The Rolling Stones, Laura Mvula, Damien Chazelle, Donny McCaslin and Gilles Peterson were among the winners at the Jazz FM Awards 2017, which took place this evening at Shoreditch Town Hall in the heart of East London.
A glittering array of UK and international talent turned out to celebrate the very best of jazz, blues, soul and beyond, as the music industry and public figures, including Charlie Watts, Mick Jagger, Ronnie Wood, Laura Mvula, Van Morrison, Georgie Fame, Adrian Lester, Will Young, Maxi Jazz, The Brand New Heavies, Courtney Pine and more, gathered at a ceremony hosted by Jazz FM presenter Jez Nelson.
The Stones collected an impressive two Awards, fighting off stiff competition to take home the accolades of Blues Artist of the Year and the public voted Album of the Year, which were personally accepted by Charlie Watts, Mick Jagger, and Ronnie Wood. Blue and Lonesome producer Don Was sent a message direct from California, and Watts was also presented with The Gold Award in recognition of his significant contribution to jazz and blues from his long-term friend and iconic British jazz musician Evan Parker.
Don Was said:
“The Rolling Stones are among some of the most hard-working and talented musicians ever to step in front of a microphone, and when they kick into gear, the whole becomes far greater than the already gigantic sum of the parts… that’s exactly what happened during the making of Blue and Lonesome…”
La La Land and Whiplash Director Damien Chazelle was honoured with The Impact Award and thanked the station via video:
“I want to thank Jazz FM for honouring me with this year’s Impact Award. It truly means the world to me, I’ve been jazz obsessed my whole life, as a former wannabe jazz musician. I was never quite good enough to make it… so I decided to film jazz musicians instead and try to put jazz on screen… I truly believe in the marriage between jazz and cinema, and I hope to play a small tiny part in keeping that tradition alive.”
Other highlights from the night included Laura Mvula receiving the Award for Soul Artist of the Year, which she followed up with a memorable live rendition of “The Man I Love” as a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald, whose birthday centenary coincided with the event. PPL Lifetime Achievement Award winner Georgie Fame, who after being presented with his Award by Van Morrison, captivated audiences with an exclusive, one –off collaboration with MBE trumpeter Guy Barker, and Donny McCaslin flew in especially for the ceremony to perform material from his critically acclaimed album in memory of David Bowie, Beyond Now. McCaslin also took home the International Jazz Artist of the Year Award, and Donny was surprised with a special video from Tony Visconti, congratulating him on the honour:
“Congratulations Donny on winning the International Jazz Artist of the Year Award. When we did Blackstar together you blew our minds because you’re a one take guy… and David and I weren’t quite used to such professionalism. If it wasn’t for you Blackstar wouldn’t be the success that it is, it was so much fun working with you and your band. This is a well-deserved Award.”
South London jazz/groove duo on the rise Yussef Kamaal were named as the Breakthrough Act of the Year, and in their absence the Award was collected by DJ Gilles Peterson, who discovered and signed them to his label Brownswood Records in 2016. Peterson also picked up the Digital Initiative of the Year Award in recognition of Worldwide FM. US drummer and social activist Jaimeo Brown was honoured with Jazz Innovation of the Year for his Transcendence project.
The full list of winners is as follows:
BREAKTHROUGH ACT OF THE YEAR (Sponsored by Yamaha)
INTERNATIONAL JAZZ ARTIST OF THE YEAR (Sponsored by Oris Watches)
VOCALIST OF THE YEAR (Sponsored by PRS for Music)
INSTRUMENTALIST OF THE YEAR (Sponsored by Rathbones)
BLUES ARTIST OF THE YEAR (Sponsored by The Piano Bar Soho)
SOUL ARTIST OF THE YEAR (Sponsored by RCS)
JAZZ INNOVATION OF THE YEAR (Sponsored by Mishcon de Reya)
DIGITAL INITIATIVE OF THE YEAR (Sponsored by Pollitt & Partners)
Gilles Peterson – Worldwide FM
ALBUM OF THE YEAR (PUBLIC VOTE) (Sponsored by Arqiva)
Rolling Stones – Blue & Lonesome
UK JAZZ ACT OF THE YEAR (PUBLIC VOTE) (Sponsored by Grange Hotels)
LIVE EXPERIENCE OF THE YEAR (PUBLIC VOTE)
Orphy Robinson All Stars – The Bobby Hutcherson Songbook for Church of Sound
PPL LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Recipient: Georgie Fame
IMPACT AWARD (Sponsored by Everyman)
Recipient: Damien Chazelle
Following on from last month’s announcement of the 2017 Jazz FM Awards nominations, it has been confirmed that the Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts, whose new jazz album is released on Universal Records in April, will be the recipient of The Gold Award. The Gold Award is awarded to Watts in recognition of his lifelong contribution to jazz and blues. Watts has also been nominated for two Awards with the Rolling Stones under the categories of Album of the Year and Blues Artist of the Year.
Charlie Watts said:
“I am very grateful to be honoured by Jazz FM for my contribution to Jazz and Blues. I’ve always loved and been influenced by the music and its players. It was one of the reasons I wanted to be a musician myself. It’s still important that we continue to support this music to ensure it lives on for the next generations. “
Taking place on April 25th, the 100th anniversary of Ella Fitzgerald’s birth, the night will be hosted by one of Jazz FM’s founding presenters, Jez Nelson, and feature a series of exclusive live performances including a special tribute to Ella from Laura Mvula, who is nominated for the first time this year for the Soul Artist of the Year Award. Also performing on the night is US saxophonist and David Bowie’s Blackstar collaborator Donny McCaslin, as well as the PPL Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Georgie Fame, whose exclusive performance with Guy Barker heading up a band featuringAlec Dankworth, Jim Watson and James Powell was announced last month.
Artists who have been nominated for the 2017 Jazz FM Awards include Gregory Porter, Laura Mvula, William Bell, Wayne Shorter, Madeleine Peyroux, Gilles Peterson, Donny McCaslin, Anderson .Paak, Kurt Elling, Robert Glasper, Shabaka Hutchings, Yussef Kaamal, Soweto Kinch and Julian Arguelles, while La La Land and Whiplash director Damien Chazelle will be the recipient of this year’s Impact Award.
The venue for this year’s Awards has moved to Shoreditch Town Hall.
The Jazz FM Awards 2017 is a partnership between Jazz FM and Serious and is made possible with the support of PPL, Mishcon De Reya, PRS for Music, Rathbones, Pollitt & Partners, Oris Watches, Grange Hotels, RCS, Everyman, Sharp Stream, Denbies Wine Estate, Boxer Gin, Fever Tree, Yamaha, The Piano Bar Soho and Arqiva.
Public Voting Now Closed
Thank you to all who voted for the UK Jazz Act of the Year, Live Experience of the Year and Album of the Year awards. Voting is now closed and the winners in all categories will be announced at the Jazz FM Awards 2017 on 25 April.