Stage and screen star Liza Minnelli, folk singer-songwriter James Taylor and filmmaker and musician Emir Kusturica will receive special awards at the upcoming Montreal International Jazz Festival.
Organizers unveiled on Tuesday a list of lifetime achievement award-winners to be honoured this year.
Cabaret star Minnelli, set to perform at Place des Arts on July 5, will receive the Ella Fitzgerald Award in recognition of "the versatility, improvisational originality and quality of repertoire of a singer renowned on the international scene."
Festival organizers will present Grammy-winning singer and guitarist Taylor with the Spirit Award for his "extraordinary contribution to the musical world." Taylor — who follows in the footsteps of recent Spirit Award recipients such as Robert Plant, Stevie Wonder, and Leonard Cohen — performs in Montreal on June 27 and 28.
Others receiving kudos for their musical achievements include:
  • Guitarist and acclaimed director Kusturica, winner of the Antonio Carlos Jobim Award for a world music artist whose influence on "jazz and cultural crossover is widely recognized." He performs with his electro Gypsy rock troupe No Smoking Orchestra on July 5.
  • Double bassist and composer Ron Carter, winner of the Miles Davis Award, which celebrates a jazz artist's body of work and influence on the greater community. The Ron Carter Trio takes the stage with Russell Malone and Donald Vega on July 2.
  • Vibraphone player and percussionist Peter Appleyard, winner of the Oscar Peterson Award saluting a musician for excellence and contribution to Canadian jazz. His performance with Oliver Jones is slated for July 5.
  • Archivist, journalist and producer Michael Cuscuna, winner of the Bruce Lundvall Award for a non-musician who has contributed to the development of jazz.
The Montreal International Jazz Festival runs June 28 through July 7. The list of performers confirmed so far span a wide range, from jazz pianist Jones to contemporary R&B/funk singer Janelle Monae to blues legend B.B. King.