Montreal, Monday, July 2, 2018 — The Festival International de Jazz de Montréal presented by TD Bank Group in collaboration with Rio Tinto presents this year’s Ella Fitzgerald Award to Ben Harper. The trophy will be presented to him today at a press conference animated by Nicolas Tittley, at 3 p.m. at The Salle Stevie-Wonder of the Maison du Festival by André Ménard, Vice-president and Cofounder of the Festival, and tomorrow night, by Alain Simard, Cofounder of the Festival and Chairman of the Board on stage at 9:30 p.m. at his concert.
Ben Harper is the 20th 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.
Creator of a hybrid style tinged with blues, folk and rock, Ben Harper conquered a global audience armed with his slide guitar—his favourite instrument—his remarkable voice, and lyrics marked by a deep social relevance. Bursting onto the scene in 1994 with his debut, Welcome to the Cruel World, he has gone on to release fifteen albums, including Fight for Your Mind and Burn to Shine, two of his biggest hits. Winner of three Grammy Awards, he’s performed in wide-ranging collaborations with artists from Radiohead to Marilyn Manson to Charlie Musselwhite, with whom he has released two blues albums.
Ben Harper & Charlie Musselwhite, July 3rd, Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, PdA, 7:30 p.m. (Événements spéciaux TD series).
In accepting the prize, Ben Harper will be following previous Lizz Wright (2017), 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).