Diana Krall and George Benson were among those celebrated this weekend at an inaugural smooth jazz awards gala.
The Nanaimo, B.C.-born Krall was a three-time winner at the inaugural Canadian Smooth Jazz Awards Sunday night. The singer won trophies for best album (The Girl in the Other Room), best female vocalist and songwriter of the year (Narrow Daylight), which she shared with her husband Elvis Costello for writing the tune. She also won a Juno Award earlier this month for best jazz vocal album.
Other winners included singer Marc Jordan, guitarist Rik Emmett and the Clayton-Scott Group.
Organizers presented the George Benson Lifetime Achievement Award to its namesake, the Grammy-winning American singer and guitarist. In the future, the honour will be presented "to musical pioneers in the smooth jazz format."
Hosted by jazz flutist Alexander Zonjic – who was also nominated for three awards – the ceremony took place in Oakville, located 35 km southwest of Toronto. The awards, spearheaded by Hamilton radio station Wave FM and the website smoothjazznow.com, will be an annual event, with winners chosen by the public via online voting.
Smooth jazz is considered a sub-genre of jazz that denotes a fusion with pop or R&B music.