Nominations open for the Parliamentary Jazz Awards 2017

Parliamentary Jazz Awards 2017

Voting is now open for the 2017 Parliamentary Jazz Awards, which will take place at PizzaExpress Live Holborn on Tuesday 10th October. Entries are open to anyone with the final deadline for entries set for 12 noon on Wednesday 16th August 2017.

To vote please go to:Nominations for the Parliamentary Jazz Awards 2017


Jazz Album of the Year (released in 2016 by a UK band or musicians)
Services to Jazz Award (to a living person for their outstanding contribution to jazz in the UK).
Jazz Newcomer of the Year (UK-based artist, musician or group with a debut album released in 2016)
Jazz Education Award (to an educator or project for raising the standard of jazz education in the UK)
Jazz Media Award(including broadcasters, journalists, magazines, blogs, listings and books)
Jazz Venue of the Year (including jazz clubs, venues, festivals and promoters)
Jazz Ensemble of the Year (UK-based group who impressed in 2016)
Jazz Instrumentalist of the Year (UK-based musician who impressed in 2016)
Jazz Vocalist of the Year (UK-based vocalist who impressed in 2016

To vote please go to: Nominations for the Parliamentary Jazz Awards 2017

The awards are organised by the All Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group (APPJAG), co-chaired by Kelvin Hopkins MP and Lord Colwyn, and supported by PizzaExpress Live in conjunction with Peroni.

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!”

For more information and images contact

Recipients announced for 2016 Parliamentary Jazz Awards

Recipients announced for 2016 Parliamentary Jazz Awards

Featuring a broad array of jazz talent from within the industry, the awards are once again sponsored by music licensing company PPL. The organisation is dedicated to ensuring that all those that invest their time and talent in making music are paid fairly for their work, licensing recorded music in public and broadcast on behalf of 90,000 performer and record company members – a significant number of whom are from the jazz community.

John Smith General Secretary of the Musicians' Union, Helen Mayhew Jazz FM and Peter Leatham CEO PPL
John Smith General Secretary of the Musicians’ Union, Helen Mayhew Jazz FM and Peter Leatham CEO PPL

During the ceremony, award presenters comprised of a host of British politician’s and home-grown UK jazz talent including; clarinettest and composer Arun Ghosh, PPL Chairman John Smith, luminary jazz vocalists Claire Martin and Jacqui Dankworth, and Member of Parliament and Baroness Coussins. Compere for the evening was Editor and publisher, of Jazzwise, Jon Newey “This has been a really strong year for the Parliamentary Jazz Awards in terms of talent and nominations. The well deserved winners 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”.

Camilla George and Jon Newey Parliamentary Jazz Awards 2016
Camilla George and Jon Newey Parliamentary Jazz Awards 2016

The full list of Recipients is as follows:

Jazz Vocalist of the Year: Emilia Mårtensson
Emilia Martensson is a London based Swedish/Slovenian vocalist and has built a reputation as one of the most exciting young vocalists on the UK jazz scene. Her critically acclaimed contributions to Kairos 4Tet helped them to bring home a 2011 MOBO Award, while her distinctive voice led The Observer to deem her “The new face of British Jazz 2012”. Her most recent album Ana features her own songs and is an evocative reflection of her Swedish roots, bringing in folk and classical influences which prompted Jazzwise to write, “Exquisitely beautiful songs….Martensson has struck gold”. In 2015, she was chosen to take part in the Take Five professional development programme run by Serious and commissioned by the EFG London Jazz Festival.

Emilia Mårtensson Claire Martin and Jon Newey

Jazz Instrumentalist of the Year: Alexander Hawkins

Alexander Hawkins is a British pianist, organist, and composer. In addition to work with his long-established Ensemble, he also leads the Alexander Hawkins Trio, and is a frequent solo performer. Through his work in the group Decoy, he has been called ‘the most interesting Hammond player of the last decade and more’, and has ‘already extended what can be done on the instrument’. In 2012, Hawkins was selected as one the first group of young composers to be part of the London Symphony Orchestra’s Soundhub programme, and has since been commissioned by the likes of BBC Radio 3, and the London and Cheltenham Jazz Festivals. Hawkins regularly performs across Europe and beyond, and has featured on upwards of 25 albums.

