Press release for immediate distribution

2017 Festival Awards

The Festival International de Jazz de Montréal honours Charlie Musselwhite, Lizz Wright, Jack DeJohnette, Buika, Christine Jensen and Michael Bourne

Montreal, Tuesday May 30, 2017 — This year, the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal highlights the exceptional contributions to music made by Charlie Musselwhite, Lizz Wright, Jack DeJohnette, Buika and Christine Jensen, as well as the remarkable oeuvre of Michael Bourne. During this 38th edition of the Festival, our winners will be presented, respectively, with the B.B. King Award, Ella Fitzgerald Award, Miles Davis Award, Antonio Carlos Jobim Award, Oscar Peterson Award and Bruce Lundvall Award.

2017 B.B. King Award: Charlie Musselwhite

Charlie Musselwhite is the fourth recipient of the B.B. King Award, created in 2014 for the 35th edition of the Festival to honour and recognize the exceptional talent of an artist who has left an indelible mark on the blues scene. Hailed as the “undisputed heavyweight champion of blues harmonica blues” by Downbeat magazine, Charlie Musselwhite is renowned for his elegance on the instrument, equally eloquent, skillful and biting. A true standard-bearer of the Chicago blues scene, he has collaborated with the greatest names in the genre, including Big Walter Horton, Big Joe Williams, Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf and John Lee Hooker. His recent studio output includes Get Up! (2013), recorded with guitarist Ben Harper and released on Stax, and I Ain’t Lying (2015), an album steeped in the sounds and ambience of his native Mississippi. Triple bill: Buddy Guy | Steve Hill and Matt Andersen duo | Charlie Musselwhite on June 30, 7:30 p.m. at Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier of Place des Arts (Événements spéciaux TD series). Charlie Musselwhite succeeds Taj Mahal (2016), James Cotton (2015) and the artist in whose name the trophy was created, B.B. King (2014).

2017 Ella Fitzgerald Award: Lizz Wright

Lizz Wright is the 19th 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. Thanks to her minister father and religious schooling, jazz singer Lizz Wright holds the power of gospel in her spellbinding voice, calling on the entire legacy of African-American music. The supremely gifted singer, signed to Verve, has released Salt (2003), Dreaming Wide Awake (2005), The Orchard (2008), Fellowship (2010) and Freedom & Surrender (2015), hailed by critics and racking up success on the jazz charts. Her style, a blend of soul, jazz and pop with solid gospel roots, has won her comparisons to Anita Baker, Regina Belle, Cassandra Wilson and Tracy Chapman. Lizz Wright, July 5, 8 p.m., Monument-National (Jazz Beat Hyatt Regency Montréal series). In accepting the prize, Lizz Wright will be following previous Ella Fitzgerald prizewinners Gregory Porter (2016), Erykah Badu (2015), Diana Ross (2014), Holly Cole (2013), Liza Minnelli (2012), Sade (2011), 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).

2017 Miles Davis Award: Jack DeJohnette

Jack DeJohnette will be the 24th 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. Considered one of the preeminent jazz musicians of his generation, pianist and legendary drummer Jack DeJohnette has provided rhythms and grooves for the greatest legends in music: John Coltrane, Herbie Hancock, Miles Davis and Keith Jarrett, and many more. First noted as part of the Charles Lloyd Quartet, he then accompanied Miles Davis before being part of the famed Keith Jarrett Trio with bassist Gary Peacock in the ’80s. In celebration of his 75th birthday, he welcomes Larry Grenadier, John Scofield and John Medeski into the supergroup HUDSON, presenting a comprehensive career-overview concert at the Festival. Double bill: HUDSON: Jack DeJohnette, Larry Grenadier, John Medeski, John Scofield | Charles Lloyd and The Marvels, on June 30, 8 p.m. at Maison symphonique (Festival à la Maison symphonique series). Jack DeJohnette is the latest in a series of Miles Davis prizewinners. He follows Kenny Barron (2016), Al Di Meola (2015), Terence Blanchard (2014), Charles Lloyd (2013), Ron Carter (2012), Stanley Clarke (2011), 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).

2017 Antonio Carlos Jobim Award: Buika

Buika is the 14th 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. Born to Equatoguinean parents in the poorest neighbourhoods of Majorca, Concha Buika brings a disarming charisma and deep intensity to her fiery soul music, deeply rooted in flamenco and drawing inspiration from jazz, Afrobeat and pop. The self-taught singer grew up among gypsies and their music, drawing attention for her husky, powerful voice, untamed spirit and wonderful fusion style. With 9 albums to her credit, including Mi Niña Lola (2007), winner of a Latin Grammy Award and earning a gold album in Spain, Buika is considered one of the most singular vocalists on the current Spanish music scene. Buika. Opening Act: Rosalía and Raül Refree, on July 4, 8 p.m. at Théâtre Maisonneuve of Place des Arts (Grands concerts Rio Tinto series). As winner of the Antonio Carlos Jobim Award, Buika follows in the footsteps of Lila Downs (2016), King Sunny Ade (2015), Paco de Lucía (2014), Amadou & Mariam (2013), Emir Kusturica (2012), Youssou N’Dour (2011), Richard Bona (2010), Toots and the Maytals (2009), Gilberto Gill (2008), Angélique Kidjo (2007), Salif Keita (2006), Khaled (2005) and Ibrahim Ferrer (2004).

2017 Oscar Peterson Award: Christine Jensen

Christine Jensen is the 28th artist to receive the Oscar Peterson Award. This prize was 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. Globe and Mail jazz critic Mark Miller has written that Christine Jensen is “one of the most compelling Canadian composers of her generation.” She has made her mark on both alto and soprano saxophone, and as a composer and conductor at the Canadian and international level, delivering the notable albums Collage (2000), Look Left (2006) and, with sister Ingrid on trumpet, Flurry (2007) and Infinitude (2016). Heading her formidable 18-piece Jazz Orchestra, she won back-to-back Juno Awards for Best Contemporary Jazz Album for Treelines (2013) and Habitat (2014), a masterstroke that revealed the full range of her immense talent. Christine and Ingrid Jensen with Ben Monder, Infinitude, on June 30, 6 p.m. at L’Astral (TD Jazz d’ici La Presse+ series). As recipient of the Oscar Peterson Award, Christine Jensen follows in the footsteps of Karen Young (2016), Jim Galloway (2015), Ron Di Lauro (2014), Alain Caron (2013), Peter Appleyard (2012), 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 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).

2017 Bruce Lundvall Award: Michael Bourne

Michael Bourne is the 9th 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 a non-musician 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 presence on the WBGO airwaves since 1984, host of the very popular Singers Unlimited program since 1986 and of Afternoon Jazz since 1997, winner of the Willis Conover-Marian McPartland Award for Excellence in Jazz Broadcasting and contributor to magazine DownBeat since 1969, Michael Bourne is today one of the greatest media figures in jazz history. Throughout his carrer, Michael Bourne has had the opportunity to travel everywhere, covering the greatest jazz festivals in the world, including the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal of which he has been a great friend for over 25 years. As recipient of the Bruce Lundvall Award, Michael Bourne follows in the footsteps of Jim West (2016), Bill Milkowski (2015), Jean-Philippe Allard (2014), Tommy LiPuma (2013), Michael Cuscuna (2012), George Wein (2011), Herman Leonard (2010) and the man whose name graces the trophy, Bruce Lundvall (2009). 

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