WESTMINSTER HONOURS NEW YAMAHA jazz scholars
The Atlee Suite, Portcullis House, House of Commons saw an audience of MPs from all sides and VIPs from the jazz industry unite to honour seven new Yamaha Jazz Scholars at the All Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group’s ‘Autumn Jazz’ event, in association with Yamaha, Jazzwise and Jazz Fm on Tuesday 25th October.
A rousing opening set from a quartet led by internationally acclaimed jazz artist Peter Long was followed by presentations and a debut performance by the latest Yamaha Jazz Scholars, nominated by the Heads of Jazz at the UK’s leading conservatoires.
Yamaha’s hugely successful, high-powered and influential scheme celebrates a ten-year milestone in 2017 and provides financial assistance, performance and recording opportunities for the cream of young jazz musicians.
Speakers from APPJAG included Kelvin Hopkins MP and Co-Chair Jason McCartney MP who presented the scholarships with Yamaha Classic Division Director Charles Bozon to Mark Pringle – a pianist from Birmingham Conservatoire; Roz Macdonald who studied double bass at Leeds College of Music; guitarist Will Arnold-Forster, a graduate of The Guildhall School of Music and Drama; drummer Jake Long from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance; guitarist Tom Ollendorf from the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama; David Bowden, who studied double bass at The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and drummer Ben Brown from the Royal Academy of Music.
All seven scholarship winners each received a £500 Yamaha instrument voucher and the opportunity to record an original track with their own band, to feature alongside established Yamaha jazz artists Peter Long, Georgina Jackson and James Pearson on ‘The Yamaha New Jazz Sessions 2016’ CD, to be cover-mounted on Jazzwise Magazine’s December issue. The CD series recorded by Mercury Prize nominated producer Andy Ross at Astar Studios is responsible for showcasing a new generation of successful jazz artists that have included double bass player Calum Gourlay, pianists Kit Downes and Elliot Galvin, and most recently Chris Hyson, Josh Arcoleo, Dave Hamblett, Matt Robinson and Nick Costley-White who comprise 5 of the 7 members of ‘Snow Poet’, featured at this year’s BBC Proms and due to play Cambridge Jazz Festival next month.
Yamaha Classic Division Director Charles Bozon commented, “it gives me great pleasure to once again present the Yamaha Jazz Scholars held at Portcullis House. The standard of the scholars continues to surprise all involved and only confirms that we’re supporting those upcoming young jazz artists who are determined to make this their profession in the future. It’s also clear from working with our partners ( Jazzwise, APPJAG and Jazz FM) that there is more we can do to help support these scholars in the future which is why we are now looking at a more experimental offering for the Jazz Scholars as we move into our 10th year”.
Jason McCartney MP, stated, “Over the past decade the All Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group has proudly joined with Yamaha to celebrate and enjoy the live performance in Parliament by a new group of Yamaha Jazz Scholars. The Yamaha New Jazz Sessions album showcases the outstanding talent of these young UK jazz musicians as they embark on their professional careers. Thanks to Yamaha, former Jazz Scholars who have emerged from this wonderful scheme are now working among our most popular jazz artists. Long may it continue!”
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