Montreal, Friday, June 28, 2013 — The Festival International de Jazz de Montréal this year offers the prestigious Miles Davis Award to legendary saxophonist and composer Charles Lloyd. He will be given the award on stage by André Ménard, artistic director and co-founder of the Festival, during a press conference which will be held today at 1 p.m. in the Salle Stevie Wonder of the Maison du Festival Rio Tinto Alcan (305 Ste. Catherine St. West, 2nd floor), as well as at the Charles Lloyd Quartet concert at 6 p.m. in Théâtre Jean-Duceppe of the PdA, as part of the TD Invitation series.
Charles Lloyd will be the 20th 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. The bronze statuette was created from a self-portrait by Miles, sketched for the Festival poster in 1988.
Charles Lloyd has been a standard-bearer for a resolutely free and modern music since the ’60s, having created it and spread the sound with an array of major musicians―from Keith Jarrett to Jack DeJohnette, Herbie Hancock to Michel Petrucciani. After earning his stripes alongside Chico Hamilton and Cannonball Adderley, he formed his own quartet―one of the most innovative (and popular) groups of the late ’60s. During the ’70s, the deeply spiritual musician developed an interest in transcendental meditation, devoting himself to teaching the discipline and traveling throughout Europe, while also putting his talents at the service of musicians performing in spheres far from jazz, including the Beach Boys.
Returning to his first love at the dawn of the ’80s, with the peerless accompaniment of pianist Michel Petrucciani, Lloyd discovered a new verve as the subsequent decade opened: finding a home in famed European label ECM, he developed a sublime chemistry with such musicians as Geri Allen, Cedar Walton and Zakir Hussain, to name but a few, and recorded a series of albums that were unanimously hailed by the critics and consolidated his considerable reputation.
As he approaches his 75th birthday, the famed composer and multi-instrumentalist (equally brilliant on tenor sax and flute) is at the peak of his musical form. In his first visit to the Festival since 2005, he’ll share the fruits of his most recent musical explorations in three consecutive concerts presented as part of the prestigious Invitation series. Three exceptional events in Théâtre Jean-Duceppe, PdA that will showcase three facets of the vast talents of this great American jazzman. Charles Lloyd Quartet with Jason Moran, Reuben Rogers and Eric Harland — June 28, 6 p.m.; Charles Lloyd, Sangam, with Zakir Hussain and Eric Harland — June 29, 6 p.m.; Charles Lloyd, duos and trios with Jason Moran and Bill Frisell — June 30, 6 p.m.
Charles Lloyd is the latest in a series of Miles Davis prizewinners. He follows 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). Please note that Dave Brubeck was also presented with a special-issue Miles Davis Award last year in recognition of the entirety of his career.
— 30 —