STING AND WAYNE SHORTER AWARDED THE 2017 POLAR MUSIC PRIZE BY HIS MAJESTY KING CARL XVI GUSTAF OF SWEDEN WITH CITATIONS READ BY JOSÉ FELICIANO AND ESPERANZA SPALDING.

Stockholm, 15 June:  This evening, at a gala ceremony in the Stockholm Concert Hall, Sting, the internationally renowned singer-songwriter and composer, and Wayne Shorter, the globally revered saxophonist and composer, received their Polar Music Prizes from His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustav of Sweden. The citation for Wayne Shorter was read by Grammy award-winning jazz musician Esperanza Spalding and the citation for Sting was presented by worldwide acclaimed guitarist and singer José Feliciano, who also performed live. 

The 2017 Polar Music Prize Laureates were visibly moved by their citations and the special arrangements of their music, performed by a sparkling array of artists, including Gregory Porter.

Sting, accompanied by Trudie Styler, said in his acceptance speech:

“I am deeply honoured to be here with all of you this evening. I am well aware of the prestigious history of this award: the extraordinary talents of those who have preceded me and their significant contributions to the world of music.
So I am both grateful and somewhat bemused by my inclusion here. 
“I’m standing alongside Wayne Shorter, a man whose music and philosophy I have admired for many, many years. Also Mr. José Feliciano whose influence on my own music both as a singer and guitarist has gone unsaid, until now.

“What have I learned as a musician?  The most significant piece of musical advice I was ever given was from the great arranger Gil Evans, who told me this, “Sting”, he said. “there is no such thing as a wrong note. It is always the note that follows, that will define whether the first note was wrong or not.”

“Sting went on to say that his own ‘nugget of musical truth’ is that “in the composition of music, silence is every bit as important as sound. Equally important to note value, timbre and pitch.”

Wayne Shorter, in his acceptance speech said:

“My appreciation for the knowledge of your country’s contribution to humanity awakened when I was quite young. While watching the films of Ingmar Bergman, and the artistry of your great actors and actresses, I realized how freely your country opened its heart to the world long before the phrase “Artists and Doctors without Borders” came into being. Thank you for this most prestigious honour!”

During the ceremony and banquet international and Swedish stars performed in tribute to the Laureates including: Gregory Porter, José Feliciano, Esperanza Spalding, Ane Brun, Jennie Abrahamson, Eva Dahlgren, Nils Landgren,The Tallest Man On Earth, Linnea Olsson, Josefin Runsteen, and saxophone players Lennart Åberg, Fredrik Ljungkvist and Marius Neset. The Award ceremony was hosted by Boel Adler, the  Swedish mezzo soprano and music journalist.

Press pictures available on Flickr. 

Videos on Youtube.

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