TORONTO (CelebrityAccess) — Jeremy Dutcher, the Toronto-based First Nation performer, composer, and classically trained operatic tenor has been named as the recipient of the 2018 Polaris Music Prize.
Dutcher’s debut album, Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa (Our Maliseet Songs) was recognized by a panel of Canadian journalists and music industry figures as the Best Canadian album of the year.
In Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa, Dutcher fused archival recordings from his community, the Tobique First Nation, with pop and classical influences. The album was performed both in both English and the Wolastoqey language, which is now spoken by just about 100 people.
Dutcher beat out competition that included albums such as Daniel Caesar’s Freudian, Alvvays’ Antisocialites, Jean-Michel Blais’s Dans ma main, Partner’s In Search Of Lost Time and U.S. Girls’ In a Poem Unlimited.
In addition to the recognition from his peers in the music industry, the Polaris Music Prize includes a $50,000 monetary reward. The nine other Short List nominees each received $3,000 courtesy of Slaight Music.
The Prize, which was presented by CBC Music, goes to the best Canadian album of the year based on artistic merit without regard to genre, sales history or label affiliation. It was determined by a Grand Jury of 11 music media professionals drawn from the greater Polaris jury pool of almost 200 writers, editors, broadcasters, DJs and personalities from across the country.
Held at the Carlu Theatre in downtown Toronto, the evening featured performances by eight of the 10 Polaris nominees. These included Jean-Michel Blais, Jeremy Dutcher, Hubert Lenoir, Pierre Kwenders, Partner, Snotty Nose Rez Kids, U.S. Girls, and Weaves.
Here’s Dutcher performing during the gala event.