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06 Jul 12

Kusturica Receives Music Award in Montreal

International Jazz Festival in Montreal awards Kusturica the Antonio Carlos Jobim Award for his influence on modern jazz and crossover genres.

Nemanja Cabric
BIRN Belgrade
Emir Kustirica at Festival Internacional de Cine en Guadalajara | Photo by Wikimedia commons

“From his films bathed in a pervasive soundtrack to onstage performances accompanied by the formidable No Smoking Orchestra, Kusturica has created a unique self-identified musical landscape at the crossroads of Romany influences, East European heritage, electronica explorations and explosive Gypsy punk rock,” the jury of the International Jazz Festival in Montreal says on its website.

Established in 2004 the Antonio Carlos Jobim Award is awarded to an artist distinguished in the field of world music whose influence on the evolution of jazz and cultural crossover is widely recognized.

Nine artists have already received the award. Besides Kusturica, these have been Youssou N’Dour (2011), Richard Bona (2010), Toots & The Maytals (2009), Gilberto Gill (2008), Angélique Kidjo (2007), Salif Keita (2006), Khaled (2005) and Ibrahim Ferrer (2004).

The award was presented to Kusturica in Montreal on Friday on the occasion of the Festival's 25th anniversary.

“Playing guitar or banjo, he has accompanied his No Smoking Orchestra on tour around the world and together they’ve made over 10 albums, all Gypsy/electro/rock gems,” the jury noted.

Receiving the award, Kusturca said it was especially important to him because he was being awarded for the crossover genre that had become the trademark of his No Smoking Orchestra.

“Crossover has made jazz vital, because mixing genres makes music alive. Pure genre music cannot survive,” Kusturica said.  

Kusturica and his No Smoking Orchestra held a concert at International Jazz Festival Montreal on July 5.

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