The recipients of the 2018 Parliamentary Jazz Awards were announced last night on Tuesday 16th May. The Awards, organised by the All Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group (APPJAG) with the support of PizzaExpress Live.
Northern successes in the Parliamentary Jazz Awards
Venue: Jazz at the Lescar
Instrumentalist: Arun Ghosh
Media: Lance Liddle
Full listings of the awards
Featuring a broad array of jazz talent from within the industry, the awards are sponsored by PizzaExpress Live. During the ceremony, award presenters comprised of British politicians and home-grown UK jazz talent including Co-Chairs of the All Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group, Kelvin Hopkins MP and Lord Colwyn; Elaine Delmar, Jon Newey, Editor in Chief of Jazzwise, Deirdre Cartwright, Sarah Champion MP, Chi Onwurah MP, Ian Shaw, John Fordham, Baroness Coussins and Saad Gantar (Regional Operations Director Pizza Express).
Compére for the evening was Ross Dines of PizzaExpress Live, “This has been a really strong year for the Parliamentary Jazz Awards in terms of talent and nominations. The well deserved recipients are a veritable who’s who of names that have made a real impact on the music and helped make the UK one of the world’s leading jazz territories”. A big hand to the Parliamentary Band on the evening; Max Brittain, Alison Rayner, Henry Lowther, Fraser Smith and Sophie Alloway.
The full list of recipients is as follows:
Jazz Vocalist of the Year: Ian Shaw
Ian Shaw is one of the most distinctive, original and creative jazz singers that the UK has produced. His recorded output, now numbering 15 albums to his own name, includes three US releases; his most recent album, “Shine Sister Shine” (Jazz Village) has received universal praise, building on the success of “The Theory Of Joy”, also on Jazz Village.
Alongside solo shows and performances with his regular piano trio, Shaw is also much in demand as the featured soloist with big bands and orchestras both in the UK and internationally. He is also a talented pianist, song writer, presenter and record producer.
“The work of an impassioned and versatile artist…” (Guardian on “Shine Sister Shine”)
“A brilliant vocal chameleon . . . there’s actually more heart in Ian Shaw’s cleverness than in many singers who wear their hearts conspicuously on their sleeves” (The Telegraph on “The Theory Of Joy”)
Jazz Instrumentalist of the Year: Arun Ghosh
Arun Ghosh is a clarinetist, composer and music educator.
Described by Ravi Shankar as a ‘natural born improviser’, he is a renowned innovator of the modern Indo Jazz style. A passionate, dynamic and eloquent performer, Arun’s playing combines South Asian raags (scales) and taals (rhythms), with the musical inspirations of his British-Asian and northern upbringing; jazz, rock, classical, folk, hip-hop and dance cultures. Based in London and Manchester, Arun has released four albums on Camoci Records; his latest, the autobiographical “but where are you really from?” was released in October 2017, accompanied by an extensive national tour in 2017/18.
Jazz Album of the Year: Denys Baptiste – “The Late Trane”
The Late Trane is the powerful and commanding new album from British saxophonist Denys Baptiste, a giant of the UK jazz scene. Reimagining and reworking ten carefully chosen composition from John Coltrane’s late music (from 1963 – 1967) with a fresh and modern new interpretation, The Late Trane perfectly balances Denys Baptiste’s unique artistic vision with the visceral emotions and cosmic references that encompasses Coltrane’s late music.
“With Late Trane, Denys Baptiste has achieved something special and important. He has opened another rare window onto one of the greatest moments in jazz history. He’s made a beautiful and welcoming record that I’m sure will guide others towards those late 60s Impulse masterworks.
Denys has once again taken his time. But it’s been worth the wait”. Jez Nelson
Jazz Ensemble of the Year: ARQ – Alison Rayner Quintet
Alison Rayner formed ARQ after 35 years as a professional bass player, to develop her compositions and create a group sound.
She recorded her first album in 2013 when she was 60; ARQ is now acclaimed on the UK jazz scene following major touring for five years and fantastic reviews for their two albums. They toured Germany this autumn and release their third album next year.
