Montreal -- The Festival International de Jazz de Montreal in collaboration with General Motors Canada--partner and presenter of the event for the 10th consecutive year--are today pleased to be awarding the General Motors Grand Jazz Award to Amanda Tosoff Quartet. The artist was deemed best of 10 other jazz artists and ensembles who took part in the pan-Canadian competition. The jury wanted to acknowledge the talent of all 10 finalists who were of an impressively high calibre. The jury also made a special mention of Parc-X Trio for its extraordinary performance. The Festival International de Jazz de Montreal happily invites them to the 2010 edition of the Festival.
And for the 6th year in a row, the Galaxie Rising Star Award of the CBC was bestowed for the best composition, the 2009 prize going to Vincent Gagnon for his piece Après l’une.
Amanda Tosoff Quartet will officially be awarded the 2009 General Motors Grand Jazz Award at a press conference, at 1 p.m. today in the pressroom (Maison du Festival Rio Tinto Alcan, 305 Ste. Catherine St. W.). The artist will again be presented his prize at his performance just before the closing show of this year’s fest, Montreal Variations, tonight at 7 p.m. in the Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier at Place des Arts.
Amanda Tosoff Quartet
At 25, B.C. pianist Amanda Tosoff has already earned an array of distinctions and grants. No surprise there: from an early age, this talented musician and composer was influenced by the greats--Oscar Peterson, Duke Ellington, Branford Marsalis--and was taught by some of the most impressive figures in Canadian jazz. We've gotten reacquainted with this promising musical revelation on her latest album, Wait and See, accompanied by her critically-acclaimed three-piece band: Evan Arntzen (saxophone), Sean Cronin (double bass) and Morgan Childs (drums).
2009 General Motors Grand Jazz Award
The General Motors Grand Jazz Award entails:
- The 2009 General Motors Grand Jazz Award and a $5,000 grant from General Motors of Canada.
- The opportunity to present a second concert at 7 p.m. before the closing show at Place des Arts.
- An invitation to take part in the 2010 Festival International de Jazz de Montreal, all expenses paid by the Festival (transportation, hotel and fees).
- Fifty hours of studio time and mastering at Karisma Studio.
- A licensing deal for the manufacturing and distribution of an album on the Effendi label.
- An invitation to perform at Festi Jazz International de Rimouski, 2010 edition.
Galaxie Rising Star Award of the CBC
This is the 8th year that Galaxie, The Continuous Music Network of the CBC, has been associated with the General Motors Grand Jazz Award. This year’s Galaxie Rising Star Award of the CBC is going to Vincent Gagnon for his piece Après l’une, considered by the jury to be the best composition presented in this year’s contest. In addition to a $5,000 grant, the winner will have his music played on one or many jazz channels offered by Galaxie. By encouraging these upcoming stars, Galaxie is fulfilling one of its heartfelt objectives.
A springboard for Canadian jazz ensembles
Created in 1982 by the Festival International de Jazz de Montreal, the Grand Jazz Award has become a springboard for local musicians with bright futures in jazz. Every summer, the awarding of the 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 in previous years, 10 Canadian groups or artists were in competition for the General Motors Grand Jazz Award 2009. Besides the winners--Amanda Tosoff Quartet (British-Columbia) and Vincent Gagnon (Quebec), competing this year were: Griffith Hiltz Trio (Ontario), Chad Linsley (Quebec), Certified Organic Jazz Quartet (Quebec), Larry Roy / Steve Kirby Group (Manitoba), Tyler Hornby (Alberta), Gabriel Lambert Quartet (Quebec), Parc-X Trio (Quebec), Steve Koven (Ontario).
The 2009 jury was comprised of: Louis Bellavance (Galaxie, The Continuous Music Network of the CBC); Alain Bedard (Effendi Records); Michael Bourne (WBGO.org and Down Beat Magazine), Martin Roussel (Festi Jazz International de Rimouski), and 2005’s winner, Alex Bellegarde.
Take note that the last year’s winner, Arden Arapyan, gave a free exterior concert last Wednesday, July 8 at 6 p.m., as part of Les Gammes General Motors series.