The highest achievers from the worlds of jazz, blues, soul and beyond have been honoured at the third annual Jazz FM Awards produced by Serious, which took place last night at a star-studded ceremony at the Bloomsbury Ballroom in London.
Hosted by writer, actor and broadcaster Hardeep Singh Kohli, the ceremony featured performances from some of the hottest acts across the genre and was attended by a host of well-known faces including Jon Snow, Cerys Matthews, Nitin Sawhney, Soweto Kinch, the Brand New Heavies and others.
Highlights this year included awards for Gregory Porter and Quincy Jones. Multi-platinum-selling Porter picked up the Impact Award, presented to a jazz artist who’s made an outstanding impression on the wider global music scene. Porter thanked Jazz FM for their unwavering support having previously credited the station with initiating his chart-topping collaboration with Disclosure. In typical Gregory warm-hearted fashion he thanked his audiences saying:
”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.”
Legendary composer, arranger and producer Quincy Jones was honoured with The PPL Lifetime Achievement Award and thanked the station via a specially 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!”
Other awards included Digital Initiative of the Year, which was presented to Jacob Collier, a young artist whom Quincy Jones hailed as “absolutely mindblowing”. Collier has captured the public’s attention with his groundbreaking acapella videos, which have received millions of hits across social media..
California-based saxophonist Kamasi Washington took home the title of International Jazz Act of the Year, affirming his status as one of the biggest acts to emerge from this year. Revered trumpeter Christian Scott won the Jazz Innovation of the Year award for his Stretch Music project and saxophonist Soweto Kinch presented much-hyped London-based duo Binker and Moses with Breakthrough Act of the Year. The duo were big winners on the night and also took home the UK Jazz Act of the Year Award. EFG London Jazz Festival’s The Langston Hughes Project at the Barbican with Ice-T and Ron McCurdy picked up the Live Experience Award voted for by the public.
Performances on the night came from Kansas Smitty’s House Band, Liv Warfield, who also accepted the Vocalist of the Year Award on behalf of Lauren Kinsella, and rising star singer/pianist Kandace Springs, an artist championed by Prince who will release her debut album Soul Eyes on Blue Note Records in July. The event came to a climax with a performance from Hiatus Kaiyote, who were honored with the prestigious award for Album of the Year for their critically acclaimed Choose Your Weapon.
The full list of winners is as follows:
Instrumentalist of the Year
Winner: Mark Lockheart
Soul Artist of the Year (Sponsored by RCS)
Winner: Jill Scott
Breakthrough Act of the Year
Winner: Binker & Moses
Blues Artist of the Year
Winner: Gary Clark Jr.
Vocalist of the Year
Winner: Lauren Kinsella
International Jazz Artist Of The Year (Sponsored by Yamaha)
Winner: Kamasi Washington
Album Of The Year – Public Vote (Sponsored by Arqiva)
Winner: Hiatus Kaiyote
UK Jazz Act of the Year (Sponsored by Grange Hotels)
Winner: Binker & Moses
Digital Initiative of the Year (sponsored by 7digital)
Winner: Jacob Collier
Jazz Innovation of the Year (sponsored by Mishcon de Reya)
Winner: Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah
Live Experience of the Year – Public Vote
Winner: Ice-T and Ron McCurdy – The Langston Hughes Project at the Barbican
PPL Lifetime Achievement Award