Jazz Album of the Year: ‘Let It Be Told’ Julian Argüelles (Basho Records)
‘Let It Be Told’ is Julian’s 12th album as a leader released April 2015. It is a collaboration with the HR big band with thrilling arrangements of powerful, vibrant compositions by exiled South African artists known as the Blue Notes, some of whom were living in the UK during the years of apartheid, and features Django Bates and Julian’s brother Steve Argüelles. The arrangements on this album remain true to the joyful spirit of the original compositions, while giving them a harmonic richness and depth. Julian is undoubtedly one of our finest jazz artists, respected and recognised internationally. He has been an integral part of the UK jazz scene for over 3 decades now and worked with artists ranging from Dave Holland and Bill Frisell, to Kenny Wheeler, John Taylor, Carla Bley and John Scofield. He has received countless commissions and awards for his playing, CDs, composition and arranging.

Jazz Ensemble of the Year: Empirical
Talking to The Guardian in 2008, double-bassist Tom Farmer – a founder member of Empirical – remarked that ’empiricism is about observing and experimenting, not having a theory first and trying to prove it.’ At that time, all the band members were still conservatoire students, but they had already been hailed as ‘the most exciting band to come out of the UK’ by Courtney Pine, won the Rising Stars prize at Holland’s high-profile North Sea Jazz Festival, brought a Toronto concert-hall audience to its feet at an international gathering of jazz educators, and impressed the locals in that most demanding of jazz cities, New York. That year, trumpeter Jay Phelps and pianist Kit Downes left, and young vibraphone virtuoso Lewis Wright came in to join Farmer, saxophonist Nathaniel Facey, and drummer Shane Forbes. Since then, the membership has been constant, and so has the Empirical philosophy of curiosity, experimentation and development.

The past year has seen the evolution of some of Empirical’s most accessible yet exploratory work, and a level of audience interaction in the making of music they always regard as work-in-progress.

Jazz Newcomer of the Year: Binker and Moses
Tenor saxophonist Binker Golding and drummer Moses Boyd startled the British jazz world last year when they released their debut album Dem Ones. Most young musicians would have opted for the more conventional trio or quartet setting, but this duo crackled with the kind of stark energy and daring ideas that one would expect from older players. However, both are graduates of the Tomorrow’s Warriors school who have made an essential contribution to the music of award-winning double bassist Gary Crosby, vocalist Zara McFarlane and pianist Peter Edwards. Binker and Moses have an impressive maturity well beyond their tender years.

Jacqui Dankworth Binker and Moses Jon Newey

Jazz Venue of the Year: Seven Jazz
Over the past nine years, Seven Jazz has evolved into a highly successful voluntary jazz promoter based in Leeds. Since September 2007 they have hosted hundreds of concerts and stood the test of time through an ever changing city landscape. However it is the way they have built the club as a community for Leeds’ jazz scene that is most impressive. Steve Crocker and his team host two regular concert series, a small festival and a programme of education that unites jazz fans and musicians alike. The club allows the opportunity for anybody with interest an accessible way into the music and their varied programming allows a vast array of styles to their stages and their demographic (both age and diversity) in performers is often well balanced.

Jazz Media Award: Jez Nelson/BBC Jazz on 3
Synonymous with the cutting edge of jazz broadcasting for 18 years, Jazz On 3 is a veritable institution, and Jez Nelson, who presented the programme so engagingly, is an inspiring figurehead. Throughout its lengthy run the show provided a platform for many of the more challenging figures in improvised music, recording superb live sessions by anybody from Evan Parker to David S. Ware and Joe Lovano. Furthermore there was a range of excellent features on different aspects of both the history of jazz and the life of a jazz musician that greatly helped to demystify and ‘humanize’ the artform.

Jazz Education Award: ProfessorDr Tommy Smith
Professor Dr Tommy Smith is a leading light in European jazz, first and foremost as one of the finest saxophonists of his generation, and latterly as the founder and current director of The Scottish National Jazz Orchestra (SNJO). These career-defining achievements are framed by his status as an international recording artist; a composer and arranger of extraordinary ambition; and not least, as a jazz educator.

His tenure with the SNJO has seen critically acclaimed performances and recordings of programmed and commissioned works including hugely popular treatments of Ellington, Gershwin, Mozart, Weather Report and Miles Davis. Tommy Smith is also founder/director of The Tommy Smith Youth Jazz Orchestra and is current Artistic Director of the first ever full-time jazz course at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Services to Jazz Award: Mary Greig
As a young woman in the the late 1970s – 80s, Mary Greig was intensely involved with the London jazz community – organising weekly jazz clubs and summer courses for Jazz Centre Society (the forerunner of Jazz Services and Jazz UK); representing jazz on arts funding panels; organising jazz-related events and working in a jazz record shop.

