today at 3:15 p.m. at the Salle Stevie Wonder of the Maison du Festival Rio Tinto Alcan (305, Ste. Catherine St. West, 2nd floor).

Don Thompson is the 22nd artist to receive the Oscar Peterson Award, created on the 10th anniversary of the Festival in 1989 to salute a Canadian musician who has made outstanding contributions to jazz in this country and for the quality of his art.

Pianist, bassist, percussionist and maestro of the vibraphone, Vancouver’s Don Thompson made his name in part thanks to his collaborations with such greats as Moe Koffman and Sonny Greenwich. An emblematic and even legendary figure in Canadian jazz, the self-taught musician has won attention and praise since the ’60s for his talents as a composer, instrumentalist and arranger. A performer who allies sophistication and elegance, he now shares his considerable musical expertise at Humber College, where his students quite simply adore him. Through the years, his many accolades have included Junos, the CBC National Jazz Award, the prix SOCAN and this year, the Oscar-Peterson Award from the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal for his entire body of work. In concert tonight with the Terry Clarke Trio and Phil Dwyer at 8 p.m. on the CBC / Radio-Canada stage as part of the Les Brunantes series.

As recipient of the Oscar Peterson Award, Don Thompson follows in the footsteps of Susie Arioli (2009), Dave Young (2008), François Bourassa (2007), Yannick Rieu (2006), Bernard Primeau (2005), Diana Krall (2004), Kenny Wheeler (2003), Lorraine Desmarais (2002), Moe Kofman (2001), Charles Biddle (2000), Maynard Ferguson (1999), Guy Nadon (1998), Rob McConnell (1997), Nelson Symonds (1996), Michel Donato (1995), Paul Bley (1994), Fraser MacPherson (1993), Vic Vogel (1992), UZEB (1991), Oliver Jones (1990) and, of course, Oscar Peterson (1989).

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