Updated March 26, 2018
Diana Krall was a double winner tonight at the 2018 JUNO Awards – in her home province.
Krall's latest album, Turn Up the Quiet, was named Vocal Jazz Album of the Year, and Krall was named Jack Richardson Producer of the Year for two of its tracks: “L-O-V-E” and “Night and Day”. She performed both of those songs in her concert at Ottawa's National Arts Centre on December 2.
Toronto bassist Mike Downes won Jazz Album of the Year: Solo for his album Root Structure. At the ceremony, Downes thanked his bandmates, drummer Larnell Lewis, guitarist Ted Quinlan, and JUNO-winning pianist Robi Botos, saying "They put music first". He also acknowledged the other nominees, and said he was "so proud to be part of the community creating all of this". This was Downes' second JUNO nomination and second win (he won for Ripple Effect in 2014).
Mike Murley, David Braid, Anders Mogensen and Johnny Åman won Jazz Album of the Year: Group for The North. It's a joint Canadian-Scandinavian project whose original music is inspired by the experience of living and playing jazz in northern countries. Murley and Braid, who are both from Toronto, have often played in each others' projects. They have each been nominated for 8 JUNOs and (separately) won 2.
The awards were given out at the JUNO Gala Dinner tonight in Vancouver, at which most non-pop awards were announced.
In accepting the Vocal Jazz Award, Krall said she wanted to thank "most importantly my producer Tommy LiPuma, who unfortunately passed away just a year ago. But he would be so pleased because we had so much fun making this record. And I have so much fun doing what I'm doing. I get to play jazz music!"
She said she didn't expect to receive the Producer of the Year Award, and was "over the moon thrilled" to be acknowledged as a producer. She again thanked LiPuma (named as co-producer on the award), "who was a mentor to me and who taught me so much", and said she looked forward to producing and working with some of the musicians at the gala.
On Sunday evening, Krall performed "L-O-V-E" with Bublé at the higher-profile JUNO ceremonies, which were broadcast on CBC-TV. The internationally-renowned vocalist and pianist was born and raised in Nanaimo on Vancouver Island, and still maintains one of her homes in Vancouver (although she noted her husband and sons were in New York City this weekend). She has been nominated 25 times for JUNO Awards and won 8 (most recently in 2007 for Vocal Jazz Album).
Krall beat out Bria Skonberg's collections of jazz standards, Matt Dusk's Christmas jazz CD, and Michael Kaeshammer's and Kellylee Evans' albums of original jazz and pop tunes. In the Jazz Solo category, the diverse albums included Hilario Durán's tribute to his roots in Cuba, Chet Doxas' music inspired by modern art, Ralph Bowen's straight-ahead jazz quartet album, and Brad Cheeseman's collection of thoughtful originals following on from his Montreal Jazz Festival Grand Prix Award. In the Jazz Group category, the music ranged from the chamber jazz of Andrew Downing’s Otterville and The Carn Davidson 9, to the three-horn mainstream jazz of Ernesto Cervini’s Turboprop, and the continuing collaboration between Christine and Ingrid Jensen.
Krall's win was announced in the first few minutes of tonight's awards ceremony, while the other awards were announced near the end of the ceremony. Also announced was crooner Michael Bublé's win for Adult Contemporary Album for No One But Me.
Ottawa-based group Kobo Town – which includes local jazz/improvising saxophonist Linsey Wellman – won the World Music Album of the Year for Where the Galleon Sank. Kellylee Evans accepted the award on their behalf, reading a message they sent to her from Yellowknife, where they were performing that evening.
On Sunday, CBC Radio 2 will broadcast an hour-long show of selections from a JUNOfest show in Vancouver Friday featuring musicians from four JUNO-nominated jazz groups: Christine and Ingrid Jensen, Ernesto Cervini's Turboprop, Mike Downes, and the Carn Davidson 9. The show was coordinated by JUNO-winning saxophonist and pianist Phil Dwyer, who also performs in it. It will run from 5 to 6 p.m. ET.
Update March 26: Added a link to the video of the Krall and Bublé duet at the JUNOs.
Read related stories by OttawaJazzScene.ca: