Press release for immediate distribution

Peter Appleyard receives the

Oscar Peterson Award

Montreal, Thursday, July 5, 2012 - Legendary Canadian vibraphonist Peter Appleyard 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 programming and production of the Festival, and Oliver Jones tonight at 9:30 p.m. at the performance Jones and Appleyard will give as part of the Grands concerts Rio Tinto Alcan series at Théâtre Maisonneuve, PdA.

Peter Appleyard is the 24th 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.

With a career stretching over more than six decades, Peter Appleyard has inscribed his name in the pantheon of living jazz legends. Considered one of the greatest vibraphonists on the planet today, Appleyard is undeniably one of the jewels of our Canadian cultural heritage, earning him the status of Officer of the Order of Canada. The celebrated musician began his career as a drummer in dance bands in his native England. Relocating to Toronto in 1951, he made the crucial move to the instrument that would define his career after hearing the Red Norvo trio and swiftly moved to the forefront of the Toronto jazz scene. Heading his own group, the adoptive Canadian performed in area nightclubs and burnished his reputation in an orchestra led by American pianist Calvin Jackson. His ever-ascending career led him to collaborate with a legion of musicians, from Oscar Peterson to Mel Tormé and including such luminaries as Bucky Pizzarelli, Diana Krall, Ella Fitzgerald and Duke Ellington, and was marked notably by his long and fruitful membership in Benny Goodman’s sextet. As a leader, he’s also given us a varied array of swing, jazz and instrumental albums, and established a longstanding and highly appreciated presence on TV and radio. Now in his 80s, Peter Appleyard continues to collaborate and record new material. Sophisticated Ladies was released in June, featuring Canada’s top female jazz vocalists. In his 2nd appearance at the Festival, he will reunite with another jazz giant, pianist Oliver Jones, with whom he has previously performed at the Festival, in 1999. Oliver Jones and Peter Appleyard, July 5, 9:30 p.m., Théâtre Maisonneuve, PdA (Grands concerts Rio Tinto Alcan series).

As recipient of the Oscar Peterson Award, Peter Appleyard follows in the footsteps of Jean-Pierre Zanella (2011), 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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