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Press release for immediate distribution

Arden Arapyan

Wins the 2008 General Motors Grand Jazz Award

The Galaxie Rising Star Award of the CBC goes to Mario Allard

of the MAQ Mario Allard Quintet

Montreal, Saturday, July 5, 2008 — The Festival International de Jazz de Montréal in collaboration with General Motors Canada—partner and presenter of the event for the 9th consecutive year—are today pleased to be awarding the General Motors Grand Jazz Award to Arden Arapyan. The artist was deemed best of 10 other jazz artists and ensembles who took part in the pan-Canadian competition. The jury wanted to acknowledge the talent of all 10 finalists who were of an impressively high caliber. The jury also made a special mention of Alexis Baro for his extraordinary performance.

And for the 5th year in a row, the Galaxie Rising Star Award of the CBC was bestowed for the best composition, the 2008 prize going to Mario Allard of the MAQ Mario Allard Quintet for his pieces Noffo and Bilbasan.

Arden Arapyan will officially be awarded the 2008 General Motors Grand Jazz Award at a press conference, at 1 p.m. today in the Salon Mont‑Royal of the Hyatt Regency Montreal. The artist will again be presented his prize at his performance just before the closing show of this year’s fest, Justin Time 25th Anniversary: A Night to Remember, tonight at 7:30 p.m. in the Salle Wilfrid‑Pelletier at Place des Arts. He’ll also be giving a free outdoor concert tonight at 6 p.m. on the Scène General Motors if you want to catch him then.

Arden Arapyan

Born in Montreal in 1982, he took up classical piano at the age of 11 and was exposed to a variety of musical styles. Arapyan specialized in jazz as a student at Vanier College and now pursues his studies in the Faculty of Music at Université de Montréal. Also a member of several bands, he won the 2007 Propulsions Jazz contest, and plays an Armenian-flavoured jazz, genuine and velvety, with a stunning fluidity and elegance.

2008 General Motors Grand Jazz Award

The General Motors Grand Jazz Award entails:

  • The 2008 GeneralMotors Grand Jazz Award and a $5,000 grant from General Motors of Canada.
  • The opportunity to present a second open-air concert on the GeneralMotors stage Saturday, July5 at 6:00p.m. in Les Gammes General Motors series and at 7:30 p.m. before the closing show at Place des Arts.
  • An invitation to take part in the 2009 Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, all expenses paid by the Festival (transportation, hotel and fees).
  • Fifty hours of studio time and mastering at KarismaStudio.
  • A licensing deal for the manufacturing and distribution of an album on the JustinTime label.
  • An invitation to perform at Festi Jazz International de Rimouski, 2009 edition.

Galaxie Rising Star Award of the CBC

This is the 7th year that Galaxie, The Continuous Music Network of the CBC, has been associated with the General Motors Grand Jazz Award. This year’s Galaxie Rising Star Award of the CBC is going to Mario Allard of the MAQ Mario Allard Quintet for his pieces Noffo and Bilbasan, considered by the jury to be the best compositions presented in this year’s contest. In addition to a $5,000 grant, the winner will have his music played on one or many jazz channels offered by Galaxie. By encouraging these upcoming stars, Galaxie is fulfilling one of its heartfelt objectives.

A springboard for Canadian jazz ensembles

Created in 1982 by the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, the Grand Jazz Award has become a springboard for local musicians with bright futures in jazz. Every summer, the awarding of the Grand Jazz Award has increasingly drawn the interest of the general public, as well as observers of the national and international jazz scenes, giving that last big boost to groups or artists on the verge of general recognition.

As in previous years, 10 Canadian groups or artists were in competition for the General Motors Grand Jazz Award 2008. Besides the winners, competing this year were: Daniel Barnes (Ontario), Jacques Kuba Séguin (Québec), Indigone Trio (Québec), Jerrold Dubyk Quartet (Alberta), WAZA (Québec), Reno de Stefano Quintet (Québec), Avi Granite: 6 (Ontario) and Alexis Baro (Ontario).

The 2008 jury was comprised of: Ralph Boncy (Galaxie, The Continuous Music Network of the CBC, and Couleur Jazz 91.9); Nancy Marley (Justin Time Records); Michael Bourne (WBGO.org and Down Beat Magazine), Martin Roussel (Festi Jazz International de Rimouski), and last year’s winner, Félix Stüssi.

Take note that the last year’s winning band, Félix Stüssi & Give me Give, gave a free exterior concert last Thursday, July 3 at 6 p.m., as part of Les Gammes General Motors series.

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