Two years ago, P.J. Perry was on the golf course when he received an unsolicited message from the Queen’s representative in Canada: the renowned saxophonist was being appointed into the Order of Canada.
“I don’t carry a cellphone normally so my brother’s phone rang an it was actually Ottawa phoning from the Governor General’s residence in Ottawa telling me that I had been appointed,” Perry said.
“Needless to say, a huge honour and I’m deeply grateful for it.”
The Order of Canada adds to Perry’s trove of honours accrued over his decades-long career as one of Canada’s most prominent jazz musicians, which include Juno Awards, honourary degrees and seven straight Critic’s Choice Awards for Best Alto Sax from Jazz Report magazine in the 1990s.
But Perry said the Order of Canada was “the last thing I would have ever expected.”
“I think it’s a fantastic thing that our government, that our county honours its artists this way,” he said.
“I understand scientists and doctors and pillars of industry getting awards but a lot of times musicians and artists get overlooked. I think Canada has a great reputation for honouring their artists.”
WHAT’S ON … P.J. Perry performs at the Lighthouse Bistro on Sunday, Aug. 12 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $30, $20 for students. Available from the venue at 250-754-3212, Fascinating Rhythm, or www.quadwranglemusic.com.