The recipients of the 2021 Parliamentary Jazz Awards were announced on Monday 26th July at 19:00
The Parliamentary Jazz Awards are organised by the All Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group (APPJAG) with the support of PizzaExpress Live. The Awards celebrate and recognise the vibrancy, diversity, talent and breadth of the jazz scene throughout the United Kingdom.
The award categories reflect the ever-increasing scope of talent from within the UK’s jazz scene: Jazz Vocalist of the Year; Jazz Instrumentalist of the Year; Jazz Album of the Year; Jazz Ensemble of the Year; Jazz Newcomer of the Year; Jazz Venue of the Year; Jazz Media Award; Jazz Education Award; the Services to Jazz Award and the Lockdown Innovation Award.
John Spellar MP, Co-Chair of APPJAG, said: “These awards are a great opportunity to celebrate the talents and energies of the great musicians, educators, promoters, record labels, jazz organisations, blogs, jazz magazines and journalists who kept jazz flourishing, in spite of the challenges they faced in 2020. In a year of hardship, unparalleled in the last 76 years, these shortlists demonstrate the wealth of talent and commitment that exists in the British jazz scene. Now in their 16th year, the Parliamentary Jazz Awards honour the best of British jazz. MPs and Peers in the All Party Group are grateful to PizzaExpress Live for supporting the event.”
Chi Onwurah MP, Deputy Chair of APPJAG: “This has been another 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”.
The full list of recipients is as follows:
Jazz Vocalist of the Year
Multi award-winning /nominated vocalist, lyricist and producer, Georgia Mancio, is one of Europe’s most respected, adventurous and multi-faceted new artists. From 2010-2014 Georgia produced her now iconic ReVoice! Festival in association with the Pizza Express Jazz Club. She presented over 160 artists across 5 multi-venue editions and performed 44 sets herself. Since 2017 Georgia has produced 3 editions of her new series, Hang, showcasing her ever-evolving creativity as a curator. Other credits include 2019 BBC Proms and nominations in the Parliamentary, British Jazz and Urban Music Awards.
Georgia’s release, Finding Home (2019), was co-produced with pianist/composer Kate Williams and her acclaimed Four Plus Three ensemble with special guest classical guitarist John Williams; it won Best Album in 2020 Parliamentary Jazz Awards.
In partnership with Grammy-winning pianist/composer Alan Broadbent they launched their first album Songbook (2017), at a sold out headline show at Ronnie Scott’s (“unequivocally, one of the gigs of the year” Jazzwise) with performances across Europe and the US. This was followed in March 2021 with Quiet Is The Star, the second in partnership Alan Broadbent.
The strengthening bond between these performers and songwriters is sealed by the publication of their first book – The Songs of Alan Broadbent and Georgia Mancio, featuring all their 33 originals, co-written between 2014 and 2020.
Jazz Instrumentalist of the Year
Award-winning saxophonist and composer Nubya Garcia studied under pianist Nikki Yeoh at Camden Music, before joining Gary Crosby’s Tomorrow’s Warriors in her late teens and completed her training at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music. Her debut EP, NUBYA’s 5IVE, released in 2017, was hailed as “exceptional” by the Vinyl Factor. She is a member of the contemporary septet, Nerija, who received the Parliamentary Jazz Awards Newcomer of the Year in 2018, and has toured extensively internationally, playing venues and festivals across Latin America, Asia, Europe, Australia, and the United States. Garcia’s reputation as a DJ is also burgeoning; she currently presents a hit radio residency on NTS Radio.
In 2018, Garcia won the Jazz FM Breakthrough Act of the Year Award and the Sky Arts Breakthrough Act of the Year Award, followed by the 2019 Jazz FM UK Jazz Act of the Year Award.
Nubya Garcia released her debut album SOURCE, released in August 2020 on Concord Jazz. The album was announced after the release of lead single “Pace” and a rousing live performance on the BBC’s 2020 Glastonbury Experience. The Source has been shortlisted for the Mercury Prize
Jazz Album of the Year
Callum Au and Claire Martin “Songs and Stories” Stunt Records
Two leading lights of the British jazz scene: composer, arranger and trombonist, Callum Au, and internationally admired singer, Claire Martin, join forces for a new album, “Songs and Stories” on the Copenhagen-based Stunt label. “The album, featuring a total of 82 exceptional musicians, from the UK, Europe and the USA, is a stunningly arranged selection of jazz standards and American Songbook classics, given compelling, sensitive, modern orchestral and big band treatments, whilst drawing extensive style and influence from the definitive peaks of this genre in past eras.
