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Press release for immediate distribution

2011 Festival Awards

The Festival International de Jazz de Montréal honours Sade, Stanley Clarke, Youssou N’Dour, Jean‑Pierre Zanella and George Wein

Montreal, Wednesday, May 4, 2011 - This year, the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal highlights the exceptional contributions to music made by Sade, Stanley Clarke, Youssou N’Dour, Jean‑Pierre Zanella, as well as the remarkable oeuvre of George Wein. During this 32nd edition of the Festival, our winners will be presented, respectively, with the Ella Fitzgerald Award, Miles Davis Award, Antonio Carlos Jobim Award, Oscar Peterson Award and Bruce Lundvall Award.

2011 Ella Fitzgerald Award: Sade

Sade is the 13th recipient of the Ella Fitzgerald Award, established in 1999 for our 20th anniversary and conferred in recognition of the versatility, improvisational originality and quality of repertoire of a singer renowned on the international scene. The feminine face of the ’80s, with her subtle elegance, gently rhythmic melodies and sophisticated exoticism, Sade was an instant massive global phenomenon. Known as Helen Folasade Adu to mom, she soared to global fame on the strength of hit singles including Smooth Operator and Hang On To Your Love. Fifty million albums, numerous Grammys and 25 years later, she launches a 6th release in 2010: Soldier of Love-her most ambitious yet, according to the artist-raced up the charts and was very warmly received by Rolling Stone, Billboard and Entertainment Weekly. Making her grand return to the international stage, Sade presents her greatest hits, marrying pop, jazz and soul, as well as songs from her most recent album, released 10 years after the multiplatinum Lovers Rock. In concert at the Bell Centre, Thursday, June 30, 7:30 p.m. (opening act: John Legend). Presented in collaboration with Live Nation and Evenko. In accepting the prize, Sade will be following previous Ella Fitzgerald prizewinners The Manhattan Transfer (2010), John Pizzarelli (2009), Aretha Franklin (2008), Harry Connick, Jr., (2007), Etta James (2006), Al Jarreau (2005) Tony Bennett (2004), Bobby McFerrin (2003), Dianne Reeves (2002), Diana Krall (2001), Dee Dee Bridgewater (2000) and Diane Schuur (1999).

2011 Miles Davis Award: Stanley Clarke

Stanley Clarke will be the 18th recipient of the Miles Davis Award, created for our 15th anniversary in 1994 to honour a great international jazz musician for the entire body of his or her work and for that musician’s influence in regenerating the jazz idiom. Stanley Clarke led the “bass revolution” of the ’70s, bringing the instrument to the height of respectability and paving the way for its use by soloists. Among his many accomplishments, Clarke is credited with pioneering the slap technique and inventing two new instruments: the piccolo bass and the tenor bass. His incredible mastery on both electric and acoustic bass and his creativity have been recognized with a slew of Grammys, Emmys, gold and platinum albums, and rankings among the world’s best bassists, etc. The first bassist to headline international tours, he was sought out by the likes of Jeff Beck, Ronnie Wood and Keith Richards for numerous projects. He is also a composer, arranger, bandleader and performer of film scores (Boys N the Hood, What’s Love Got to Do With It…). A polyglot artist, equally fluent in electric and acoustic jazz, with an unparalleled skill, Clarke had already been proclaimed a legend by the age of 25! Return to Forever IV featuring Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke, Lenny White, Frank Gambale and Jean‑Luc Ponty, June 26, 8 p.m., Salle Wilfrid‑Pelletier, PdA (Les Événements spéciaux TD series). Stanley Clarke is the latest in a series of Miles Davis prizewinners. He follows Sonny Rollins (2010), Ornette Coleman (2009), McCoy Tyner (2008), Mike Stern (2007), Brad Mehldau (2006), Dave Holland (2005), Keith Jarrett (2004), Joe Zawinul (2003), Chick Corea (2002), Michael Brecker (2001), Charlie Haden (2000), Cassandra Wilson (1999), John Scofield (1998), Herbie Hancock (1997), Wayne Shorter (1996), Pat Metheny (1995) and John McLaughlin (1994).

