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Concordians triumph at 2020 Junos

Singers, songwriters and conductor are among winners and nominees
July 14, 2020
By Marco Buttice

After the 2020 Juno Awards ceremony in March was called off due to the COVID-19 pandemic, winners were announced in a special online celebration on June 29. Among this year’s winners and nominees are a number of Concordia alumni.


Dawn Tyler Watson, BFA 94, was awarded Blues Album of the Year for her latest record, Mad Love. Born in Manchester, England and raised in Southwestern Ontario, she moved to Montreal to study jazz at Concordia.

Her talent has earned her various accolades and she was named “One of Canada’s true Blues treasures” by Blues Music Magazine. Watson’s Mad Love album consists of 11 original songs, as well as a Big Lee Dowell cover, all with a vintage R&B sound.

She reacted to her big win on Twitter, saying: “I am profoundly grateful, super proud and REALLY excited right now!”

Conductor Kent Nagano, LLD 19, won Classical Album of the Year: Large Ensemble for his work with the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal for The John Adams Album. They were also nominated in the same category for Chopin: Concertos Nos. 1 & 2, which featured pianist Charles Richard-Hamelin.

Nagano has served as musical director of the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal since 2006 and received an honorary doctorate from Concordia in 2019 in recognition of his contributions to classical music.

The genre has been a central part of his life after discovering Bach as a child: “The first chord hits me with full force, bouncing off the walls of the nave and filling the entire space within seconds... I now think back to that time, remembering that first chord, which shook me so deeply half a century ago.”


Tim Baker, BA 04, was nominated for Songwriter of the Year for his debut solo album, Forever Overhead. Baker is the former frontman of Hey Rosetta!, an indie rock band from St. John’s, N.L.

Another nomination for Songwriter of the Year went to Joseph Baron Grass, BFA 07, who was recognized for co-writing “Broken”, “Dream for Dreaming”, and “Here Comes the River” on Montreal artist Patrick Watson’s latest album, Wave.


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