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Bill Smith Gets “A Team” Award at Vancouver Fest Gala

Jun 23rd, 2010 | By

[See Brian Nation’s writeup here.]

The 2010 Vancouver International Jazz Festival’s opening night gala ceremonies (on Thursday, June 24 from 7 to 11 p.m. at the Vancouver Art Gallery’s Rooftop Pavilion) will include the presentation by fest artistic director Ken Pickering of the JJA’s “A Team” Award to Bill Smith — for his lifetime of support with jazz and new music via Coda Magazine, the Jazz and Blues Centre of Toronto, Sackville Records and his own music-making.

Smith’s “A Team” award is paired with that of John Norris, his late partner in the magazine, retail outlet and record label that established Canada as a serious home to discerning jazz audiences. The 2010 TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival, celebrating its 25th anniversary, wasn’t yet born when Smith and Norris began their efforts promoting a range of traditional and experimental artists. Sackville, for instance, released albums of everyone from Jay McShann to Anthony Braxton — and European improvisers, too.

Guest speakers at the Fest’s gala include Honourable James Moore, minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages; Honourable Dr. Hedy Fry, member of Parliament for Vancouver Centre, and Honourable Dr. Moira Stilwell, minister of Advanced Education and Labor Market Design & MLA for Vancouver Langara. Mayor Gregor Robertson will read the City of Vancouver Jazz Week Proclamation. Music will be played by Astrid, and graduates of Coastal Jazz’s high school intensive program.

Bill Smith, as reported by members of the JJA who have known him, is certainly honourable and can be (delightfully) intense.

For further information on the opening night gala, contact Coastal Jazz & Blues Society’s Media Director John Orysik (john@coastaljazz.ca/604 – 872-5200  x 27).  For a complete schedule of the 25th TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival, go to http://www.coastaljazz.ca.

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2 Comments to “Bill Smith Gets “A Team” Award at Vancouver Fest Gala”

  1. It is good to see Bill getting some earnestly-earned and well-deserved recognition.
    As a contributor to CODA from 1987 until its recent disappearance, I found Bill’s editorial practices far more enlightened, engaging and endearing than those of any still-extant US-based publications with which I was or had been involved, for his scheme of priorities always kept the music first. His best successors at CODA always maintained that practice.
    As eccentrically incendiary as he can be in conversation, I have never failed to enjoy the process, and I have always emerged from a round of banter involving Bill feeling invigorated, intimidated, intellectually challenged and, invariably, respectfully appreciated, if not always agreed with.
    Bill Smith, I salute you!

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