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Jarrett Impresses Swedes, Gets Real Paid

Forgive us—we’re still riding the Go-USA high George W. Bush instilled in us during Tuesday night’s State of the Union Address—but after reading a foreign press release littered with horribly misspelled words like “recognised” and “characterised” we had to wait until our snickering subsided before we even “realised” what it was announcing: Pianist and to-the-core American Keith Jarrett (pictured) has won Sweden’s 2003 Polar Music Prize.

The prize carries a monetary award in the amount of one million Swedish Crowns, roughly 117,500 USD, and Jarrett will receive the award straight from the hands of from His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf at a gala ceremony to be held at Berwaldhallen in Stockholm on May 12. Then Jarrett and the King will head to Stockholm’s Grand Hôtel for a celebratory banquet with other Swedish dignitaries. Jarrett’s pals and trio members Gary Peacock and Jack DeJohnette may still be in town to party too. The musicians will have played a local concert five days prior and will likely be in the mood for good times, 2003 being the 20th anniversary of their critically and popularly lauded musical association.

The Polar Music Prize, in case you were wondering, was instituted in 1992 and is given to individuals, groups or institutions in recognition of exceptional achievement in the creation and advancement of music. Past winners have included Pierre Boulez, Bob Dylan, Ravi Shankar, Iannis Xenakis, Joni Mitchell, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Witold Lutoslawski, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Dizzy Gillespie, Paul McCartney, Mstislav Rostropovich, Sofia Gubaidulina, Quincy Jones, Miriam Makeba, Stevie Wonder, Robert Moog, and Isaac Stern. Quite a list, and you’ll note that Jarrett ups its jazzer membership to a mere three. And I’m talking about Dizzy, Quincy and Keith. Joni doesn’t count.

Originally Published