Buena Vista Social Club icon Ibrahim Ferrer was honored July 8 with the Montreal International Jazz Festival's first "Antonio Carlos Jobim Award" for world music excellence. It was the fourth significant lifetime achievement award the festival has created to mark its own milestone anniversaries. The other major festival awards are named for Oscar Peterson (awarded this year to Diana Krall), Miles Davis (awarded this year to Keith Jarrett) and Ella Fitzgerald (awarded this year to Tony Bennett). Ferrrer, 76, and his Cuban band performed a headlining that evening at the Salle de Wilfrid-Pelletier, a spacious Place des Arts concert hall rivaling Lincoln Center's finest halls in New York.
Haden revives Liberation Music Orchestra
Bassist Charlie Haden his week-long Montreal stay to prepare for - and launch - the first tour by his Liberation Music Orchestra in 13 years. Carla Bley is back as the band's pianist and arranger. The month-long tour is taking the band directly from Montreal to Europe and will include a recording session in Rome. Haden formed the band 35 years ago and has revived it as conditions warrant - to protest oppression and tyranny. "I don't think I'm a basher of anything," Haden told the Toronto Globe and Mail. "I just want to let people know how I feel. And I really feel it's very, very dangerous what's happening in Washington." The band's opening concert repertoire included "Amazing Grace" and "America the Beautiful."
The jam session into the wee hours after Thursday, July 8's concerts included a searing 20-minute segment that brought together trumpeter Michael Rodriguez from Charlie Haden's Liberation Music Orchestra, soprano saxophonist Jane Bunnett and three musicians from Cuba's Buena Vista Social Club including bassist Cachaito Lopez and pianist Roberto Fonseca.