Parliamentary Jazz Awards 2012 - Winners


16th May 2012

The House of Commons tonight played host to the eighth PPL-sponsored Parliamentary Jazz Awards, which was attended by a record number of MPs and peers in a cross-party appreciation of jazz music and its worth to the nation’s music and cultural scenes.  2012’s Awards saw the highest ever number of public voters registering to nominate worthy recipients in what is now they UK's premier jazz awards.

The night was hosted by acclaimed broadcaster Paul Gambaccini, and guests were treated to a performance by James Pearson and the Ronnie Scott’s All Stars.  Those present included many MPs, Peers and renowned jazz musicians, including Jamie Cullum, Acker Bilk, Claire Martin, Laurie Holloway, Arts Minister Ed Vaizey MP, The Rt Hon. The Lord Prescott and Lord David Steel, as well as many friends and supporters from the jazz scene, music industry and further afield.

APPJAG Co-Chairman Michael Connarty MP said, “Each year we are knocked out by the consistent quality of the UK jazz scene, with long serving players, writers, educators and promoters being joined by a new generation of talent.  We hope our Parliamentary Jazz Awards help encourage this creativity and draw others to share our enjoyment of British jazz.”

The full list of winners is as follows:

Jazz Musician of the Year - Bobby Wellins 

Renowned for his fluent technique and the mournful tenderness of his tenor-sax tone, this tough wee Glaswegian has become a national institution. Under Milk Wood, his 1965 classic with Stan Tracey, remains his calling card, but at 76 he is branching out anew, recording with new admirers including pianist Kate Williams and vocalist Tina May. Critics and fans agree that he is playing as well as at any other time in a remarkable six decades in the vanguard of British jazz.

Jazz Album of the Year - Liane Carroll ‘Up and Down’

Liane Carroll is a hugely respected and admired figure on the UK jazz scene whose sumptuous vocals have endeared her to critics and audiences alike; reviewing her latest recording Up And Down, the Observer called her, “a brilliant pianist and a mesmerising singer…she seems in some magical way to be made out of music”.  With guest turns from the likes of Julian Siegel, Kirk Whalum, James McMillan and Kenny Wheeler, Up And Down serves as a great showcases for her talents.

Jazz Ensemble of the Year - Scottish National Jazz Orchestra

The Scottish National Jazz Orchestra is the result of one remarkable musician’s pursuit of a dream - the Edinburgh-born saxophonist Tommy Smith. SNJO began with rehearsals in Smith’s living room in 1995, but it steadily moved forward to become an orchestra some of the best jazz musicians in the world welcome working with. The band’s ambitious programmes have included imaginative tributes to the famous ECM record label and to the repertoire of Weather Report, traditional ventures dedicated to the big-band swing of Benny Goodman and Woody Herman, and world-music adventures with Japanese taiko drummers.

Live Jazz Award of the Year - The Spin, Oxford

The Spin Jazz Club was set up in 1999 by Oxford musicians Pete Oxley, Mark Doffman, and Raf Mizraki. The club has since put on over 500 gigs, has twice won the Performing Rights Society Awards and has been shortlisted four times in the Parliamentary Jazz Awards.  The Spin has presented the very best of UK jazz  including artists such as John Etheridge, Gilad Atzmon, Bobby Wellins, Art Themen, Tim Garland, Chris Garrick, Dave O'Higgins, to name but a few. The audience demographic is as eclectic as the jazz programming  and the club welcomes old and young alike.

Jazz Journalist of the Year             Jon Newey

Jon Newey’s 35 year career in music press publishing started at the music weekly Sounds in 1977 where, as Advertisement and Promotions Manager, he played a key part in growing the title to become the biggest circulation UK music weekly in 1981. From 1991-1999 he was Publishing Director of Tower Records’ TOP magazine. Under his management TOP became the UK’s biggest ABC audited free music monthly. In January 2000 Jon joined Jazzwise as Editor /Publisher and re-launched Jazzwise Magazine. Now acclaimed as the most vibrant and authoritative jazz magazine in the UK and it outsells all other UK jazz titles.

Jazz Broadcaster of the Year - Jamie Cullum

Jamie Cullum’s BBC Radio 2 programme gives jazz a mainstream platform on one the BBC’s most popular radio stations. He showcases an eclectic mix of jazz and music rooted in jazz, celebrating the heritage of the music as well as emerging artists. The programme is also now syndicated to stations around the world, from France to Canada, and in 2011 won medals at the New York Festivals Radio Awards for ‘Best Jazz Format’ and ‘Best Regularly Scheduled Music Program’. Having sold four million albums, and with multiple awards under his belt, Jamie is the UK’s most successful jazz artist.

Jazz Publication of the Year - Jazz UK

Jazz Services produces the magazine Jazz UK as the grassroots news journal of the UK jazz community with a print-run of over 30,000.  Featuring reviews, listings, interviews and reports on the scene by a highly respected team of contributors, Jazz UK is distributed freely to hundreds of clubs, pubs, concert halls, colleges, shops and libraries throughout the UK.  Jazz UK, which also operates a subscription scheme, is committed to securing appropriate recognition for UK jazz musicians in addition to fostering a healthy jazz scene.

Jazz Education Award - Gary Crosby OBE

Gary has been making his mark as a jazz educator  and bass player since 1991 when he formed the group ‘Tomorrow’s warriors’ as a platform for young musicians who want to pursue a career in jazz. The ethos is to encourage young people from all backgrounds but there is a positive move to encourage people of the African diaspora. Many women have come through the warrior’s training bands and have now secured places at leading music colleges. Gary Crosby through his organisation and outstanding teaching has achieved in 20 years what many would think would take a lifetime in regards to ethnic minorities and gender imbalances.

Services to Jazz Award - John Cumming

There can be few jazz enthusiasts in Britain whose enjoyment of the music hasn’t benefited from John Cumming’s work over the past forty years. Blending a background in theatre with a determination to present jazz of the highest order, Cumming established major festivals including Bracknell and Camden and subsequently London Jazz Festival.  Cumming is a creative director with the energy and know-how to bring ideas to fruition. His company, Serious, is among the world’s leading jazz advocates and his plentiful contacts have established London Jazz Festival as one of the world’s leading jazz events.

APPJAG Special Award - Acker Bilk

Acker Bilk became the household name of jazz, with his hit, ‘Stranger on the Shore. It was in the charts for 55 weeks and was the first number 1 hit in the UK and USA simultaneously. A great master of the clarinet, known for his trademark goatee beard, bowler hat, striped waistcoat and breathy, vibrato-rich, lower-register clarinet style, we are very proud to honour one of the most successful British jazz musicians ever, and still going strong today!

The APPJAG has 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, to promote jazz as a musical form and to raise its profile inside and outside of Parliament.  The Group’s officers are Co-Chairs Michael Connarty MP and Lord Colwyn, Secretary: Baroness Coussins and Treasurer, Kelvin Hopkins MP.

Jazz Services would like to extend its congratulations to all winners and nominees, and thanks to all individuals and parties who made this year’s awards a possibility.

Last modified on Wednesday, 16 May 2012 20:10