An array of international stars from around the world came together for last night’s Jazz FM Awards with OANDA, which took place via livestream from Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in Soho. Presented by Marcus Brigstocke, the ceremony celebrated the breadth and diversity of the thriving global scene and saw awards presented to an array of artists from across the genre’s rich cultural landscape.
The evening’s two high profile Special Awards went to 14-time Grammy-winning jazz superstar Herbie Hancock – who celebrated turning 80 this year by picking up The PPL Lifetime Achievement Award – and multi-platinum-selling US singer Norah Jones, who was presented with The Impact Award.
“The UK has supported and kept jazz alive for so many years. Not just for its citizens, but globally. And people in distant lands, many fans from Asia, Africa and around the world have been able to enjoy great jazz in places like Ronnie Scott’s and other venues for many, many years.
It has all been a wonderful ride and continues with the younger generation of jazz musicians collaborating with me and I’m inspired by that. They think I’m inspiring them; they don’t realise they are inspiring me! But jazz is in a very healthy state. The pandemic is not going to stop that. It’s continuing beyond that. So I want to thank the Jazz FM Awards and Oanda for this wonderful honour. Thank you all so very, very much.”
A host of stars turned out to present awards – including the likes of Jamie Cullum, Hugh Laurie, Yolanda Brown, Robert Glasper, Clarke Peters, Alexander O’Neal and Tom Misch – and the ceremony once again shone a light on the thriving UK jazz scene with live performances from three of its most promising artists; Judi Jackson, Xhosa Cole and Yazz Ahmed. All three performers took home awards with Judi Jackson being crowned Vocalist Of The Year, Xhosa Cole Breakthrough Act Of The Year, and Yazz Ahmed was presented with both the coveted Album Of The Year and UK Jazz Act Of The Year.
Elsewhere, Earth Wind and Fire’s Philip Bailey was presented with Soul Act Of The Year, legendary US saxophonist Charles Lloyd picked up International Act Of The Year, Binker Golding was Instrumentalist Of The Year, The Innovation Award went to Jazz re:freshed and Venue Of The Year was won by The Vortex.
Nick Pitts, Content Director Jazz FM:
“That we were able to put an event like this together in such tumultuous times is a reflection of the excellent work of our team at Bauer but it also displays the strength and resilience of the jazz community as a whole and hopefully provides a much-needed boost to everyone who works within it. I’m incredibly proud of what we’ve achieved here and congratulations to all of the worthy winners.”