Her passion for jazz led her to take up the production and publication of Jazz in London, a free monthly guide to live performance of contemporary jazz in London and the suburbs. As well as carrying the programme for the major jazz venues, the publication was intended to provide a cheap (or free) way for the growing number of small venues to publicise their events. She single handedly sourced the information, compiled the artwork and distributed copies to jazz clubs, arts centres, libaries and other venues (often on a bike!) Since those days, Jazz in London has grown from a single A4 sheet to a 16 page document, and is widely regarded by promoters, musicians and audiences as an indispensible guide. After 43 years of continuous publication, personal circumstances have meant that she has had to step down from Jazz In London this year.

Special APPJAG Award: Evan Parker
The standup comic Stewart Lee, an unexpectedly well-versed enthusiast for what’s sometimes dubbed ‘the sharp end’ of creative jazz, regards the now 71 year-old saxophonist Evan Parker as ‘the greatest living exponent of free improvisation’, and plenty of the jazz cognoscenti have shared that view as this unique maestro’s sound has liberated countless young saxophonists round the world, and the thinking of adventurous composers and bandleaders too.

As a mesmerising presence onstage, performing astonishing feats of respiratory endurance and technical multi-tasking, Parker grips the attention of even the most sceptical anti-avantists, and his charisma has advanced the cause of all kinds of innovative music. He has also built a new saxophone methodology from the ground up, as decisively and creatively as Charlie Parker, Ornette Coleman or John Coltrane did – and in the process, invited fledgling jazz musicians and improvisers to find their own sound, and to believe that what is rejected or even ridiculed in one generation, can become the inspiration, technical guidebook, and creative nourishment for the next.

Special APPJAG Award: Michael Connarty
Michael Connarty was elected to Parliament in 1992 and quickly established himself as a fan and supporter of Jazz. Michael was Co-Chair of Parliament’s Jazz Appreciation Group (APPJAG) since 1997, working on jazz development and promotion with PPL of the Parliamentary Jazz Awards, Jazz Services, Yamaha, promoters Serious and the UK’s Conservatoires. He was a Vice-President of the UK Jazz Collective, a patron of the Yamaha Music Education Initiative. During his 23 years as an MP Michael led the successful campaign with the Musician’s Union to extend copyright payments across the EU for recorded music to 70 years – from 50 years.
If it wasn’t for a certain Salmond and Sturgeon he’d have still been here tonight as Chairman of APPJAG. Hopefully since last year he’s been able to spend lots of quality time with his two granddaughters and his grandson whilst enjoying some Jazz. But tonight our new Co Chairmen Jason McCartney and Tony Colwyn and all the Officers of APPJAG would like to pay tribute to Michael and celebrate his legacy that sees this annual awards event still going strong. Tonight’s recipient of the APPJAG Special Award is Michael Connarty.

Jason McCartney MP, APPJAG Co-Chairman, said: “The Parliamentary Jazz Awards are a great way for MPs and Peers of all political parties to show their support for British jazz by recognising and honouring the amazing musical talent we have in our country. From established stars to fresh new talent, the range and diversity of this year’s winners shows the vibrancy and creativity of British jazz. We are extremely grateful once again to PPL for sponsoring the Parliamentary Jazz Awards.”

John Smith, Chairman, PPL, said: “We at PPL have been exceptionally proud and honoured to have been able to support and sponsor the special Parliamentary Jazz Awards since their inception in 2005. I would like to extend my personal thanks and appreciation to Jason McCartney MP and to Lord Colwyn for doing such a fantastic job in co-chairing and running APPJAG as well as my thanks to Chris Hodgkins. I would also like to thank all the judges for their time and welcome Jon Newey, the Awards’ compere. These Jazz Awards remain a special night for Parliament, the jazz community and award recipients as well as for PPL and the music industry generally.”

Back by popular demand at this year’s ceremony were special guest performances by James Pearson and The Ronnie Scott’s All Stars.

PPL have sponsored the Awards since 2005 and  is the music licensing company which works on behalf of record companies and performers to license recorded music played in public (at pubs, nightclubs, restaurants, shops, offices and many other business types) and broadcast on TV and radio across the UK. Our members include major record labels and independents as well as globally successful performers and session musicians, ranging from orchestral players to percussionists and singers. PPL also operates an international royalty collection service helping members to get paid when their music is played internationally. / @PPLUK

The work of the All Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group

This article is reprinted by kind permission of Ian Maund of Sandy Brown Jazz

The All Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group (APPJAG) was set up by interested Members of Parliament in the UK to promote the use and enjoyment of jazz as a music form. The Group has over eighty members from both the House of Commons and the House of Lords, and is jointly chaired by a Member of the House of Commons and a member of the House of Lords. Until 2015, the joint chairpersons were Michael Connarty, MP for Linlithgow and Falkirk East and Lord Tony Colwyn, himself a very fine trumpeter and band leader. Administrative services were originally provided by Jazz Services. Michael Connarty pays tribute to former MP Bob Blizzard who served for some time as Secretary for APPJAG.

