Imagine a world without Canadian musicians. Children of the 1970s would have never gotten their rocks off to Bachman-Turner Overdrive’s rowdy, galloping arena rock. Millions of tears would have gone unjerked had Celine Dion not soared through Titanic‘s theme. Gordon Lightfoot would have never gently folk-rocked us to sleep over AM radio. Sounds good, doesn’t it? Let’s not forget the Canadian artists who have done good, especially those who have helped keep jazz alive: Oscar Peterson, Diana Krall (pictured), Jane Bunnett and Holly Cole, to name only four.
Canada thinks it has a good thing going in music, and Canadian musicians and other industry folk are honored every year with Juno Awards, the country’s Grammy-like statuettes. Krall has won four Junos, including the highest honor, Best Artist, in 2002. There are no jazz musicians nominated in that category this year, but the 2003 Junos do include three jazz-specific categories, listed below along with their nominees.
The Path of Least Resistance Coral Egan Nisapa/S.R.I.
Another Day Molly Johnson Marquis/EMI
Live In Paris Diana Krall Verve/Universal
Pennies From Heaven Susie Arioli Swing Band Justin Time/Fusion III
The Wall Street Sessions Joani Taylor/Bob Murphy Roadhouse
Mistura Mark Duggan’s Vuja dé Vujamusic
Love Songs Warren Hill Narada/Virgin/EMI
Highwire NOJO True North / Universal
Tales from the Blue Lounge Richard Underhill Stubby/Outside
Mother Tree Jean Pierre Zanella Effendi/S.R.I.
Spirituals And Dedications Jane Bunnett, Dewey Redman, Dean Bowman, Larry
Cramer, Stanley Overs, Mark McLean Justin Time/Fusion III
Then And Now Oliver Jones, Skip Bey Justin Time/Fusion III
Thank You Ted Rob McConnell Tentet Justin Time/Fusion III
Evolution Bernard Primeau Montreal Jazz Ensemble Swing’in Time/Select
Life on Earth Renee Rosnes EMI
Canadians can watch this year’s ceremony, hosted by country singer (and Canadian) Shania Twain, on the CTV network on April 6. All others, plus Canadians without televisions, can hold still until the day after the show when we’ll publish the results.