2015 Parliamentary Jazz Award winners revealed

Partisans, Engines Orchestra, trumpeter Laura Jurd, pianist Peter Edwards and vocalist Norma Winstone all winners this year plus more.

The All Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group held its annual awards tonight at the Houses of Parliament, hosted by Moira Stuart. The awards happened two months earlier than normal due to the impending General Election. Nominations were open to the public earlier this year and politicians from both sides of the political divide, including Ken Clarke and John Prescott, came together with much banter to honour and present awards to British jazz musicians.

Jazz Album of the year went to ‘Swamp’, the fifth by the four man outfit Partisans. The band has been around since the mid 1990s and features accomplished solo artists Julian Siegel on saxophone, guitarist Phil Robson, bassist Thadeus Kelly and American drummer Gene Calderazzo. The album captures the band at the peak of their powers with gritty, eclectic funk steeped grooves. Partisans play this year’s Love Supreme Festival.

Jazz Ensemble of the Year was saxophonist Phil Meadows’ Engines Orchestra, the culmination of an incredible amount of hard work, creativity and support for a bold and brilliant project. Engines Orchestra beat the much fancied Loose Tubes to take this year’s award.

Veteran vocalist Norma Winstone is Jazz Vocalist Of The Year, presented by Dame Cleo Laine, and young trumpeter Laura Jurd was awarded Jazz Instrumentalist Of The Year. 

Jazz Newcomer of the Year is MOBO nominee and pianist Peter Edwards who released his debut trio album ‘Safe And Sound’ last year. Peter is also a fixture in singer Zara McFarlane’s band. Jazz Media of the Year is the website London Jazz News and St Ives Jazz Club scooped Jazz Venue Of The Year.

Special recognition was given to educators in jazz with Dr Tommy Smith from The National Youth Jazz Orchestra receiving an award and for Services To Jazz the award went to former director of Jazz Services Chris Hodgkins who made an impassioned speech demanding better funding for jazz from the Arts Council, particularly in supporting remuneration for many financially struggling musicians.

Proceedings closed with a Lifetime Achievement Award given to legendary British bass player, environmentalist and painter Peter Ind who played pianists Bud Powell, Lenny Tristano and Mal Waldron, Buddy Rich, Lee Konitz and more during his time in New York. Ind, now 86, was clearly delighted to receive the award amongst his peers.

The APPJAG Awards is supported by music licensing body PPL.


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