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La Scena Musicale - Vol. 13, No. 8 May 2008

The Canadian National Jazz Awards 2008 ... go West

by Marc Chénard / May 11, 2008

On April 8, the Canadian National Jazz Awards were once again staged in the heart of Hogtown. The brainchild of musician/jazz promoter Bill King, this event has been somewhat derided since its inception, as a get-together for Toronto to congratulate itself. This year, however, marks a breakthrough… of sorts. Out of 31 categories (more than ever before), 11 awards went west to B.C. (3 alone for bassist Jodi Proznick), while Toronto earned all but two of the remaining 20 (the exceptions being broadcaster Katie Malloch, Montreal’s single winner, and Wynton Marsalis as its International Musician pick). Cuban native pianist Hilario Duran pocketed another three, with a pair each going to saxophonist Phil Dwyer (back on the West Coast after years in Toronto) and the Toronto Star scribe Geoff Chapman. While the Awards has bridged the great Canadian geographic divide by going West, it has yet to extend to French Canada, though the inclusion of a French page on its Website is an improvement. n

For a complete list of winners: www.nationaljazzawards.com

(c) La Scena Musicale