Jazz legend Oliver Jones honoured at City Hall ceremony

Photo by Patrick Lejtenyi

Montreal jazz legend Oliver Jones was honoured at city hall this morning.

The soon-to-be-80-year-old pianist first performed in front of an audience at age five and, along with the late Oscar Peterson, is considered among the city's greatest jazz performers.

Oliver Jones says he doesn't know why exactly he was being so honoured for doing something he loves so much.

But the hundreds of people who packed the lobby of City Hall, including mayor Denis Coderre, certainly did.

Jones was made an honourary citizen of the city he was born in in 1934. That's just the latest in a string of honours bestowed on him, including honourary doctorates from four universities, an Order of Canada, a Juno and a Felix award.

Jones gave a short performance and remained his customary humble self after the ceremony.

"I have received encouragement and so many wonderful, wonderful honours from the city itself, and for them I'm eternally grateful," he said. "Most of all, I'm thinking of how proud my parents would be. That's the very first thing that came to my mind. And I thank all of Montreal for being there, encouraging me over the years."

Jones will perform at the Jazz Fest on July 5.

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