It is still unusual in instrumental jazz groups to see a balance of men and women playing together; women can still be side-lined and older women, in particular, are often marginalised. Great to see a refreshing change with ARQ.
Alison Rayner has just been nominated in Best Double Bass Player category of the British Jazz Awards 2018.
ARQ is: Alison Rayner double bass, Buster Birch drums and percussion, Deirdre Cartwright guitar, Diane McLoughlin saxophones, Steve Lodder piano
Purposeful, full-toned and melodic… a beautifully integrated band ****
Dave Gelly, The Observer
Inspired by real-world ideas, people and situations but infused with the kind of heady imagination that transforms their resonances into a series of vivacious musical adventures. *****
Roger Thomas, BBC Music Magazine
Jazz Newcomer of the Year: Shirley Tetteh
Having discovered jazz with the help Tomorrow’s Warriors, Shirley Tetteh has continued to explore its rich heritage and tradition, citing influences as diverse as contemporary guitarists Gilad Hekselman and Julian Lage right through to jazz guitar pioneers Charlie Christian and Wes Montgomery. Shirley has performed with the likes of alto saxophonists Nathaniel Facey and Jason Yarde, clarinetist Arun Ghosh, vibraphonist Lewis Wright, and toured with Courtney Pine as part of the fourth Jazz Directors series earlier this year. She is a member of the Jazz FM nominated septet Nerija, Brownswood affiliated Maisha and Casssie Kinoshi’s SEED ensemble, and currently holds the guitar chair in Jazz Jamaica. A rising star in the UK jazz scene, Shirley is one to watch!’’
Jazz Venue of the Year: Jazz At The Lescar in Sheffield
Every week since January 2013, over 50 nights a year, Jazz At The Lescar have brought together musicians and audiences in a welcoming, friendly, and listening environment that allows artists to express themselves freely, and provides the opportunity for audiences to experience something out of the ordinary in the backroom of a pub in Sheffield, and occasionally at other ‘pop-up’ venues.
They are a small group of volunteers, mostly musicians from the Sheffield Jazz scene, focused on providing a platform for the very best musicians from around the North, the UK, and further afield. Our programming covers the full spectrum of music encompassed by jazz and improvised music, from the mainstream to the experimental, and its many varied intersections with other musical forms; always with an eye on quality.
They are non-profit, and all money taken at the box, apart from a small contribution to cover marketing, goes to the musicians. The core team are Jez Matthews, Hannah Brady, Rich Keates, and Helen Matthews, supported by an amazing bunch of people (including students from Sheffield University) who provide assistance on the nights, help with publicity, run the website, give us advice, and sell tickets. They couldn’t do it without the creative freedom offered by the team at the Lescar itself to promote the full wide range of music every week, and of course it wouldn’t happen at all without the incredible musicians and audiences who all bring their warmth, vibe and energy to make the magic happen, not least the pin-drop silence that happens for a bass solo or the whisper of a cymbal.
Jazz Media Award: Lance Liddle – Bebop Spoken Here
Lance Liddle is a retired saxophonist based in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Lance played along played alongside Sting in the Newcastle Big Band in the 1970s.
Lance Liddle has been a jazz fan and student of the music since he was 15 years of age attending concerts, festivals, and clubs and, of course, buying and, later, reviewing CDs on Bebop Spoken Here.
Lance Liddle started Bebop Spoken in 2008 with the sole purpose of “Updating the world about jazz in the northeast and updating the northeast about jazz in the world”; all done in a light-hearted manner and the Bebop Spoken Here is updated daily.
The Bebop Spoken Here team covers all genres and reviews most northeast gigs. The blog has 3.5 million page views and is ranked at number 3 in UK and number 26 in the world.
Jazz Education Award: Jean Toussaint
Born in the Caribbean, Toussaint grew up in St Thomas, the St Thomas of Rollins, and started playing sax in high school. After high school Toussaint attended the prestigious Berklee College of music in Boston USA.