This is Claire Martin’s first big band or large orchestral recording – and she is thrilled to be working with Callum Au, who she regards as a “major talent”, with many great successes ahead of him. The album features a superb line-up of soloists and lead musicians including: Ryan Quigley, Andy Wood, Freddie Gavita, Nadim Teimoori, Sam Mayne, Louis Dowdeswell, Andy Martin, Matt Skelton and John Mills – plus conductor Mark Nightingale.
Jazz Ensemble of the Year
KOKOROKOKOKOROKO are an all star band from the London jazz community led by Sheila Maurice-Grey on trumpet featuring saxophonist Cassie Kinoshi, trombonist Richie Seivewright, Oscar Jerome, guitar, Yohan Kebede, keys drums Ayo Salawu on drums and percussionist Onome Edgeworth; Kokoroko are on a mission to fashion new languages using the medium of Afrobeat.
In February 2019 they were named “ones to watch” by the Guardian, after their track ‘Abusey Junction’ garnered 23 million views on YouTube. In February 2020 they won ‘Best Group’ at the Urban Music Awards. In September 2020 they played BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall“This is not idle music!” says Sheila Maurice-Grey, reflecting on the rich history of sounds that have inspired the band, whether it’s the social commentary, the political stance of acts like the Black President, or the high power energy of Afrobeat nights.
Jazz Newcomer of the Year
Jas Kayser is 24-year-old drummer, composer, band leader from the UK currently based between London and Panama City.
Jas’s most recent release is her new Grace; this release has gained attention and support from London’s impressive jazz scene such as Jamie Cullum, BBC 3, Jazz FM and Jazzwise.
Jas completed her undergraduate and master’s degrees at Berklee College of Music whilst studying and playing alongside mentors such as Terri Lyne Carrington, Danilo Perez, Ralph Peterson and Neal Smith. During this time Jas began to explore the common grounds between Jazz and Afro-beat which led to her creating her original sound and compositions.
Jas has featured in bands with leading British lights Nubya Garcia, Ashley Henry and Jorja Smith as well as American drummer Ralph Peterson’s Big Band and had a starring role on drums alongside Lenny Kravitz in the official video for his song Low.
Jas has also presented her original band at Jazz Re:Fest 2020 Online, London Jazz Festival 2019, RISE concert in Boston supporting Terri Lyne Carrington and Panama Jazz Festival for the past 2 years.
Additionally she has also played with various bands and artists like Jacques Schwartz-Bart, Donald Harrison in the Ralph Peterson Big Band and Luciana Souza at venues around the US such as Scullers Jazz Club, Rockwood Music Hall and Newport Jazz Festival, among others. Jas Kayser has recently been appointed NYJO London Intermediate Music Director.
Jazz Venue of the Year
Peggy’s Skylight – Live Jazz and Kitchen, Nottingham, founded by a pianist and a singing chef, Paul Deats, is based in Nottingham’s Creative Quarter.
Their live acts reflect the diversity of the UK and international music scene, showcasing the best jazz, blues, soul, world and folk artists. All their dishes are prepared using fresh, locally sourced seasonal produce wherever possible. Many of the recipes are based on Paul Deats childhood experiences growing up in Iran. We’ve just begun to explore the wealth of delights that Middle Eastern cuisine has to offer.
Peggy’s Skylight recently received cultural recovery funding support from the Department for Culture, Media & Sport and Arts Council England to support jobs, musicians and suppliers over the coming six months.
Jazz Media Award
Women In Jazz Media
Women in Jazz Media is a not for profit organization created to help support and create an equal, diverse, safe and healthy jazz industry. They are a team of writers, photographers, painters, musicians, presenters, journalists, producers, editors and more and are based in China, Spain, Germany, Scotland and England but have roots in France, Italy, Jamaica, Poland, Mauritius and beyond and collectively speak 8 languages.
