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2015 Festival awards

The Festival International de Jazz de Montréal honours
James Cotton, Erykah Badu, Al Di Meola,
King Sunny Ade, Jim Galloway and Bill Milkowski

2015 B.B. King Award: James Cotton

James Cotton James Cotton is the second 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. A true blues giant, James Cotton won his stripes armed with the smallest of wind instruments: the harmonica. Over 70 years into his remarkable career, the man nicknamed “Superharp” built his reputation on a fiery stage presence, energetic musicianship and a powerhouse voice. After playing with Muddy Waters for 12 years, he took the plunge in 1966 and launched a career marked by national and international tours and some thirty albums including Deep in the Blues, named Best Traditional Blues Album at the Grammy Awards.

Triple Bill with Taj Mahal, John Mayall and James Cotton, June 27, 7:30 p.m., Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, PdA (Événements spéciaux TD series).

Cotton succeeds the artist in whose name the trophy was created, B.B. King (2014).

All the B.B King Award recipients

2015 Ella Fitzgerald Award: Erykah Badu

Erykah Badu Erykah Badu is the 17th 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. One of the leading artists who has shaped the landscape of contemporary R&B, Erykah Badu earned the title “Queen of Neo-soul.” A major artist at Motown, she made her dazzling entry into the charts in 1997 with Baduizm, a first album poised between soul, hip-hop and jazz that was certified triple platinum and won a pair of Grammys before repeating the feat with Mama’s Gun in 2000. Her recent discography includes New Amerykah Part One: 4th World War (2008), followed by Part Two: Return of The Ankh (2010).

Erykah Badu. Opening act: Charles Hamilton, June 29, 7:30 p.m. in Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, PdA (Événements spéciaux TD series).

In accepting the prize, Erykah Badu will be following previous Ella Fitzgerald prizewinners 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).

All the Ella Fitzgerald Award recipients

2015 Miles Davis Award: Al Di Meola

Al Di Meola Al Di Meola will be the 22nd 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. A legendary guitarist universally hailed for his flamboyant play and impeccable, dazzling technique, Al Di Meola has established himself as a jazz fusion virtuoso of the first order in a 40+-year career, playing with the likes of Chick Corea in Return to Forever or in the super trio he formed with Paco de Lucía and John McLaughlin, creating his very own inimitable musical world marked by a multitude of Latin influences. The guitar legend offers Festival fans the full measure of his versatile talents with his latest electric tour.

Al Di Meola,Elegant Gypsy & More, Electric Tour 2015, June 26, 8 p.m., Théâtre Maisonneuve, PdA (Les Grands concerts Rio Tinto Alcan series).

Al Di Meola is the latest in a series of Miles Davis prizewinners. He follows 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).

All the Miles Davis Award recipients

2015 Antonio Carlos Jobim Award: King Sunny Ade

King Sunny Ade King Sunny Ade is the 12th 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. The invincible king of juju music, born at the crossroads of pop, Afrobeat and traditional Nigerian music, King Sunny Ade ranks among the most celebrated musicians in Africa. In a career that stretches over more than a half-century, the singer, songwriter and guitarist renowned for staging fiery, flamboyant concerts reached the peak of his popularity in the ’80s, winning international acclaim with three albums, Juju Music, Synchro System and Aura, released on Island Records, and launching international tours.

King Sunny Ade, June 30, 10 p.m., Club Soda (Les Nuits Heineken series).

As winner of the Antonio Carlos Jobim Award, King Sunny Ade follows in the footsteps of Paco de Lucía (2014), Amadou & 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).

All the Antonio Carlos Jobim Award recipients

2015 Oscar Peterson Award: Jim Galloway

Jim Galloway Jim Galloway is the 27th artist to receive the Oscar Peterson Award, which is presented posthumously. 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. One of the world’s premiere soprano saxophonists, Jim Galloway built his reputation with a joyous, lyrical style and his love of swing, along with a gift for dissolving the boundaries between traditional and modern jazz. He was co-founder of the du Maurier Downtown Jazz Festival (today the TD Toronto Jazz Festival). Thanks to his many collaborations with the greatest names in jazz and his globetrotting travel, Jim was a fantastic artistic director of the Festival from 1987 until his retirement in 2009. Jim Galloway passed away on December 30, 2014.

As recipient of the Oscar Peterson Award, Jim Galloway follows in the footsteps of 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).

All the Oscar Peterson Award recipients

2015 Bruce Lundvall Award: Bill Milkowski

Bill Milkowski Bill Milkowski is the 7th 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. Bill Milkowski is an independent writer based in New York and has been covering the jazz scene since 1980. Regularly featured in magazines including Down Beat, Jazziz and Absolute Sound, he is the author of JACO: The Extraordinary and Tragic Life of Jaco Pastorius, Swing It: An Annotated History of Jive, Rockers, Jazzbos & Visionaries and co-author of Here And Now: The Autobiography of Pat Martino. He has also written 500 booklets and liner notes, and produced recordings for Blue Note, Columbia, Concord and NYC Record label.

As recipient of the Bruce Lundvall Award, Bill Milkowski follows in the footsteps of 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).

All the Bruce Lundvall Award recipients

2015 TD Grand Jazz Award: Rachel Therrien Quintet

Rachel Therrien QuintetThe Festival International de Jazz de Montréal in collaboration with TD—official sponsor and presenter of the event—are pleased to be awarding the TD Grand Jazz Award to Rachel Therrien Quintet, which was deemed best of 10 other jazz ensembles who took part in the pan-Canadian competition. They are young, creative and talented: brilliantly led by remarkable Québécois trumpeter Rachel Therrien, this quintet ranks among the most interesting jazz outfits of the up-and-coming generation. Therrien, a musician known for her very personal signature, already boasts an enviable CV, and returns to the Festival with her 2nd album, Home Inspiration, and an emotionally charged show filled with improv and exceptional musical orchestration.

The jury also gave a special mention to the piece Let’s Roll by Eli Bennett who will be coming back to the festival in 2016.

Created in 1982 by the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, the Grand Jazz Award has become a springboard for local musicians with bright futures in jazz. Every summer, the awarding of the TD Grand Jazz Award has increasingly drawn the interest of the general public, as well as observers of the national and international jazz scenes, giving that last big boost to groups or artists on the verge of general recognition.

As a recipient of the TD Grand Jazz Award, Rachel Therrien Quintet follows in the footsteps of Pram Trio (2014), Hutchinson Andrew Trio (2013), Robi Botos (2012), Alexandre Côté (2011), Parc X Trio (2010) and Amanda Tosoff (2009).

All the TD Grand Jazz Award recipients

2015 Stingray Rising Star Award: Florian Hoefner

Florian Hoefner Stingray Music is proud to be associated with the TD Grand Jazz Award. The 2015 Stingray Rising Star Award is going to Florian Hoefner for his piece Newfound jig, considered by the jury to be the best composition presented in this year’s contest, and for his entire body of work. In addition to a $5,000 grant, the winner will have his music played on one or many jazz channels offered by Stingray Music. By encouraging these upcoming stars, Stingray Music is fulfilling one of its heartfelt objectives.

As a recipient of the Stingray Rising Star Award, Florian Hoefner follows in the footsteps of Rick Rosato (2014), Shirantha Beddage (2013), Don Scott (2012), John Roney (2011), Darren Sigesmund (2010) and Vincent Gagnon (2009).

All the Stingray Rising Star Award recipients

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