The Alex Bellegarde Quartet: Winner of the Grand Prix de Jazz General Motors 2005
The Alex Bellegarde Quartet:
Winner of the Grand Prix de Jazz General Motors 2005
Radio-Canada’s ‘Prix Étoiles Galaxie’ awarded to Sage Reynolds
Montreal, Friday, July 8, 2005 – The Festival International de Jazz de Montréal — in close collaboration with General Motors du Canada, partner and official presenter of the event for the sixth year in a row — is pleased to be awarding the Grand Prix de Jazz General Motors today to Alex Bellegarde Quartette from Quebec for distinguishing themselves among the 10 jazz artists participating in the cross-Canada contest.
This is the third year that Radio-Canada has been awarding the ‘Prix Étoiles Galaxie’ for the best new composition, this year won by Sage Reynolds of the Sage Reynolds Quartet for his pieces ‘On the Wall’ and ‘Saturday Afternoon.’
The Alex Bellegarde Quartette will be officially presented their Grand Prix de Jazz General Motors 2005 at a press conference to take place this morning at 11 a.m. in the Salon Mont-Royal of the Hyatt Regency Montréal hotel. The winners will also receive their prize when they perform at the closing concert of the Festival (starring Gregory Charles) tomorrow night at 8:30 in Salle Wilfrid Pelletier at Place des Arts. The public is also invited to a special concert by Alex Bellegarde Quartette on the same day, Saturday at 6 p.m. on the Scène General Motors.
Very active on the local and national music scenes and winner of numerous other prizes, the Quebec-born bassist Alex Bellegarde loves composition and improvisation as much as he loves his instrument. A member of the Ohmz collective and the Vic Vogel Octet, the multi-disciplined artist appears regularly with Cuban artists presently based in Montreal. This was his first appearance at the Festival with pianist Yoel Diaz, drummer Yvon Plouffe and saxophonist Eric Hove.
Grand Prix de Jazz General Motors 2005
The Grand Prix de Jazz General Motors entails:
• the Grand Prix de Jazz General Motors 2005 trophy, plus a $5,000 cash prize from General Motors of Canada;
• an exterior show on the Scène General Motors, Saturday, July 9 at 6 p.m. within the context of the Gammes General Motors series PLUS an appearance as opening act for the closing show starring Gregory Charles, at 8:30 in Place des Arts, as part of the Pleins feux General Motors series;
• an invitation to appear at the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal in 2006 ;
• 50 hours of studio time at Studio Karisma ;
• a licensing deal for the production and distribution of an album by Justin Time records;
• an invitation to appear at the Festi Jazz International de Rimouski, 2006 edition.
The ‘Prix Étoiles Galaxie’ from Radio Canada
This is the fourth year that the all-music network of Radio Canada — Galaxie — has been associated with the Grand Prix de Jazz General Motors. This year’s Prix Étoiles Galaxie de Radio Canada is going to Sage Reynolds composer of the pieces ‘On the Wall’ and ‘Saturday Afternoon,’ considered by the jury to be the best compositions presented in this year’s contest. The prize includes $5,000, plus the visibility Galaxie can offer through its cross-Canada all music network, as well as in its magazine which is distributed to thousands of readers. Supporting rising stars like Sage Reynolds is among Galaxie’s top priorities.
A springboard for Canadian jazz ensembles
Created in 1982 by the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, the Grand Prix de Jazz has become a springboard for local musicians with bright futures in jazz. Every summer, the awarding of the Grand Prix 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, ten Canadian groups or artists were in competition for the Grand Prix de Jazz General Motors 2005. Besides the two winners, this year’s competitors were: the Aloka Jazz Sextette (Quebec), Flight of Whimsy (Ontario), the Geoff Young Trio (Ontario), the Michel Héroux Quintette (Quebec), the Min Rager Quintet (Quebec), the Richard White Trio (Quebec), Stacie McGregor (Ontario) and the Vanessa Rodrigues Soul Project (Quebec).
The jury for the 2005 edition was comprised of: Louis Bellavance (Traq'nart/Cross Current Music Inc.), Michael Bourne (Down Beat Magazine / WBGO 88.3 FM, New York), pianist Lorraine Desmarais, Jean Pierre Leduc (Justin Time) and Jean Richard Lefebvre (Galaxie).
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