2018 Festival Award winners

  • B.B.-King Award: George Thorogood

    The B.B.-King Blues Award was 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.

    Shot to fame in 1977 with their self-titled and now-classic debut album, George Thorogood and the Destroyers have released a total of 16 studio albums—including six gold and two platinum discs—and amassed an unmatched catalogue of hits that includes I Drink Alone, Move It On Over, and the ultimate badass anthem, Bad to the Bone. But it was their powerhouse live performances that made the band legendary: from opening for the Rolling Stones to their own record-breaking 50/50 tour, or any of their current 100+ shows per year, George and his longtime band remain among the most relentless and relevant classic blues-rock acts on tour today.

  • Antonio-Carlos-Jobim Award: Zakir Hussain

    The Antonio Carlos Jobim Award was created on the occasion of the Festival’s 25th anniversary to honour artists distinguished in the field of world music and whose influence on the evolution of jazz and cultural crossover is widely recognized.

    Zakir Hussain is today appreciated both in the field of percussion and in the music world at large as an international phenomenon and one of the greatest musicians of our time. A classical tabla virtuoso of the highest order, his consistently brilliant and exciting performances have established him as a national treasure in his own country, India, and as one of India’s reigning cultural ambassadors. Widely considered a chief architect of the contemporary world music movement, Zakir’s contribution to world music has been unique, with many historic collaborations. His playing is marked by uncanny intuition and masterful improvisational dexterity, founded in formidable knowledge and study.

  • Miles-Davis Award: Béla Fleck and the Flecktones

    The Miles Davis Award was created for the Festival’s 15th anniversary in 1994 to honour a great international jazz musician for the entire body of his or her work and influence in regeneratingthe jazz idiom.

    Formed in 1988, the quartet of Béla Fleck (banjo), Victor Wooten (bass), Futureman (drums) and Howard Levy (piano, harmonica) has won six Grammy Awards, toured the world and released ten albums selling millions of copies. Renowned for their bottomless creativity, fiery concerts and a unique style steeped in jazz, classical music, bluegrass, African music, electric blues and even East European folk, Béla Fleck and the Flecktones rank as one of the most innovative groups on the global music scene, challenging the limits of jazz and driving the music off the beaten track.

  • Oscar-Peterson Award: Renee Rosnes

    Created on the 10th anniversary of the Festival in 1989, the Oscar Peterson Award recognizes a performer’s musicianship and exceptional contribution to the development of Canadian jazz.

    Born in Canada, Renee Rosnes was drawn to classical music before turning towards jazz and New York in the early ’80s. Since then, the pianist has released 15 albums, taking home five Juno Awards. Alongside her long and brilliant solo career, the artist has joined in prestigious studio and onstage collaborations with such luminaries as Joe Henderson, Wayne Shorter and James Moody, not to mention her roles as a musical director and jazz journalist. Renee Rosnes undeniably ranks among the most important pianists and composers of her generation.

  • Ella-Fitzgerald Award: Ben Harper

    The Festival created the Ella Fitzgerald Award for its 20th anniversary in 1999, annualy conferring it upon a jazz singer of significant talent who has had a major impact and influence 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.

  • Montréal Jazz Festival Spirit Award: Ry Cooder

    The Montreal Jazz Festival Spirit Award underlines a popular artist’s extraordinary contribution to the musical world.

    For nearly 50 years, the immense scope and -influence of Ry Cooder’s music has been felt as much, or more than heard. As a master musician, producer, songwriter, the California native has explored music and culture from across the country and around the world. Cooder’s solo work draws upon many genres. He has played with Ali Farka Touré, Eric Clapton, The Rolling Stones, Van Morrison and Neil Young. He also produced the Buena Vista Social Club album (1997), Cooder was ranked eighth on Rolling Stone magazine’s 2003 list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.

