Montreal, July 1, 2014 — In celebration of the memory of an artist who left a profound impression on the history of the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, organizers will posthumously present this year’s Antonio Carlos-Jobim Award to the late Paco de Lucía, to whom the 35th edition of the Festival is dedicated.
Paco de Lucía is the 11th 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.
Named “the greatest guitarist in the world, period,” by Pat Metheny, Paco de Lucía left behind a musical legacy that touched the entire world upon his passing on February 25, with a career that stretched over half a century. Renowned for his immense virtuosity, magisterial interpretations and prolific songwriting, Paco de Lucía profoundly renewed the flamenco style by linking its purest traditions to avant-garde jazz and giving a universal resonance to his profoundly Spanish art. His resounding success in his native land, Spain, spread to the rest of the world, from South America to Japan, overpowering audiences with a staggering technique described as “terrifying” by flabbergasted admirers. After launching his American career in 1961 with a concert at the United Nations in New York, he distinguished himself as part of a history-making trio with guitarists Al Di Meola and John McLaughlin, as well as his recordings with his sextet. Paco de Lucía’s performances at the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal were always highly anticipated and passionately appreciated. In 1986, the musician was hailed by the audience, confirming his status as “one of the greatest guitarists on the planet, in any category,” as described in the official program. He delivered memorable performances in 1991 in Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, accompanied by his countrymen; in 1994 in the Forum, for the 15th anniversary of the Festival; and in 1999, celebrating the 20th edition. In 2008, the guitarist released the compilation Flamenco Virtuoso, a career overview in 17 pieces. Finally, in 2011, in his final gift to the Festival, the Spanish virtuoso launched the 32nd edition in Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier. As a member of our prestigious 24 Legends of the Festival, he will remain cherished in our collective memory forever.
As winner of the Antonio Carlos Jobim Award, Paco de Lucía follows in the footsteps of Amadou and Mariam (2013) Emir Kusturica (2012), Youssou N’Dour (2011), Richard Bona (2010), Toots & The Maytals (2009), Gilberto Gill (2008), Angélique Kidjo (2007), Salif Keita (2006), Khaled (2005) and Ibrahim Ferrer (2004).
— 30 —