The first two recipients of this year’s special Jazz FM Awards have been announced – George Benson will receive the ‘Impact’ Award, recognising the substantial contribution he has made to jazz, soul, funk and disco, and how he has brought the music to millions of people. One of the most successful jazz artists of modern times, Benson kicked off his influential career, which now spans over five decades, by working with heavyweight players such as Miles Davis and Freddie Hubbard before going on to become a chart-topping, million-selling international superstar.
Meanwhile, the PPL Lifetime Achievement Award will be handed to Dame Cleo Laine. Now in her 90th year, the British singer and actress has spent decades at the forefront of the British jazz scene alongside her late husband saxophonist John Dankworth. Together they made countless TV and radio appearances, played thousands of shows, and nurtured new talent and young players including those who continue to perform at their highly successful ‘Stables’ venue in Buckinghamshire. She has released over 100 albums including notable recordings with Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk and Ray Charles alongside her own landmark projects, and left an indelible mark on the jazz world thanks to her remarkable vocal range and scat singing prowess. Dame Cleo is a Grammy-award winner, and the only female artist to have been nominated for a Grammy in the jazz, classical and pop categories.
Both she and George Benson will be honoured at the Jazz FM Awards ceremony held at Shoreditch Town Hall in London on Monday April 30 – International Jazz Day. The presenters for the event will be Chris Philips and Jez Nelson, and pianist Ashley Henry will be the Musical Director for the event.
See the full list of nominees here.
The Jazz FM Awards 2018 is a partnership between Jazz FM and Serious and is made possible with the support of PPL, PRS For Music, Mishcon de Reya, Rathbones, Oris Watches, Grange Hotels, Lateralize, Arqiva, Yamaha, RCS, Shoreditch Town Hall, Cambridge Audio, Denbies Wine Estate, Warsteiner, SharpStream, EC1 Studios, Oanda and British Airways.