Last Thursday it was the Canadian National Jazz Awards.
Twenty-eight categories….nearly twenty sponsors….government and regions in there…it’s got some proper momentum.
Three names which caught my eye among the performers, and in the 2009 Winners List:
1) Darcy James Argue
This young Vancouver-born, New York based, Bob Brookmeyer taught big band leader won an award for emerging composer. His name and his “steampunk big band” suddenly seem to be everywhere. Not – from what’s published- coming to the UK this year, but he’s about to be touring with a band in Europe. Newsweek were claiming he’d brought single-handedly brought the big band back to life after a long slumber. Here’s Argue’s impressively hard-hitting Boston PR company on the case.
2) Ian McDougall
Trombonist McDougall has won award for his Big Band. He has been visiting the UK for years, a wonderful player and an absolute gent. A former Dankworth sideman, he’s been over as educartor. I came across him bringing life and inspiration into Frank Griffith’s students at Brunel a few years ago.
3) Oliver Jones (aabove)
Musician of the Year. Uniquely gifted pianist. In the shadow of Oscar Peterson -born just a few streets away from him in Montreal- a mixed blessing to be compared with Peterson throughout your career….Announced retirement a few times…came to the Bull a few years ago on a retirement tour…and then returned from retirement…