While at Berklee, Toussaint was mentored by the great saxophonist/educator Billy Pierce. It was Pierce who recommended Toussaint to replace him in Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers in 1982. He stayed with the Messages for four and a half years, receiving international exposure.
Toussaint finally settled in London UK in the late eighties and has been a positive presence on the rich UK/European jazz scene since. He splits his time with live performances at festivals, clubs, concert halls everywhere and teaching and mentoring up and coming musicians in an effort to help keep jazz music alive.
His newly released 11th CD JT Allstar 6tet “Brother Raymond “is available and received glowing reviews in all the Jazz press. Toussaint and band will be on an extensive UK tour between September and December 2018
Services to Jazz Award: Jill Rodger
Jill joined Glasgow International Jazz Festival as Administrator at the beginning of 1990 – in the lead up to the Festival’s part in “Glasgow – European City of Culture”.
After 5 years in administration at a Scotch Whisky distillers this was a “baptism of fire” into the world of music events – and jazz in particular – Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, BB King, Maynard Ferguson and many, many more.
With promotion to General Manager in 1998 and then Festival Director in 2005 she has been at the helm of Glasgow’s longest running music festival for almost 15 years.
Special APPJAG Award: Gary Crosby OBE
Born in London of Jamaican parents, and the nephew of Jamaican jazz guitarist, Ernest Ranglin, Gary Crosby OBE is a towering figure in jazz who has been consistently at the forefront of the British jazz scene throughout a career that so far spans 40 years. In 1991 he co-founded Tomorrow’s Warriors with his partner, Janine Irons MBE to provide a platform for the nurture and development of aspiring young jazz talent, with a particular focus on musicians from the African diaspora and girls. Crosby’s exemplary efforts have been acknowledged with numerous awards, including an OBE for Services to Music in 2009.
Kelvin Hopkins MP, APPJAG Co-Chairman, said: “The Parliamentary Jazz Awards are a great way for MPs and Peers of all political parties to show their support for British jazz by recognising and honouring the amazing musical talent we have in our country. From established stars to fresh new talent, the range and diversity of this year’s winners shows the vibrancy and creativity of British jazz. We are extremely grateful once again to PizzaEpress Live for supporting the Awards.”
APPJAG currently has 80 members from the House of Commons and House of Lords across all political parties. Their aim is to encourage wider and deeper enjoyment of jazz, to increase Parliamentarians’ understanding of the jazz industry and issues surrounding it, to promote jazz as a musical form and to raise its profile inside and outside Parliament. The Group’s officers as at the 16th July 2018 are Co-Chairs, Kelvin Hopkins MP and Lord Colwyn, Secretary, Baroness Coussins, Vice Chairs, Alison Thewless MP and Sarah Champion MP, the Treasurer is Ian Paisley MP. Officers are: Lord Crathorne, John Mann MP and Sir Greg Knight MP. The Secretariat is Chris Hodgkins.
Notes to editors
The categories for the 2018 Awards reflect the ever-increasing scope of talent from within the UK’s jazz scene and include:
• Jazz Album of the Year (released in 2017 by a UK band or musicians)
• Jazz Vocalist of the Year (UK-based vocalist who impressed in 2017)
• Jazz Instrumentalist of the Year (UK-based musician who impressed in 2017)
• Jazz Ensemble of the Year (UK-based group who impressed in 2017)
• Jazz Venue of the Year (including jazz clubs, venues, festivals and promoters)
• Jazz Media Award (including broadcasters, journalists, magazines, blogs, listings and books)
• Jazz Education Award (to an educator or project for raising the standard of jazz education in the UK)
• Jazz Newcomer of the Year (UK-based artist, musician or group with a debut album released in 2017)
• Services to Jazz Award (to a living person for their outstanding contribution to jazz in the UK).
The awards have been running since 2005. APPJAG has 80 members from the House of Commons and House of Lords, across all political parties. Its aim is to encourage a wider and deeper enjoyment of jazz, to increase Parliamentarians’ understanding of the industry and issues surrounding it, as well as promoting jazz as a musical form, and to raise its profile both inside and outside of Parliament.