Although the Juno Awards — Canada’s biggest night for music — had to have a subdued celebration of their 50th anniversary on the weekend due to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, one Winnipeg artist is loving the excitement around winning her first-ever Juno.
“The most exciting part for me is just having friends and people from my whole life reach out from across Canada and other countries as well — the Junos are known internationally,” jazz guitarist Jocelyn Gould told 680 CJOB.
“The thing about the Junos is that lots of people watch them, even if they aren’t jazz fans, so it’s just been so exciting to connect with so many people over the past few days.”
Gould, whose debut solo record, Elegant Traveler, picked up the award for Jazz Album of the Year: Solo, was born and raised in Winnipeg, before heading south to the U.S. five years ago to pursue her Master’s degree.
She’s currently a professor and head of the guitar department at Humber College in Toronto, but her musical journey has taken her all over North America.
“It was while I was living in New York that we recorded this album,” she said. “It was just a bunch of songs I had written over the years and it was sort of about living all the places I’ve lived, which have been plenty — a story about the places I’ve been.
“I’m still a Winnipegger at heart, always, and I get made fun of for my accent.”
Gould, who is also nominated for a 2021 Western Canadian Music Award in the Jazz Artist of the Year category, is known for her all-smiles stage persona — something she said shines through due to her joy of performing.
“I think you have to have a pretty deep love of music in order to pursue it as a career, because there can be so many ups and downs and so many uncertainties,” she said.
“I think that’s the only way you can do it, to have a deep love for it.”