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Daniel Ko receives the 2011 Yamaha Kando award at MusicFest Canada

Daniel Ko at Hugh O'Connor's CD release at NAC 4th Stage, May 2010. ©Brett Delmage, 2010UPDATE May 25: Daniel told OttawaJazzScene.ca tonight that he had just learned he has been awarded the Slaight Family Scholarship, which will pay for tuition and living expenses at Berklee .

Congratulations to local saxophonist Daniel Ko, who won the Yamaha Kando award on May 20 at the 2011 MusicFest national competition in Richmond, BC.

MusicFest Canada says the Yamaha Kando award is the "premier award" given at the competition. The winner receives $4000 in musical instruments: Ko said he hadn't decided what to spend that on yet, but would probably buy a new soprano saxophone. He also received a $3500 scholarship to study music at Humber College in Toronto, which has a well-regarded jazz performance program

Ko, who will graduate from Nepean High School this year, released his first CD in 2010, a collaboration with guitarist Steve Groves called Modern History.

The scholarship was "a really huge surprise", Ko told OttawaJazzScene.ca. He had not expected to win it.

Ko said he had been accepted both by Humber and by the Berklee College of Music jazz programme in Boston, and has not yet decided which school he will attend. He has applied for the Slaight Family Scholarship at Berklee, and will learn in June whether he has won that. It's a good choice either way: "both schools are amazing," he said.

Ko said two other young Ottawa jazz musicians won scholarships to Humber as well: drummer Cameron Duffin ($1000), and saxophonist Samuel Cousineau ($500).