Jim Galloway receives the Oscar Peterson Award
Jim Galloway is the 27th artist to receive the Oscar Peterson Award, which is presented posthumously. The prize was created on the 10th anniversary of the Festival in 1989 to salute a Canadian musician who has made outstanding contributions to jazz in this country and for the quality of his art.
Recognized as one of the world’s premiere soprano saxophonists, Jim Galloway built his reputation with a joyous, lyrical style and his love of swing, along with a gift for dissolving the boundaries between traditional and modern jazz. Born in 1936 in Scotland, he studied at the Glasgow School of Fine Arts (1954-1958), he started off playing the clarinet, moving on to alto saxophone, followed by baritone saxophone. He moved to Toronto in 1964. He joined the Metro Stompers in 1966 and, two years later, became its leader for the ensuing 20 years. In the ’70s, Jim Galloway played in the clubs of Toronto alongside an innumerable gallery of U.S. jazz veterans, including Buck Clayton, Wild Bill Davison, Vic Dickenson, Jay McShann and Buddy Tate. He launched a number of international tours, sometimes accompanied by major fellow musicians, sometimes solo, building a reputation as one of the premiere soprano saxophonists in the popular vein. His album Walking on Air (1979) won the 1980 Juno Award for Best Jazz Album. In 1979, Galloway introduced his Toronto group, the Wee Big Band, a 17-piece orchestra dedicated to the music of the jazz and swing groups of the ’30s and ’40s. From 1981 to 1987, Galloway was host and director of Toronto Alive!, on radio CKFM. He was also booking agent for a number of Toronto jazz clubs including the Café des Copains (1983-1991) and its successor, the Montréal Bistro. He also co-founded the du Maurier Downtown Jazz Festival (now the TD Toronto Jazz Festival). Thanks to his many collaborations with the greatest names in jazz and his globetrotting travel, Jim was a fantastic artistic director of the Festival from 1987 until his retirement in 2009. A man beloved by all who met and knew him, he saw the good in everyone and always had a smile on his face. Jim Galloway lived life his way. He passed away in Toronto on December 30, 2014.
As recipient of the Oscar Peterson Award, Jim Galloway follows in the footsteps of Ron Di Lauro (2014), Alain Caron (2013), Peter Appleyard (2012), Jean-Pierre Zanella (2011), Don Thompson (2010), Susie Arioli (2009), Dave Young (2008), François Bourassa (2007), Yannick Rieu (2006), Bernard Primeau (2005), Diana Krall (2004), Kenny Wheeler (2003), Lorraine Desmarais (2002), Moe Kofman (2001), Charles Biddle (2000), Maynard Ferguson (1999), Guy Nadon (1998), Rob McConnell (1997), Nelson Symonds (1996), Michel Donato (1995), Paul Bley (1994), Fraser MacPherson (1993), Vic Vogel (1992), UZEB (1991), Oliver Jones (1990) and, of course, Oscar Peterson (1989).
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