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Press release for immediate distribution

Jean‑Pierre Zanella receives the

Oscar Peterson Award

Montreal, Sunday, July 3, 2011 - Quebec saxophonist, composer and arranger Jean‑Pierre Zanella will be honoured today by the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal. The Oscar‑Peterson Award will be presented to him by Alain Simard, president and founder of the Festival, to coincide with the concert the artist will perform tonight, at 6 p.m. at L’Astral, as part of the TD Jazz d’ici series.

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.

Whether as a saxophonist, composer, arranger or saxophone and improvisation teacher at Cégep Saint-Laurent, Université Laval and UQAM, Jean‑Pierre Zanella’s reputation is assured. As proof, we’ve lost count of his many Festival appearances since 1988, not to mention his impressive array of accolades and prestigious collaborations. With a Masters degree in Jazz from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester (New York), he’s filled his performance datebook with such illustrious names in jazz and pop as Michel Legrand, Paul Anka, Gino Vanelli and Frank Sinatra Jr. Already a veteran of the Montreux Jazz Festival and the World Saxophone Congress in Nuremberg some 30 years ago, he was presented with the Downbeat Recording Award in 1982 for jazz group of the year. An excellent instrumentalist, he developed a pronounced fondness for the complex, rhythmic melodies of Brazil in the ’90s, resulting in the 2006 release of an album featuring jazzified compositions by Heitor Villa‑Lobos and Antonio Carlos Jobim. Equally comfortable on alto and soprano saxophone, he showcases the same ease in mastering various styles: acoustic jazz, fusion, Brazilian music, contemporary bop, Afro-Cuban rhythms… there’s no stopping this all-round saxophonist. After launching the Infinito album in 2010, marking a return to his own compositions, he brings the Festival a brilliant tribute to drummer and percussionist Don Alias, specially accompanied by Gene Perla (formerly bassist for Don Alias in Stone Alliance), Ben Charest, Paul Brochu, Steve Amirault, Alain Labrosse and René Lazaro… A brilliant evening! 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 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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