Jazz FM Awards: Celebrating the jazz vocalist

Next generation jazzers joined legends of the scene at this year’s Jazz FM Awards, where rising star Zara McFarlane won Vocalist of the Year and the supreme jazz vocalist, Dame Cleo Laine, received a Lifetime Achievement Award.

The ceremony took place, aptly, on International Jazz Day in East London, the centre of London’s thriving, thrilling grassroots jazz scene.

Established international stars Cecile McLorin Salvant (pictured), Thundercat, George Benson and Kamasi Washington joined British trailblazers Ezra Collective, Nubya Garcia and Shabaka Hutchings at Shoreditch Town Hall to celebrate the past year in which a fresh crop of young, exciting stars have made their mark.

McFarlane, East London born and bred, described winning Vocalist of the Year as a “dream come true”. Her most recent album, Arise, is a much-lauded exploration of jazz and Jamaican music that has catapulted her onto the world stage.

Zara McFarlane wins Vocalist of the Year at the Jazz FM Awards at Shoreditch Town Hall, in east London.

Jazz Act of the Year (as voted by the public) went to Ezra Collective. The Breakthrough Act of the Year Award went to saxophonist Nubya Garcia while the Jazz Innovation of the Year Award was given to Shabaka Hutchings. As well as performing on the night, McLorin Salvant also took home International Jazz Artist of the Year title.

The finale of the night was the presentation of the Lifetime Achievement Award to Laine, the 90-year-old doyenne of the British jazz scene. Laine, a scat singer extraordinaire with an impressive vocal range (three octaves) and a collection of Grammys, said: “Jazz continues to amaze me every day and I feel privileged to have been able to spend my life performing around the world and sharing music with many wonderful people.”

The full list of winners:

Breakthrough Act of the Year
Sponsored by Yamaha
Nubya Garcia

International Soul Artist of the Year
Sponsored by RCS
Moonchild

UK Jazz Act of the Year (Public Vote)
Sponsored by Cambridge Audio
Ezra Collective

Digital Initiative of the Year
Sponsored by Oanda
Esperanza Spalding: Exposure

Instrumentalist of the Year
Sponsored by Grange Hotels
Evan Parker

International Blues Artist of the Year
Sponsored by British Airways
Robert Cray

Jazz Innovation of the Year
Sponsored by Mishcon de Reya
Shabaka Hutchings: Multiple projects

Vocalist of the Year
Sponsored by Lateralize
Zara McFarlane

International Jazz Artist of the Year
Sponsored by Oris Watches
Cécile McLorin Salvant

Album of the Year (Public Vote)
Sponsored by Arqiva
Thundercat – Drunk

Live Experience of the Year (Public Vote)
Sponsored by Rathbones
Ronnie Scott’s presents Ezra Collective – EFG London Jazz Festival at Islington Assembly Hall

PPL Lifetime Achievement Award
Recipient: Dame Cleo Laine

Impact Award
Sponsored by MediaCom
Recipient: George Benson

PRS for Music Gold Award
Recipient: Pat Metheny

Website: jazzfmawards.com

Images courtesy PA.