Michael Connarty recalls: ‘The great innovation that started with APPJAG was the introduction of ‘live’ jazz music in the House of Commons. This started with ‘Jazz In The House‘ which after six years is still held each November in co-operation with Serious and Radio 3 to celebrate the London Jazz Festival. It brings together those working in the industry as promoters and artists and jazz-supporting MPs and Lords, to talk about the ongoing state of the jazz scene, and has live music in the Terrace Pavilion of the House of Commons’. M

‘The Jazz In The House event was the first event with ‘live’ jazz music and has been held for more years than the Parliamentary Jazz Awards.  It has been held for 13 or 14 years. It was sponsored in the first year by Arts and Business, with the assistance, believe it or not, of Ffion Hague (William’s wife), who told me her grand-father had been a professional saxophone player.  The sponsorship was taken up by BBC 3 and has in recent years been adopted by EFG who also became the main sponsors of the London Jazz Festival.’

APPJAG has teamed up with Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL), the body responsible for collecting royalties for the playing of auditory recordings, and who have sponsored three other events with live music in the Commons each year.

Each January, there has been a ‘Youth Band’ event. The first band featured was Tomorrow’s Warriors with Guy Barker, and since then, others have featured the Wigan Youth Jazz Orchestra Octet with Georgie Fame; the TS Scottish Youth Jazz Orchestra Octet with Tommy Smith, the Doncaster Youth Jazz Orchestra Octet with Dennis Rollins, ‘Hot House’ (formerly the East Midlands Youth Jazz Orchestra – EMYJO) with saxophonist Alan Barnes and the North East’s jazz Dave Hollandensemble, Jambone, with with their musical director, Skye-based trombonist, composer and arranger Rick Taylor.

In 2015, the guest artist was bass player Dave Holland. Dave has been based in America for some forty years now, but is a Fellow of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London as well as holding honorary doctorates at Birmingham Conservatoire, Berklee College of Music in Boston, U.S.A. and New England Conservatory. Since his professional debut in the 1960s he has played with a wide range of musicians including Miles Davis, Stan Getz, Hank Jones Chick Corea, Anthony Braxton and Gary Burton.

The young musicians who worked with him were members of the National Youth Jazz Collective, founded in 2006 Issie Barrett and for which Dave Holland is the President. Amongst them was saxophonist Alexander NYJC saxophonistsBone, winner of the first BBC Young Jazz Musician of the Year Award 2014. Click here to watch the final.

NYJC ‘supports the creative and educational needs of the young jazz musician. It focuses on small group improvisation and creates a pathway of progression designed to support young jazz musicians from beginner to emerging professionals through a rolling programme of regional activities across England, the National Youth Jazz Summer School, and by supporting the needs of regional educators and music leaders.’ The Summer School this year for young people of 14 to 18 years of age will be held at Uppingham School in Rutland from 9th -16th August.

Pictures courtesy of Hayley Madden / PPL

Click on their website for more details (click here). Click here for a video of Dave Holland talking about NYJC.

The second main live event has been the Annual All Parliamentary Jazz Awards. As there was a General Election in May, 2015, the event was held earlier in March, but in 2016 the Awards were back to their usual spot in May.

Now in its twefth year the Parliamentary Jazz Awards are a premiere event in the UK jazz calendar and are voted for online by the Michael Connartypublic with a shortlist of nominations subsequently voted for by a selection panel of jazz industry figures. Judging members of the All Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group (APPJAG) then choose the winners.

Former chairperson Michael Connarty told me: ‘These awards were a joint inspiration by APPJAG and PPL with the aim of trying to recognise people and categories that were not always on the roster of the Music Industry, like Jazz Education; Jazz Venue; Contribution to Jazz;Newcomer to Watch; Jazz Media Award, etc.

‘We ask for nominations from the public through jazz mags; jazz radio, and a wide listening panel draw up a short list from those nominations. Our committee listens in advance, MPs visit venues, and then APPJAG meets and chooses the winners from the shortlists. The event normally takes place in May each year with live music, and a very professional schedule overseen by our guest host in the past Moira Stewart and before her, Paul Gambaccini have looked after proceedings.’

