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July 20, 2007

Saxophonist Eli Bennett Wins Oscar Peterson Grant

Written by
cindy mcleod

jazz news, Canada


Eli Bennett
Oscar Peterson Grant

Bennett Will Attend Humber College Jazz Program This Fall

Eli Bennett, a gifted young tenor saxophonist who hails from Vancouver, has won the Oscar Peterson Grant for Jazz Performance from the Hnatyshyn Foundation, a private charity.

Bennett will receive one of eight $10,000 scholarships awarded to exceptional young Canadians in post-secondary performing arts training programs.

The Hnatyshyn Foundation was established by the late Right Honourable Ramon John Hnatyshyn, Canada’s twenty-fourth Governor General. The Foundation supports both emerging and established Canadian artists, with the Developing Artists Grants program extended to students of a variety of disciplines, as well as two annual prizes for each a mid-career artist and for a mid-career curator of contemporary visual art.

Although only 18 years old, Eli Bennett is well on his way to establishing himself as a major force in Canadian jazz. The Vancouver native is enrolled at Toronto’s Humber College Bachelor of Applied Music program in jazz performance and music composition this fall.

Eli has performed at many jazz festivals including the 2006 Ottawa International Jazz Festival where he played with the CBC Galaxie Rising Stars and the 2006 Telluride Jazz Festival, where he performed with the prestigious Telluride Student All-Stars Jazz Ensemble. In both 2006 and 2007 he was selected for the Gibson/Baldwin GRAMMY Jazz Ensembles program.

Among the many awards and scholarships Bennett has claimed are MusicFest Canada’s Rico Golden Reed Award (2005) for best student saxophonist and the Yamaha Kando Award (2007) for most outstanding young musician. Eli’s composition, Mistaken Perception, won the 2007 DownBeat Student Music Award for best original high-school composition.

The Hnatyshyn Foundation jazz jury is composed of leading Canadian jazz musicians, saxophonist Christine Jensen, drummer Barry Elmes and bassist André Lachance.

for more info visit www.elibennett.com

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