As you’d expect, competition for the inaugural Jazz FM Awards is fierce. 34 nominees were carefully chosen by a panel of experts.
For the final judging process, we’ve taken care to carefully select and balance the panel to ensure as robust and transparent a process as possible, and judges cannot vote for artists or nominations in which they have a professional interest .
Meet the Judges:
John Cumming (Serious)
Tony Dudley Evans (Artistic Adviser to Jazzlines)
Simon Cooke (Ronnie’s)
Jon Newey (Jazzwise)
Mike Vitti (Jazz FM)
Chris Phillips (Jazz FM)
John Cumming is one of the directors of Serious and the London Jazz Festival. He has been programming festivals and tours since the 1970s, stretching back to the Bracknell Jazz Festival, and the first UK performances of Gil Evans in 1978. As a Serious producer he is responsible for concerts and tours throughout the UK. He is an associate Producer at the Barbican, and has received awards for Services to Jazz by the BBC and at the 2012 Parliamentary Jazz Awards.
Tony Dudley-Evans is Jazz Adviser to Town Hall/Symphony Hall and runs the Jazzlines programme with Mary Wakelam Sloan. As well as being Jazz Adviser, he is also Artistic Adviser to the Cheltenham Jazz Festival. He won the BBC Award for Contribution to Jazz in 2005.
Simon Cooke has racked up over 30 years in the music business. With experience ranging from night club management via rock star merchandising to jazz booker. Ex Director of Jazz FM, and co-founder of Hed Kandi Records, Simon has now been Managing Director of Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club since 2008.
Jon Newey is the editor and publisher of Jazzwise magazine. As editor and publisher, he was awarded Jazz Journalist of the Year at the Parliamentary Jazz Awards in 2006 and again in 2012. As a former professional touring and recording musician, Jon has now been working full time in the jazz and rock music press business for over 35 years.
Mike Vitti has been working full-time in radio since 1989 as the Programme Controller at Jazz FM as well as the presenter of Funky Sensation. ‘An unsuccessful drummer/percussionist’ as he says, Mike realised very early on there was more chance of him playing records rather than making them for a living so began his DJ career in Mallorca. Mike still DJs and can be seen playing around the country most weekends.
Chris Phillips has been a steady name on the London airways for 27 years playing Soul, R’n’B, hip-hop and jazz. He became one of the crew on Gilles Peterson’s BBC Radio London show in the mid-’80s. In 1988, Chris was broadcasting on DevonAir and Orchard FM in the West Country presenting everything from travel news to specialist show. He has previously worked with Kiss 100 and is a huge hands-on football fan, He continues to announce at Wimbledon on match days.
Currently a university lecturer in music and events management, Alex Webb has worked at the BBC World Service, BBC News Online and BBC Radio 3. He is also an acclaimed songwriter, musician, and political journalist for Alastair Stewart’s Sunday Programme on GMTV. Since the 1980s, Webb has played with numerous jazz, pop and reggae groups including Manchester’s Carmel and Harlem Spirit, as well as collaborating with many musicians and vocalists including Alexia Gardner.