Jazz represents freedom of expression and yet historically, women, people of colour, the LGBTQ community and many more have not been given equal opportunities in the Jazz industry. Women in Jazz Media explore a wide variety of initiatives to help increase the gender and diversity balance to ensure everyone has a voice. They look for platforms and where no platforms exist and create ones to ensure everyone can be represented. They published their first entirely female led and managed magazine, platforming women on International Women’s Day March 2021. Actively seeking out existing female writers to support and promote their work they also search for new female writers and offer support through their mentoring scheme. Working with partner publications and organisations, they explore the diversity of their content and offer support to increase representation where needed. Through a podcast series, they explore the careers of industry specialists, challenges and inspirations and discuss what actions they can all take to support and encourage a more diverse jazz industry.
Jazz Education Award
The Original UK Summer School
The Original Jazz Summer School based in the UK since 1966 has consistently delivered the highest quality jazz tuition one can find. It began in Barry in South Wales and has had several homes over the decades, including Porthcawl, The University of Glamorgan and Trinity College of Music, London. The course returned to South Wales in the summer of 2012 where it is hosted by The Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama. This college is a beautiful state of the art facility which has recently benefited from a £22.5m investment. It backs onto the picturesque Bute Park and is only a 10 minute walk from the lively Cardiff City Centre.
Course directors, the late Dave Wickins and Buster Birch have had many years of experience running the Summer School, and during this time have assembled a world renowned team of tutors.
The course is open to all instrumentalists of all ages and levels of experience. They also welcome singers, who are specifically catered for by their vocal coach.
Launched in 2021, The Online UK Jazz School is a year-round resource providing live online master classes and short courses for all instruments by jazz professors and lecturers from some of the UK’s finest music conservatoires. The Online UK Jazz School enables beginner and intermediate musicians from anywhere in the world to study with the finest jazz educators in the UK.
Services to Jazz Award
Norma Winstone MBE In a career spanning more than 50 years as a vocalist and lyricist has worked include Michael Garrick, John Surman, Michael Gibbs, Mike Westbrook, as well as pianist John Taylor. Norma Winstone was born in London and first attracted attention in the late sixties when she shared the bill at Ronnie Scott’s club with Roland Kirk.
Although she was known initially for evolving her own wordless approach to improvisation, her extraordinary versatility means she is equally at home with the standards repertoire, performing with small groups, orchestras and big bands.
She has worked extensively with many of the major European names and visiting Americans. In the late seventies she joined pianist John Taylor and trumpeter Kenny Wheeler to form the group Azimuth, which was described by Richard Williams of The Times as “one of the most imaginatively conceived and delicately balanced of all contemporary chamber jazz groups“.
Her voice became an important part of the sound of Kenny Wheeler’s big band, and can be heard on the ECM double CD ‘Music for Large and Small Ensembles‘ which also features John Abercrombie, Dave Holland, Peter Erskine and John Taylor.
With Italian pianist Glauco Venier and German saxophonist/ bass clarinettist Klaus Gesing she has recorded four albums for the ECM label, the first of which, “Distances” was nominated for a Grammy. Norma also works with the Nikki Iles’ group “The Printmakers” comprising some of the UK’s finest musicians.
Recent Awards are: the Lifetime Achievement Jazz Medal from the Worshipful Company of Musicians (2010, Parliamentary Jazz Award for Best Vocalist (2015), Jazz FM Award for Vocalist of the year (2017)
Lockdown Innovation Award
The Globe – Newcastle upon Tyne
The Globe in Newcastle upon Tyne is the first bar and music venue in the UK to be owned by a cooperative committed to music. The Globe was bought in 2014 following a successful community share issue. Over 225 people bought shares and became members of the cooperative, and more are welcome to join. Jazz.Coop provides an extensive range of courses, workshops, jam sessions and projects.
Their determination to keep live music going during the pandemic has been rewarded with a national award. The Globe was declared the Small Community Co-op of the Year 2021.
Dave Parker, co-chair of Jazz.Coop, said, “We’re delighted with this award because it recognises the vision, determination and hard work of members, volunteers and everyone else who helped keep us going during the pandemic, providing income for musicians, employment for staff, and joy for lovers of live music. Eight years ago, The Globe was a failing pub. Today it is an award-winning music venue and learning centre owned and run by a co-operative. We worked with musicians to develop live streaming, and soon decided this was the way forward. The Globe was refurbished, and new equipment was installed by volunteers. We were fortunate in accessing funding from Power to Change and the Culture Recovery Fund.”
Cooperative ownership ensures that The Globe is a place where people can enjoy live music in a relaxed environment and where musicians can share and develop their skills.