The Parliamentary Jazz Awards 2016

The Parliamentary Jazz Awards are held each year in the Terrace Room at the Houses of Parliament. The room runs parallel to the river Thames – you can see the terrace in those pictures of the Houses of Parliament taken from the opposite side of the river. Getting to the room is a journey. Entry is by invitation and as you would expect, security is tight, much like at an airport where all metal objects are placed in a tray on a conveyor and you are screened while holding up your trousers because your belt is in the tray. There is then a walk to the room through an enormous,Houses of Parliament Terrace cavernous, stone lobby and I am wondering whether that was designed to make a man feel small, humbled. Turn left along a corridor where statues of the great and the good look down on you (don’t blink!), across the Central Lobby where the political journalists ‘talk to camera’ and then down carpeted corridors serving busy committee and meeting rooms that say Parliament is not ‘nine to five’, and on towards the Thames.

As you walk, you feel the age and history of the building but not the enormous amount of wear and tear that is causing headaches for the government in how to deal with the maintenance and restoration work currently needed and the debate about moving elsewhere while work is done. The Parliamentary Jazz Awards might have a different venue in a year or two.

The terrace room is smaller than the ballroom where the JazzFM Awards were held, and there is no separate bar room, although people do go outside on to the narrow terrace above the river to talk and meet. At one end of the room, the Ronnie Scott’s All Stars band plays and a small

Ronnie Scott's All Starsgroup gather round to hear Freddie Gavita’s trumpet solo. In the middle of the room, a temporary stage is erected for the Award presentations. The room is packed with people meeting the award nominees, renewing old contacts and making new ones. I argued last month about how important I think these events are for musicians, jazz venues and activities and the jazz scene generally. A time for recognition of what is being achieved; an opportunity for a coming together of people who make the world of UK jazz happen.

The Ronnie Scott’s All Stars
Picture courtesy of Hayley Madden / PPL

The Parliamentary Jazz Awards are promoted by a group of Parliamentarians. Parliament is much like a school or university in the way it has ‘out-of-hours interest groups’. ‘An All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) consists of Members of both Houses who join together to pursue a particular topic or interest. In order to use the title ‘All Party Parliamentary Group’, a Group must be open to all Members of both Houses, regardless of party affiliation, and must satisfy the rules agreed by the House for All Party Parliamentary Groups.‘ There are many, of which the All Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group (APPJAG) is one. They are all included in a Register where their purpose and officers are listed – for example there is an All Party Parliamentary Football Club Group whose purpose is ‘to play football and raise money for charity’ and an All Party Parliamentary Group on Cancer whose purpose is ‘To keep cancer on the political agenda, monitor implementation of government initiatives, provide briefings to parliamentarians and ensure policy making is evidence based and patient centred.’ The general public is usually unaware of these activities and the range of groups is interesting to see (click here).

The purpose of AAPJAG is ‘To promote an appreciation of jazz music and to engage Parliament in an awareness of the issues facing jazz music, musicians and promoters.’ Of course, there are other benefits from APPGs in that they bring together different members of the House ofJon Newey Commons and House of Lords from all political parties who have a common interest. The current joint chairs of APPJAG are Jason McCartney, M.P. for the Colne Valley  in West Yorkshire and Lord Colwyn (click here for our page on APPJAG). The Register also records any registrable (financial) benefits received by the Group and for APPJAG there are none. As with the JazzFM Awards, these events are funded by sponsors. Parliament makes the venue available ‘with the permission of the Speaker’ but other costs are met by supporting organisations such as PPLUK, the organisation that licenses recorded music in the UK. (Jon Newey Picture courtesy of Hayley Madden / PPL)

The band stops playing and after an introduction by Jason McCartney MP, and then this year’s host, Jon Newey, Editor of Jazzwise magazine introduces the presentations. Unlike some other events, the audience is attentive and most of the nominees are present. It is quite an achievement to have so many talented jazz people rubbing shoulders in one place at a time – Liam Noble, Julian Argüelles, Ian Shaw, Liane Carroll, Jason Yarde, Evan Parker, Jacqui Dankworth …… As the winners are announced, the band plays a few appropriate bars – a Scottish air for Dr Tommy Smith as he receives the award for Jazz Education. The award itself is a simple wooden wall shield, but the significance of the award is far from simple and I hope that Parliament and the sponsers enable the event to continue for years to come.

