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Jazz FM Awards 2016 | reviews, news & interviews

Jazz FM Awards 2016

Jazz FM Awards 2016

Legends and up-and-coming stars are recognised at the third Jazz FM Awards

Dem Ones: a brace of awards for Binker and Moses

A diverse mix of musicians from the worlds of jazz, blues, soul and beyond were honoured at the third Jazz FM Awards on Tuesday night, which took place in the 1920s art-deco setting of London’s Bloomsbury Ballroom.

Hosted by writer, actor and broadcaster Hardeep Singh Kohli, and produced by Serious, the ceremony featured performances from Kansas Smitty’s House Band, Liv Warfield, rising star singer/pianist Kandace Springs, and Hiatus Kaiyote. Guest presenters included Cerys Matthews, Nitin Sawhney, Soweto Kinch, plus Simon Bartholomew and Andrew Levy from the Brand New Heavies. 

Collier was holed up at MIT fine-tuning a bespoke vocoder-harmoniser-synthesizer-type-of-thing 

The UK’s love affair with the Grammy-winning baritone vocalist and songwriter Gregory Porter doesn’t appear to be coming to an end any time soon. Having received Jazz FM awards in 2013 (for Live UK Show of the Year) and 2015 (for Jazz Artist of the Year), he was given further recognition this year with the Impact Award. In a video message, Porter, who was sadly unable to be present as he was filming an edition of Later… with Jools Holland, said: ”Thank you to everybody because it is you who inspire me and then I just give it back to you. I’m inspired and impacted by you.”

The legendary musician, composer, arranger, producer and conductor Quincy Jones was honoured with the PPL Lifetime Achievement Award. Having worked with everyone from Sarah Vaughan, Ray Charles and Frank Sinatra to Michael Jackson and Miles Davis, and still mentoring up-and-coming artists (including one of this evening’s recipients, Jacob Collier), Jones said in his recorded video message: “What can I say, Jazz FM? I’m so moved… To be so young and receive an award like this it’s astounding; I’m only 83 man! It’s with great honour and pride that I’d like to say thank you and show you my gratitude and my respect and love, I really appreciate it, thank you. It always feels good man!”

Nai Palm of Hiatus Kaiyote and Kandace SpringsFeaturing Christian Scott atunde Adjuah's Stretch Music, Kamasi Washington’s The Epic, Maria Schneider’s The Thompson Fields, Charenee Wade’s Offering, Snarky Puppy’s Sylva, and Hiatus Kiayote’s Choose Your Weapon, this year’s shortlist for Album of the Year (one of three categories voted for by the public) was especially strong, with the Australian future-soul quartet getting the nod for Choose Your Weapon. (Pictured left: Nai Palm of Hiatus Kaiyote and Kandace Springs.)

It was quite a night for the sax/drums duo of Binker Golding and Moses Boyd, who not only won Breakthrough Act of the Year but also carried off the UK Jazz Act of the Year award. It follows the release last year of their album Dem Ones, which also garnered the duo a MOBO Award for Best Jazz Act. With a nomination for Jazz Newcomer of the Year in next month’s Parliamentary Jazz Awards, it's shaping up to be quite a year for the duo.

Facing stiff competition in the form of Eska and Liane Carroll, Vocalist of the Year went to the pure-voiced, Dublin-born, London-based Lauren Kinsella (Blue-Eyed Hawk, Snowpoet, Lauren Kinsella quartet), while the consistently inventive Mark Lockheart, a member of the great Loose Tubes, a mainstay of Mercury-nominated Polar Bear, and one-third of the new all-star trio MALIJA, won Instrumentalist of the Year.

Christian Scott atunde Adjuah and Kamasi Washington both triumphed in other categories, the former scooping the Jazz Innovation of the Year award for his Stretch Music project, ahead of Black Top and David Virelles, the latter winning International Artist of the Year following the huge critical acclaim for last year's aforementioned The Epic.

The Digital Initiative Award, a new addition for this year, went to the North London wunderkind and YouTube sensation, Jacob Collier. Collier, appropriately enough, was holed up at MIT where he's fine-tuning an entirely new, bespoke vocoder-harmoniser-synthesizer-type-of-thing – which set chins hitting the floor when he debuted the concept at Ronnie Scott’s last year. 

The full list of winners: 

Instrumentalist of the Year: Mark Lockheart

Soul Artist of the Year: Jill Scott

Breakthrough Act of the Year: Binker & Moses

Blues Artist of the Year: Gary Clark Jr

Vocalist of the Year: Lauren Kinsella

International Artist of the Year: Kamasi Washington

Album of the Year (public vote): Hiatus Kiayote, Choose Your Weapon

UK Jazz Act of the Year (public vote): Binker & Moses

Digital Initiative of the Year: Jacob Collier

Jazz Innovation of the Year: Christian Scott atunde Adjuah

Live Experience of the Year (public vote): Ice-T and Ron McCurdy – The Langston Hughes Project at the Barbican

Jazz Impact Award: Gregory Porter

PPL Lifetime Achievement Award: Quincy Jones

The UK’s love affair with the Grammy-winning baritone vocalist and songwriter Gregory Porter doesn’t appear to be coming to an end any time soon

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