Congratulations to saxophonist Jacob Do (BMus 2021), who won the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal's inaugural Oliver Jones Award on June 26, 2019. Created as part of the Festival's 40th anniversary, the award is given as part of a competition open to selected Quebec university student musicians identifying as part of a visible minority. A major part of Oliver Jones' living legacy has been his dedication to young people, and as such, the award's winner receives a $5,000 prize from Stingray Music and a performance at the next edition of the Festival.
When contacted about his recent success, Do expressed excitement and gratitude. "I'm truly honoured to be the first recipient of the Oliver Jones Award. A big thank you to the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal and Stingray Music for giving this amazing opportunity to young artists. Of course, I would like to express my gratitude to the amazing Oliver Jones for inspiring the next generation of young artists, and for his commitment and contribution to the Montreal and Canadian Jazz scene. This experience has been outstanding and inspires me further to work hard and serve the music. I am elated to be playing at the FIJM next summer, and can't wait for what else the future holds."
"A big thanks to my band, consisting of Schulich students and alumni, for contributing their time, energy and talents to the music. Without them, this would not have been possible. Thank you Alex Muscalu, Samuel Jacques, Matthieu McConnell-Enright, and Daniel Verdecchia. Of course, thank you to many of my teachers and peers at Schulich for their guidance, inspiration, and encouragement - Rémi Bolduc, Christine Jensen, Jim Doxas, John Hollenbeck, and many, many others. Congratulations to the fellow nominees who I had the pleasure of sharing a beautiful night of music with. Your creativity and uniqueness had me in awe throughout the evening. To my family, friends, and wonderful girlfriend in Edmonton, thank you for your continued support. I would never have moved to Montreal if it weren't for many of you. I'll be seeing you all soon!"
Prof. Rémi Bolduc, Do's private instructor for the past two years at Schulich, gives him high praise. "[Jacob] is a musician of great talent, and his success comes from a combination of daily practice and his musicality. This award is a well-deserved honour—congratulations!"
Born in Little Burgundy, Montreal, Oliver Jones has long been a key element of the Canadian and international jazz scenes. Studying piano with teachers such as Daisy Peterson Sweeney (older sister of Oscar Peterson, Jones' idol), his career started at age five through performances at Union United Church in Montreal. He performed with several touring groups before settling back in Montreal in 1980, at which point he began his long association with bassist Charles Biddle at newly opened Biddle's Jazz and Ribs by becoming the venue's house pianist. In years afterwards, he would go on to tour internationally as a solo artist or with a variety of ensemble formats. Over the course of his career, Jones has released over 15 albums, and has received many commendations including being named a Knight of the Ordre national du Québec and an Officer of the Order of Canada. Jones was a member of the music faculty at McGill University from 1988 to 1995, and received an honorary doctorate from the University in 1995.