Jacques Émond is one of those people who much prefers to talk about the music and musicians rather than himself. But he's the perfect example of how one person can make a difference – in his case, in building the jazz scene in Ottawa.
He's best known as the long-time programming manager of the Ottawa Jazz Festival, retiring in 2010 after two decades. If you loved the choices you heard – everything from Fred Hersch to Dave Brubeck to Latin music to big bands, to innovative partnerships with the NAC, thank Jacques, who played a key role.
He started in 1976 as a founding member of the local jazz society, Jazz Ottawa, producing concerts that brought artists from Canada and abroad, as well as helping organize the worldwide Ellington 90 Conference held in Ottawa.
And he hasn't stopped even after retirement: For the last several years he's been involved in the Jazz Report magazine annual selection of all-star musicians for each instrument, as well as on the Canadian Collectors Congress Association committee to select the best Canadian Traditional group.
For close to 30 years, he's been a jazz broadcaster with radio stations CIMF-FM in Gatineau, and on CKCU-FM in Ottawa, where he hosts "Swing is in the Air" every Sunday afternoon from 4 to 5:30 p.m.
This February, Jacques received the Chevalier de L’Ordre Des Arts Et Des Lettre (Knight Of The Order Of Arts And Letters) from the government of France, in recognition of his services to music.
Tonight, Jacques will be honoured by the JJA as a "jazz hero". The free event (with live jazz from the Robert Fontaine Quartet, joined by other musicians) will be held at Café Paradiso, from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. Come down and thank Jacques for all the jazz he's brought to the Ottawa-Gatineau scene..
Read the complete story of what Jacques Emond has done in jazz.
– Alayne McGregor