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Press release for immediate distribution

The Festival International de Jazz de Montréal honours Stevie Wonder, Toots & The Maytals, John Pizzarelli, Ornette Coleman and Susie Arioli and creates the new Bruce Lundvall Award

Montreal, Wednesday, May 13, 2009 - Stevie Wonder, Toots & The Maytals, John Pizzarelli, Ornette Coleman and Susie Arioli are the 2009 winners of the prestigious prizes awarded annually by the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal to artists who have made extraordinary contributions to the evolution of music. This year, they will receive, respectively, the Montreal Jazz Festival Spirit Award, Antonio Carlos Jobim Award, Ella Fitzgerald Award, Miles Davis Award and Oscar Peterson Award. Now, in keeping with a tradition dating back to the 10th edition and repeated every fifth year with the addition of a new prize, the Festival marks its 30th anniversary with the creation of the Bruce Lundvall Award, to be presented annually to a non-musician who has left a mark on the world of jazz or contributed to the development of music, through media, concert or record industries. And who is better to be the first recipient of this prestigious distinction than Bruce Lundvall himself, president of legendary EMI Music label Blue Note!

2009 Bruce Lundvall Award: Bruce Lundvall

Bruce Lundvall has nothing but friends in the world of jazz. An astute administrator gifted with a pair of ears directly connected to his heart, he has reached universal respect, from his peers as much as the innumerable musicians and journalists he’s met or collaborated with. In lengthy stints at Columbia, in the ’60s and ’70s, and at the head of Blue Note for over a quarter century, he has cultivated a singular passion for the music he loves. Throughout this journey, he’s shared personal favourites with the entire world, bringing us some of the greatest musical moments in the careers of artists including Willie Nelson, Weather Report, Bobby Mcferrin, Norah Jones, Dexter Gordon, Miles Davis, Gonzalo Rubalcaba (whom he discovered in Montreal), Wynton Marsalis, Joe Lovano… a comprehensive list would run off the end of this page. This exceptional man has the honour of being the first recipient of the award that will bear his name. Bruce Lundvall, we congratulate you!

2009 Montreal Jazz Festival Spirit Award: Stevie Wonder

Stevie Wonder is the fourth artist to receive the Montreal Jazz Festival Spirit Award. With this award, the Festival wishes to showcase quality and musical innovation, as well as the singer-songwriter/performer’s undeniable influence on the international pop music scene. A peerless icon of American black music and a virtual human jukebox, Stevie Wonder’s concerts celebrate his songbook with a string of hits that have defined our lives and live forever in our memories: My Cherie Amour, Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours, Superstition, You Are The Sunshine Of My Life, Isn’t She Lovely, Living For The City, Don’t You Worry ‘Bout A Thing, Sir Duke, I Wish, Pastime Paradise, Master Blaster, Part Time Lover and dozens of others. Twenty years have already passed since Stevie Wonder was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame… and over 45 since his first hit in 1962, when the pop world knew him as “Little Stevie Wonder”! Just as brilliant today-ask to see his twentysomething Grammy Awards-and just as adored (we’ve long since stopped counting the millions of albums sold…), the prodigious African-American singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist from Michigan ranks among those rare artists whose extraordinary public appeal remains as constant and passionate, decade after decade. Grand événement General Motors, June 30, 9:30 p.m., General Motors stage. As a recipient of the Montreal Jazz Festival Spirit Award, Stevie Wonder follows in the footsteps of Leonard Cohen (2008), Bob Dylan (2007) and Paul Simon (2006).

2009 Antonio Carlos Jobim Award: Toots & The Maytals

Toots & The Maytals are the 6th recipients 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. As the ’60s opened, Frederick Nathaniel “Toots” Hibbert and friends Jerry Mathias and Raleigh Gordon released their first ska album on Studio One. By the close of the decade, their group The Maytals would be considered one of Jamaica’s greatest vocal ensembles. They are credited with the first use of the word “reggae” in the title of their song Do the Reggay in 1968. Pioneers if not full-on creators of the form, the band would become legendary, achieving immortality in the 1972 film The Harder They Come, which includes two of their greatest songs. Giants like these don’t visit us every day! Expect a Jamaican party atmosphere when they serve up their cocktail of gospel, ska, soul, reggae and rock steady as part of the Rythmes Bell series on Thursday, July 9, 8:30 p.m., in Métropolis. As winners of the Antonio Carlos Jobim Award, Toots & The Maytals follow in the footsteps of Gilberto Gill (2008), Angélique Kidjo (2007), Salif Keita (2006), Khaled (2005) and Ibrahim Ferrer (2004).

2009 Ella Fitzgerald Award: John Pizzarelli

John Pizzarelli is the 11th artist to receive 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 jazz singer renowned on the international scene. With almost 40 albums to his credit, veteran singer-guitarist John Pizzarelli honours us once again with his presence. A past master in the art of reinventing jazz classics, zinging them with accents of swing or pop, he is often compared to legends Nat King Cole and Frank Sinatra. He’s back with seven musical confederates, on a mission to swing the big band sound into our big Festival on Saturday, July 11, 6 p.m., Théâtre Maisonneuve, PdA, as part of En voix Rio Tinto Alcan series. In accepting the prize, John Pizzarelli will be following previous Ella Fitzgerald prizewinners 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).

2009 Miles Davis Award: Ornette Coleman

Ornette Coleman will be the 16th 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. Fifty years into his career, this peerless jazz titan insists that we consider him not simply as a saxophonist and artist, but as a composer who confounds and obliterates every boundary. You’d think that, even on the threshold of his 80th spring, he still had a reputation to make! When you practically invented free jazz, when you alternate at will between sax, trumpet and violin, when you’ve established a “Sound Grammar” and shared the stage with the Grateful Dead, all without compromising your technicolour personality, no label would even dare stick to you! It’s a rendez-vous for the long-awaited return of a living legend (he last played the Festival in 1988!) on Thursday, July 9, 9:30 p.m., Théâtre Maisonneuve, PdA, as part of Les Grands Concerts TD Canada Trust series. Ornette Coleman is the latest in a series of Miles Davis prizewinners. He follows 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).

2009 Oscar Peterson Award: Susie Arioli

Susie Arioli is the 21st 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. She’s back by popular demand, after her fabulous success at Théâtre Outremont! After a country detour with Learn To Smile Again, Susie Arioli returns to the Festival for the 11th time with Night Lights-a 5-star review in ejazznews.com, 30,000 copies sold in a few months, and recently released in Europe to a particularly warm Parisian welcome! Renowned for her authentic jazz, blues and western swing interpretations, Susie Arioli has sold over 190,000 copies of her 6 albums (5 CDs and 1 live CD/DVD) in her career, in twenty countries! Enjoy this perfect opportunity to rediscover the distinctive and original sound of Susie Arioli, and appreciate the sensibility, symbiosis and subtlety of an artist in full maturity when she performs on Saturday, July 4, 6 p.m., Théâtre Maisonneuve, as part of En voix Rio Tinto Alcan series! As recipient of the Oscar Peterson Award, Susie Arioli follows in the footsteps of 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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