Award Winners

Picture courtesy of Hayley Madden / PPL

Lewis Wright

This year’s Award winners were:

Jazz Vocalist of the Year: Emilia Mårtensson (click here for a video of Emilia singing Harvest Moon)
Jazz Instrumentalist of the Year: Alexander Hawkins (click here for a video of Alexander Hawkins with his trio)
Jazz Album of the Year: Julian Argüelles, Let It Be Told (click here for a video introduction for the album)
Jazz Ensemble of the Year: Empirical
Jazz Newcomer of the Year: Binker and Moses
Jazz Venue of the Year: Seven Jazz Leeds
Jazz Media Award: Jez Nelson, BBC Jazz on 3

Lewis Wright accepting the Jazz Ensemble award on behalf of Empirical
Picture courtesy of Hayley Madden / PPL
Jazz Education Award: Dr Tommy Smith
Services to Jazz Award: Mary Greig (for the Jazz In London gig list)
Special Awards: Michael Connarty and Evan Parker

Jason McCartney, M.P. told us: ‘I came to appreciate Jazz through the Marsden International Jazz Festival in my constituency. It was wonderful to see such amazing musical talent in Parliament and as the Co Chairman of APPJAG I look forward to nurturing and celebrating this musical talent for many years to come.’

The Yamaha Jazz Scholarships

In July the Group has held a Summer Jazz Gig where Yamaha sponsored the ‘Yamaha Jazz Scholarships‘. These Scholarships have been awarded annually to final year jazz graduates nominated by the six conservatoires of music in the UK that offer a full-time degree course in jazz. They are prestigious awards for the musicians and a chance for us to take note of exciting and talented youngYamaha Scholrs 2016 people who we are likely to hear more from in the future. The award ceremony is usually hosted by the All Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group at Westminster in the summer before Parliament goes to recess, but there was been a lot going on politically in 2016, so in view of the Parliamentary calendar, the Awards took place in October.

The scholars each received a voucher for £500 to put towards instruments and equipment at Yamaha Music London, plus a chance to record their music at Astar studios for a sampler CD that will be included with the December/January issue of Jazzwise magazine. The recording gives the scholars a ‘calling card’ they can use in their personal publicity.

The first part of the evening of the 25th October saw the audience entertained by reeds player Pete Long and his Quartet. The Scholarships were then presented before the Scholars played. On this occasion they did not have their own bands present and I wondered how a pianist, 2 bass players, 2 guitarists and 2 drummers would work as a group. With some changing Roz Macdonaldaround between tunes, the results were outstanding. If this is the music that will appear on the CD, then get a copy – it should be one of the best coming from this project.

The Scholarship winners for 2016 year were as follows and we plan to bring you more about them in What’s New in the months ahead. Click the links for a taste of their music over the past couple of years (These are not the tracks on the Scholars CD):

Mark Pringle (Piano) – Birmingham Conservatoire
Roz Macdonald (Double Bass) – Leeds College of Music
Will Arnold-Forster (Guitar) – Guildhall School Of Music and Drama
Jake Long (Drums) – Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance
Tom Ollendorff (Guitar) – Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama
David Bowden (Double Bass) – Royal Conservatoire of Scotland
Ben Brown – (Drums) – Royal Academy of Music

The General Election in 2015 resulted in some disruption to the activities of APPJAG. With a surge in Scottish National Party support, Michael Connarty was not re-elected to his seat in Scotland. Whatever the political implications, APPJAG lost a long-standing advocate for jazz, and jazz in the UK will miss an enthusiastic supporter of the music in Parliament. Michael Connarty’s work was recognised when he was presented with an APPJAG Special Award in 2016.

Lord Tony Colwyn continues as joint Chairperson with Kelvin Hopkins MP

Lord Colwyn


Lord Colwyn

Over the years Group has been involved in more than arranging the events described above. Michael Connarty explained:

‘APPJAG has been engaged in the serious business of contributing to government policy, and even European Union policy on matters as diverse as the changes in the Licensing Laws; the funding for Jazz as a music genre; the need for more allocation of time on radio for jazz music, and the campaign to extend the payment time for auditory copyright from its present 50 years to at least 95 years. Alththough we campaigned for an increase to 95 years after recording (from 50), we only got an extension to 70 years.  The Musician’s Union raised over 40 thousand signatures from musicians across the EU which helped convince the MEPs. Apart from meetings with organisations who wish to put their case to APPJAG members, APPJAG members have also undertaken meetings where we have had ‘full and frank dialogue’ with organisations such as OFCOM on radio licence allocations and the poor coverage of jazz music. Meetings have been held with ministers to which people from the music industry have put the case from the performers’ point of view. Meetings have even been held in Brussels with Members of the EU Commission on copyright extensionand publicity, and lobby meetings have been held to publicise the justice of the extension campaign in the UK parliament.’