Special APPJAG Awards
Richard ‘Digby’ Fairweather was a librarian before becoming a professional musician and retains an interest in jazz history and bibliography. A trumpeter and cornetist influenced by classical jazz artists such as Louis Armstrong, he started leading his own bands in the early 1970s. He continues to play and has collaborated with many celebrated UK artists over the years including George Chisholm, Alex Welsh, George Melly and Paul Jones.
Away from the cornet he was concerned with national cultural advancement of the music and, amongst other activities, founded the successful educational charity ‘Jazz College’ with pianist Stan Barker (1979-95); the National Jazz Archive (Britain’s primary research centre for jazz music, 1988) and a number of other jazz-related organizations at this period the Jazz Section of the Musicians’ Union (1992-2014) the Jazz Development Trust with Sir John Dankworth and in 2016 the Jazz Centre UK – Britain’s first cultural centre for jazz music – in Southend-on-Sea.
In 2009 as Founder of the National Jazz Archive he was presented with their Special Award in celebration of the organization’s twenty-first anniversary. In 2015 Digby received the British Jazz Award for Services to Jazz.
Apart from his playing and band leading, Fairweather has long pursued a parallel career as a jazz broadcaster and writer. Digby is the editor of a history of the legendary 100 Club in Oxford Street, London, Ace of Clubs, recently published by Brewin Books.
After almost fifty years in professional jazz Digby Fairweather remains – in the words of The Stage – just about the best ambassador the music could have.
Lord Colwyn is a peer, dentist and politician. He is one of ninety hereditary peers elected to remain in the House of Lords after the House of Lords Act 1999, sitting as a Conservative, he is the second longest standing member of the House of Lords. Tony Colwyn was instrumental in the formation of the All Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group and was co-chair until March 2021.
He started a band at school with school friend Jim Beach and they travelled through France and Spain playing in bars. In the early 60’s he organised Arts Balls at Cheltenham Town Hall.
The school band grew into a successful dance band and played at just about every hunt ball, deb dance and charity ball throughout the 60s and 70s. Jim left the band to become manager of Queen – Tony continued to lead the band for another 30 years as a 9 piece band. One of the special honours was playing for the Queen and Prince Philip’s private Ruby wedding dance. Another personal highlight was playing trumpet alongside Adelaide Hall on stage at Ronnie’s. For a while he put together a 24 piece Big Band that played at the Albert Hall with Red Skelton for HBO.
He felt very strongly and was a great supporter of live music in pubs and spoke many times in Parliament when legislation was going through. He was a founder director of Jazz FM alongside Dave Lee and John Dankworth
Lord Colwyn secured funding from PPL for the Parliamentary Jazz Awards that started in 2005 to the present day and he is still actively involved with the All Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group
Extension of deadline to midnight on 1st September 2021 for completion of questionnaire for the All Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group Review Of Jazz In England
Following an enforced delay due to the global pandemic and a year of unprecedented change, challenges, and specific hardships for working musicians, promoters, venues, jazz organisations, studios, technical staff, media and the jazz constituency at large, the All Party Jazz Appreciation Group (APPJAG) commissioned a Review of Jazz in England that was launched on Friday 28th May. The Review is being undertaken by APPJAG’s Secretary, Chris Hodgkins, and an expert advisory panel, chaired by musician and jazz educator Dr Kathy Dyson and supported by Teesside University Business School.
Full details and briefing papers – ‘Cold Comfort and Home Truths’ – Terms of reference, composition of the Advisory Panel, and the five questionnaires dealing with promoters and venues, musicians, jazz festivals, audiences plus individuals and organisations are available at: Review of Jazz in England
The closing date for the questionnaires is midnight, Sunday 1st August 2021.
For further information please contact:
Tel: 0208 840 4643
Notes to editors
The All Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group (APPJAG) aims 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. APPJAG currently has over 116 members from the House of Commons and House of Lords across all political parties. The Group’s officers, as at the Annual General Meeting of 22nd March 2021, are Co-Chairs:, John Spellar MP and Lord Mann, Secretary, Sir Greg Knight MP, Vice Chairs, Alison Thewless MP and Chi Onwurah MP. Treasurer is Ian Paisley MP. Officers are Lord Colwyn and Sarah Champion MP.
All-Party Parliamentary Groups are informal groups of Members of both Houses with a common interest in particular issues. The views expressed in this report are those of the group. This is not an official publication of the House of Commons or the House of Lords. It has not been approved by either House or its committees.