Vocalist of the Year
Possessing one of the best and most memorable voices in the UK right now, Eska weaves together diverse musical elements - hints of folk, soul, psychedelia and electronica and pairs them with stirring lyrics, born from burning passion. Her debut EP, ‘Gatekeeper’, was heralded by the global independent community Bandcamp in their ‘Best Releases of 2013'. Her own and unique sound has arisen and taken flight with the release of her highly anticipated self-titled solo debut, ‘ESKA’. The album, released in April 2015, hosts production credits from artists such as Matthew Herbert, Louis ‘slipperz' Hackett and Dave Okumu and was nominated for ‘Mercury Album of the Year’.
Having built an inimitable reputation as a writer and performer through collaborations with such legends of the game as Grace Jones, Cinematic Orchestra, Zero 7 and Bobby McFerrin, together with performances in some of the world’s most famous venues and festivals, Eska has firmly placed herself as one of the most impressive singers of the past few years.
Lauren Kinsella is a vocalist and composer based in London. She performs extensively throughout the UK, Ireland and more recently in Europe as a soloist, a bandleader and within collectives and interdisciplinary projects. Kinsella has won several awards including The Young Musicwide Award, The Kenny Wheeler Jazz Prize and The Gershon Ellenbogen/Maccabaen Award. Born in Dublin, she spent time studying in Ireland, Switzerland and Sweden before attending The Royal Academy in London to complete a Masters degree in jazz.
Kinsella’s work is profoundly influenced by literature with several of her projects being directly inspired by the works of such great poets as W.B. Yeats and Ted Hughes. Her music also manages to weave poetry, periodic scatting and Irish folk influences. This decidedly literate jazz can be hailed as a unique pairing of classical literature with at times highly experimental and intriguing Jazz material that originates from Kinsella’s childhood experiences in her father’s second-hand bookstore in Dublin.
London born and Hastings raised, award-winning singer-pianist Liane Carroll is one of the UK's greatest musical treasures. A soulful, emotive singer, she is capable of reducing listeners to tears with her heart-breaking ability to inhabit a lyric or of making an audience jump for joy with her breath-taking vocal virtuosity.
A classically trained pianist from the age of three, Liane possesses a true musicality that lifts her interpretations into the realms of art in their own right and to hear her sing even the best known standard or the most hackneyed pop song is to hear that song afresh.
Carroll’s most recent album “Seaside”, produced by James McMillan of Quietmoney, was released on Linn Records in September 2015 and won ‘Best new CD’ at the British Jazz Awards. The album is a mix of original songs and covers broadly following a seashore theme with beautifully refreshing approaches to Billie Holiday, Kurt Weil and Nina Simone tracks and is an album that could only be pulled off by an artist with the raw talent, passion and power that Carroll possesses.