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November 15, 2007

Calgary Jazz Musicians Nominated for Smooth Jazz Awards

Written by
cindy mcleod

jazz news, Canada

Pianist Kristian Alexandrov, Trumpeter Allistair Elliott Receive Nominations

Calgary will be well-represented at the 4th annual Canadian Smooth Jazz Awards in March, 2008, by two local jazz musicians who’ve been recognized with nominations for the prestigious awards.

Kristian Alexandrov has received a nomination for ‘Pianist of the Year’, while trumpeter/vocalist Allistair Elliott has been nominated for two awards, ‘Male Vocalist of the Year’ and ‘Wind Instrumentalist of the Year’. (although Elliott plays trumpet, there’s no category for such instrumentation, hence the “Wind” Instrumentalist nomination)

Nominated by a panel of industry and music experts, winners are chosen by way of an online public vote. To cast your vote for your favourite Smooth Jazz artists, visit the online poll at www.canadiansmoothjazzawards.com

The pair will travel to Mississauga, Ontario, to take part in the gala awards ceremony to be held Friday, March 7, 2008, at the Living Arts Centre. The ceremony will be hosted by veteran Smooth Jazz Broadcaster and musician Alexander Zonjic, and features performances by a full roster of guest artists, with Calgary’s Allistair Elliott sharing the bill with such greats as saxophonists Warren Hill and Richard Elliot, vocalist/pianist Carol Welsman, guitarists Dave Sereny and Les Sabler, vocalist Alfie Zappacosta, and more.

Born outside Belfast, Ireland, Allistair Elliott played classical trumpet as a youth, going on to graduate from Leeds College of Music. Since that time he’s built an impressive list of international performance credits touring Europe, Australia and Brazil with such greats as The Drifters, The Temptations, Lou Pride, John Dankworth, and The Supremes.

Now based in Calgary, Elliott performs/records with Tim Tamishiro, Livin’ In Swing, Steve Pineo, Amos Garrett, The Prime Time Big Band, The Big Beat Band, as well as fronting his own group. His composition credits include numerous t.v. and radio jingles such as working.com and the National Post and the film Friend of the Family, where he also appeared, performing two original tunes. Allistair has just release his second CD, Urban Nights, on Chronograph Records. www.allistairelliott.com

Born and raised in Sofia, Bulgaria, Kristian Alexandrov received his first drum set for his fourth birthday and began classical piano classes. At the age of six, he was accepted into the prestigious L. Pipkov School of Music where he completed his musical education, twelve years of intense training as a pianist and percussionist. He came to Canada in 1995 at the age of nineteen.

Since that time, he’s become a sought-after composer, performer, clinician, studio musician and producer. For over a decade he’s worked as Decidedly Jazz Danceworks’ pianist and musical director for their touring productions, the 2000 production Evanescence based on music from his debut CD, Funked-Up Jazz. Following releases include Perched on the Edge of a Quarter Note (2002) and Pivoting Echoes (2003).

Alexandrov has performed and/or recorded with such giants as Randy Brecker, Alain Caron (UZEB), Bob Mintzer, Jens Lindeman & Brassfire, George Koller, Davide Direnzo, Senator Tommy Banks, Oscar Lopez, Terrain, Jackie Richardson, Big Rude Jake, Robert Burton Hubele, Shannon Gaye, Butterfinger and Tariq, among the many.

Relocating to Vancouver in January of this year, Kristian produced and arranged trumpeter Elliott’s two-time nominated work Urban Nights, co-wrote and produced vocalist Shannon Gaye’s Pretty Pictures, and is writing & producing his latest original project with his band F.U.J.A. (the Funked Up Jazz Ambassadors). www.kristianalexandrov.com


International Instrumentalist of the Year
Rick Braun
Richard Elliot
Gregg Karukas
Jeff Lorber
Peter White

International Vocalist of the Year
Randy Crawford
Ryan Shaw
Slim Man
Kelly Sweet

Female Vocalist of the Year
Julie Crochetiere
Molly Johnson
Diana Krall
Sophie Milman
Carol Welsman

Male Vocalist of the Year
Michael Buble
Gregory Charles
**Allistair Elliott
Chris Smith
Alfie Zappacosta

Guitarist of the Year
James Bryan
Jesse Cook
Brian Hughes
Les Sabler
Dave Sereny

Wind Instrumentalist of the Year
Demo Cates sax
**Allistair Elliott trumpet
Warren Hill sax
Darren Rahn sax
Alexander Zonjic flute

Keyboardist/Pianist of the Year
**Kristian Alexandrov
Don Breithaupt
Eddie Bullen
Rob deBoer
Stan Fomin

Album of the Year
Four80East – En Route- Native Language
Darren Rahn – Once in a Lifetime – Nugroove Records
Les Sabler – Sweet Drive – Music Force Group Nashville
Dave Sereny – Take This Ride- Nugroove Records
Carol Welsman – Carol Welsman – Justin Time Records
Alfie Zappacosta – BonaFide – Rawlco

Best Original Composition of the Year
Michael Buble/Alan Chan/Amy Foster-Gillies Everything
Gregory Charles Promise that you Love me
Julie Crochetiere Precious Love
Marc Jordan/Steve MacKinnon Something in the Air Between Us
Alfie Zappacosta/Gerald O’Brien Dreams will come true

Broadcaster of the Year
John Beaudin California 103 Calgary Alberta
Adrian Bell Wave 94.7FM Hamilton/Toronto, Ont.
Walle Larrson CoolFM Winnipeg, Manitoba
Cameron Smith Smooth JazzTV& Myjazznetwork.com
Alexander Zonjic WVMV Detroit, Michigan

George Benson Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient
Lee Ritenour – guitarist

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