2011 Antonio Carlos Jobim Award: Youssou N’Dour

Youssou N’Dour is the 8th recipient of the Antonio Carlos Jobim Award, created for the Festival’s 25th anniversary to honour artists distinguished in the field of world music whose influence on the evolution of jazz and cultural crossover is widely recognized. The world’s best-known African musician (BBC). African artist of the century (Folk Roots Magazine). One of the world’s great singers, and the cultural ambassador of West Africa (The New York Times). Youssou N’Dour was born in Dakar and lives there still, but his voice, charisma and songs have circled the globe a million times over. From his own group, Super Étoile de Dakar, through his international explosion with the single Seven Seconds, a duet with Neneh Cherry, this artist has been truly devoted to humanity through an incredible array of benefit concerts and albums in support of global humanitarian causes. He counts such superstars as Peter Gabriel, Sting, Dido, Tracy Chapman and Wyclef Jean among his friends and admirers; and musically, each successive album surpasses its predecessor in the sonic treasures it reveals, folding pop-rock nuances into more typically Senegalese musical colourings. On his latest release, Dakar-Kingston, he temporarily sets aside his trademark m’balax to plunge into the world of reggae… with the same trademark excellence. An exceptional artist, with a planetary reach. Youssou N’Dour (opening act: Élage Diouf, Aksil), June 27, 8:30 p.m., Métropolis (Rythmes Bell series). As winner of the Antonio Carlos Jobim Award, Youssou N’Dour follows in the footsteps of Richard Bona (2010), Toots & The Maytals (2009), Gilberto Gill (2008), Angélique Kidjo (2007), Salif Keita (2006), Khaled (2005) and Ibrahim Ferrer (2004).

2011 Oscar Peterson Award: Jean‑Pierre Zanella

Jean‑Pierre Zanella is the 23rd 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. We’ve lost count of saxophonist, composer and arranger Jean‑Pierre Zanella’s many Festival appearances since 1988, not to mention his impressive array of accolades and prestigious collaborations with the greatest names in jazz and pop and. With a Masters degree in Jazz from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester (New York), he developed a pronounced fondness for the complex melodies and rhythms of Brazil in the ’90s. Equally comfortable on alto and soprano saxophone, this excellent instrumentalist showcases the same ease in mastering various styles: acoustic jazz, fusion, Brazilian music, contemporary bop, Afro-Cuban rhythms… After launching the Infinito album in 2010, he brings the Festival a brilliant tribute to drummer and percussionist Don Alias. Jean Pierre Zanella, Tribute to Don Alias, July 3, 6 p.m., L’Astral (TD Jazz d’ici series). As recipient of the Oscar Peterson Award, Jean‑Pierre Zanella follows in the footsteps of Don Thompson (2010), 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 Koffman (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).

2011 Bruce Lundvall Award: George Wein

George Wein is the 3rd recipient of the Bruce Lundvall Award. In keeping with a tradition launched for the Festival’s 10th edition, and repeated every five years with the addition of a new prize, the Festival marked its 30th anniversary with the creation of the Bruce Lundvall Award, presented annually to the individual who has left a mark on the world of jazz or contributed to the development of the music, through the media, the concert or record industries. A true pioneer in the music industry, producer, promoter and pianist George Wein-the “Father” of all jazz festivals-single-handedly wrote a major chapter in the history of jazz: before the age of 30, he had opened a jazz club, Storyville, launched a record label by the same name, and established the Newport Jazz Festival in 1954, the first of its kind, still held annually. He sits on the boards of directors of Jazz at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall and has received an array of a distinctions and awards: decorated with France’s Légion d’honneur and named a Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et Lettres, proclaimed a “Jazz Master by the National Endowment for the Arts, recipient of the DownBeat Lifetime Achievement Award, honoured at the White House by two American presidents, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton… His autobiography, Myself Among Others, was hailed as the best jazz book of 2004 by the Jazz Journalists Association. George Wein’s 85th Anniversary Celebration with the Newport All Stars: Randy Brecker, Anat Cohen, Lew Tabackin, Howard Alden, Lewis Nash and Peter Washington, June 26, 7 p.m., Gesù - Cente de créativité (Jazz Beat Hyatt Regency Montréal series). As recipient of the Bruce Lundvall Award, George Wein follows in the footsteps of Herman Leonard (2010) and the man whose name graces the trophy, Bruce Lundvall (2009).

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