Winners history

B.B.-King Award

  • 2017 : Charlie Musselwhite
  • 2016 : Taj Mahal
  • 2015 : James Cotton
  • 2014 : B.B.-King

Ella-Fitzgerald Award

  • 2017 : Lizz Wright
  • 2016 : Gregory Porter
  • 2015 : Erykah Badu
  • 2014 : Diana Ross
  • 2013 : Holly Cole
  • 2012 : Liza Minnelli
  • 2011 : Sade
  • 2010 : The Manhattan Transfer
  • 2009 : John Pizzarelli
  • 2008 : Aretha Franklin
  • 2007 : Harry Connick
  • 2006 : Etta James
  • 2005 : Al Jarreau
  • 2004 : Tony Bennett
  • 2003 : Bobby McFerrin
  • 2002 : Dianne Reeves
  • 2001 : Diana Krall
  • 2000 : Dee Dee Bridgewater
  • 1999 : Diane Schuur

Montréal Jazz Festival Spirit Award

  • 2016 : Brian Wilson
  • 2014 : Elvis Costello
  • 2012 : James Taylor
  • 2011 : Robert Plant
  • 2010 : Smokey Robinson
  • 2009 : Stevie Wonder
  • 2008 : Leonard Cohen
  • 2007 : Bob Dylan
  • 2006 : Paul Simon

Miles Davis Award

  • 2017 : Jack DeJohnette
  • 2016: Kenny Barron
  • 2015: Al Di Meola
  • 2014 : Terence Blanchard
  • 2013 : Charles Lloyd
  • 2012 : Ron Carter
  • 2011 : Stanley Clarke
  • 2010 : Sonny Rollins
  • 2009 : Ornette Coleman
  • 2008 : McCoy Tyner
  • 2007 : Mike Stern
  • 2006 : Brad Mehldau
  • 2005 : Dave Holland
  • 2004 : Keith Jarrett
  • 2003 : Joe Zawinul
  • 2002 : Chick Corea
  • 2001 : Michael Brecker
  • 2000 : Charlie Haden
  • 1999 : Cassandra Wilson
  • 1998 : John Scofield
  • 1997 : Herbie Hancock
  • 1996 : Wayne Shorter
  • 1995 : Pat Metheny
  • 1994 : John McLaughlin

Antonio-Carlos-Jobim Award

  • 2017 : Buika
  • 2016 : Lila Downs
  • 2015 : King Sunny Ade
  • 2014 : Paco de Lucía
  • 2013 : Amadou & Myriam
  • 2012 : Emir Kusturica
  • 2011 : Youssou N’Dour
  • 2010 : Richard Bona
  • 2009 : Toots & The Maytals
  • 2008 : Gilberto Gil
  • 2007 : Angélique Kidjo
  • 2006 : Salif Keita
  • 2005 : Khaled
  • 2004 : Ibrahim Ferrer

Oscar-Peterson Award

  • 2017 : Christine Jensen
  • 2016 : Karen Young
  • 2015 : Jim Galloway
  • 2014 : Ron Di Lauro
  • 2013 : Alain Caron
  • 2012 : Peter Appleyard
  • 2011 : Jean-Pierre Zanella
  • 2010 : Don Thompson
  • 2009 : Susie Arioli
  • 2008 : Dave Young
  • 2007 : François Bourassa
  • 2006 : Yannick Rieu
  • 2005 : Bernard Primeau
  • 2004 : Diana Krall
  • 2003 : Kenny Wheeler
  • 2002 : Lorraine Desmarais
  • 2001 : Moe Kofman
  • 2000 : Charles Biddle
  • 1999 : Maynard Ferguson
  • 1998 : Guy Nadon
  • 1997 : Rob McConnell
  • 1996 : Nelson Symonds
  • 1995 : Michel Donato
  • 1994 : Paul Bley
  • 1993 : Fraser MacPherson
  • 1992 : Vic Vogel
  • 1991 : UZEB
  • 1990 : Oliver Jones
  • 1989 : Oscar Peterson

Bruce-Lundvall Award

  • 2017 : Michael Bourne
  • 2016 : Jim West
  • 2015 : Bill Milkowski
  • 2014 : Jean-Philippe Allard
  • 2013 : Tommy LiPuma
  • 2012 : Michael Cuscuna
  • 2011 : George Wein
  • 2010 : Herman Leonard
  • 2009 : Bruce Lundvall
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