As well as looking at the future we were invited to reflect on the past and pay homage to three musical icons who recently passed away: Oscar Peterson, Doug Riley and Jeff Healey. A screening of short film clips cast a spell over the audience the memory of these great musicians lives on.
But of course, while looking at the future and remembering the past, the awards presentation was anchored in and celebrated the present. Over the course of the evening, winners were called to the podium and presented with their awards (see complete list at the bottom of this page). While we saw some repeat winners, this year many were called to the podium for the first time. Of note, two musicians were triple award winners: Hilario Duran (Big Band, Socan Composer, Latin Jazz Artist) and Jodi Proznick (Bassist, Acoustic Band, Recording).
All in all it was a very successful evening. Organizing a major awards evening such as this one must be a daunting task. Alternating awards presentations with live music segments ensured that the proceedings were kept lively. The house band with Richard Underhill as its Musical Director kept a smooth continuity. I cant think of a venue better suited than the Palais Royale for holding this awards presentation (at least in Toronto). It is large enough to accommodate several hundred people and not restrict them to their seats (as formal theatre seating would). Add to that its lakefront location and illustrious history and its perfect.
It is unfortunate that a large portion of the audience couldnt seem to see the evening through. Musicians who were called on to perform or to receive their award after 10:30 p.m. did so in front of a sea of vacated tables
this on a night especially set aside to honour them!? Makes you wonder. I know that this was a weeknight but
Doesnt true passion for jazz burn brighter with a dash of midnight oil?