Parliament logo

It is possible that many people are unaware of the valuable work being done by APPJAG on behalf of jazz in the UK, and it is reassuring to know that the Group is active and working in support of the music through the awards that are made; the bringingtogether of important sponsors in the world of music; the encouragement and support of young jazz musicians in partnership with the conservatoires of music, and the opportunities for a variety of people with interest in jazz to come together during the year.

© Sandy Brown Jazz

 The Parliamentary Jazz Award Winners of 2016

Jazz Vocalist of the Year: Emilia Mårtensson (click here for a video of Emilia singing Harvest Moon)
Jazz Instrumentalist of the Year: Alexander Hawkins Alexander Hawkins (click here for a video of Alexander Hawkins with his trio)
Jazz Album of the Year: Julian Argüelles, Let It Be Told (click here for a video introduction for the album)
Jazz Ensemble of the Year: Empirical
Jazz Newcomer of the Year: Binker and Moses
Jazz Venue of the Year: Seven Jazz Leeds
Jazz Media Award: Jez Nelson, BBC Jazz on 3
Jazz Education Award: Dr Tommy Smith
Services to Jazz Award:Mary Greig
Special Awards:Michael Connarty and Evan Parker

The Parliamentary Jazz Award Winners of 2015

Jazz Vocalist of the Year: Norma Winstone MBE
Jazz Instrumentalist of the Year: Laura Jurd
Jazz Album of the Year: Partisans Swamp
Jazz Ensemble of the Year: Engines Orchestra
Jazz Newcomer of the Year: Peter EdwardsPeter Edward Moira Stewart & Ken Clark MP
Jazz Venue of the Year: St Ives Jazz Club
Jazz Media Award: London Jazz News
Jazz Education Award: National Youth Jazz Orchestra
Services to Jazz Award: Chris Hodgkins
Special Award: Peter Ind

The Parliamentary Jazz Award Winners of 2014

Jazz Vocalist of the Year  – Christine Tobin      
Jazz Instrumentalist of the Year – Arun Ghosh
Jazz Album of the Year – Troykestra ‘Live At Cheltenham 13 Jazz Festival’
Jazz Ensemble of the Year – Beats & Pieces Big Band
Jazz Newcomer of the Year – Phil Meadows
Jazz Venue of the Year  – EFG London Jazz Festival  
Jazz Media Award – The Jamie Cullum Show
Jazz Education Award  – Issie Barratt, National Youth Jazz Collective
Services to Jazz Award – David Redfern
Special Award – Chris Barber

The Parliamentary Jazz Award Winners of 2013

Jazz Musician of the Year – Guy Barker
Jazz Album of the Year – John Surman ‘Saltash Bells’ (ECM) [Click here to sample]
Jazz Ensemble of the Year – Impossible Gentlemen
Live Jazz Award – The Vortex, London
Jazz Journalist of the Year – Rob Adams
Jazz Broadcaster of the Year – Mike Chadwick
Jazz Publication of the Year – Catherine Tackley
– ‘Benny Goodman’s Famous 1938 Carnegie Hall Jazz Concert’
Jazz Education Award – Nick Smart (Head of Jazz at Royal Academy of Music)
Services to Jazz Award – Stan Tracey O.B.E.
APPJAG Special Award – Elaine Delmar

The Parliamentary Jazz Award Winners of 2011

Jazz Musician of the Year: Brian Kellock.
Jazz Album of the Year: John Turville ‘Midas’ .
Jazz Ensemble of the Year: Brass Jaw
Jazz Promoter/Venue of the Year: The Hideaway (Streatham, London)
Jazz Journalist of the Year: John Fordham
Jazz Broadcaster of the Year: Paul Barnes
Jazz Publication of the Year: ‘Goin’ Home: The Uncompromising Life and Music of Ken Colyer’ by Mike Pointon, Ray Smith, Martin Colyer.
Jazz Education Award: Dr Ian Darrington MBE
Services to Jazz Award: Coleridge Goode
A Special Award was made this year to Dame Cleo Laine.

The Parliamentary Jazz Award Winners of 2010

Jazz Musician: Mark Lockheart
Jazz CD: ‘No Messin’ by the Gareth Lockrane Septet
Jazz Ensemble: the Nigel Price Organ Trio
Jazz Venue: the Jazz Bar, Edinburgh
Jazz Journalist: Mike Flynn
Jazz Broadcaster: Alyn Shipton
Jazz Publication: Jazzwise
Jazz Educator: Dr Kathy Dyson
Services to Jazz: Brian Blane

The Parliamentary Jazz Award Winners of 2009:

Jazz Musician of the Year: Phil Robson
Jazz CD of the Year: The Sam Crockatt Quartet ‘Howeird’.
Jazz Ensemble of the Year: The Ryan Quigley Sextet
Jazz Venue of the Year: Fleece Jazz (South East England)
Jazz Journalist of the Year: Kevin LeGendre
Jazz Broadcaster of the Year: Sarah Ward
Jazz Publication of the Year:
Jazz Education Award: Richard Michael
Services to Jazz Award: Val Wilmer
50 Years Anniversary Award: Ronnie Scott’s Club.

The Parliamentary Jazz Award Winners of 2008:

Jazz Musician of the Year: Liane Carroll
Jazz Broadcaster: Helen Mayhew
Jazz Venue: Tithe Barn, Needham, Norfolk
Jazz Educator: Dennis Rollins
Jazz Publication: Jazz UK
Jazz Journalist: John Fordham
Services to Jazz: Paul Pace (of Ray’s Jazz)
Jazz CD: The Amadeus Project – Guy Barker
Jazz Ensemble – Empirical

National Youth Jazz Collective joined by Dave Holland at Portcullis House Westminster

National Youth Jazz Collective joined by Dave Holland at Portcullis House Westminster

On Wednesday 21 January the All Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group (APPJAG) and music licensing company PPL hosted a prestigious event at Portcullis House, House of Commons, inviting talented young jazz musicians to literally blow their own trumpets in front of an audience of MP’s and esteemed members of the music industry.

With support from PPL, each year the event, Youth Jazz, offers a different youth ensemble the opportunity to collaborate with a major guest artist culminating in a live performance at Portcullis House.

This year, members of the National Youth Jazz Collective (NYJC), an exceptional jazz band made up of eleven young people from across the country, performed with internationally renowned bassist Dave Holland. Jessica Mistry (Indian flute), 19, from Surrey, Ella Hohnen-Ford (vocals), 17,  from London, Alex Ridout (trumpet), 16, Bucks, Jake Labazzi (trumpet), 17, a student at special music institution, Purcell School, Hertfordshire, Alexander Bone (alto), 18, from County Durham and a student at Chatham’s School of Music, Tom Smith (alto sax), 19, a student at the Royal Academy of Music,  Asha Parkinson (tenor sax), 15, Kent, Nick Fitch (guitar),18, from Norwich and a student at Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Daisy George (bass), 18, also a student of the Royal Academy, Stephanie Wills (piano), 19, from Essex, and Adam Woodcock (drums), 19, also from Essex, played Pass it On, NYJC’s signature tune, alongside Dave Holland.

Founded in 2006 by its CEO and Artistic Director, Issie Barratt, in collaboration with a roster of over 40 world class jazz musicians and educators, the National Youth Jazz Collective is a vibrant organisation that supports the creative and educational needs of young jazz musicians providing pathways of progression from beginner to emerging professionals.

Dave Holland, an English composer and bandleader, widely known as one of the best bassists in the world today has been performing and recording for over five decades. Launched to notoriety for his works with jazz legends Miles Davis and Herbie Hancock at the age of 22, Holland went on to have a globally successful solo career which continues today and has been at the forefront of jazz in many of its forms since his earliest days.

APPJAG has over 100 members from the House of Commons and House of Lords, across all political parties. Its aim is to encourage a wider and deeper enjoyment of jazz and to increase the understanding of the jazz industry and issues surrounding it. Through lobbying at UK and EU government level, APPGAJ also campaigns on causes such as music licensing laws, funding for jazz, copyright laws and the need for more allocation of time on radio for jazz music.

PPL supported this year’s APPJAG Youth Jazz event. The organisation works on behalf of over 90,000 record companies and performers to license recorded music played in public, so that those who invest their time, talent, and expertise in recording music are paid fairly for their work.

Amanda Carmichael, Head of Member Services, PPL said: “APPJAG Youth Jazz in Portcullis House is a fantastic annual event that demonstrates the wealth of talent and commitment that exists in the British jazz scene amongst young people.”

Michael Connarty MP, Co-Chair of APPJAG and Vice President of NYJC, said: “MPs and Peers in the All Party Group are delighted to host another event in the House of Commons and we are extremely proud to be recognising and honouring the amazing wealth of musical talent and commitment that exists throughout the United Kingdom. NYJC played fantastically; it’s always a privilege to hear them live.”

Dave Holland, President of NYJC and special guest performer said: “It is so important to champion and encourage the extraordinary talent of our young British jazz musicians at the start of their careers, as they could soon be representing our UK jazz scene at a professional level globally.”


Ella Hohnen-Ford (vocalist)


Alexander Bone and Tom Smith


Alex Ridout (trumpet)