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.
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
International Soul Artist of the Year
Sponsored by RCS
UK Jazz Act of the Year (Public Vote)
Sponsored by Cambridge Audio
Digital Initiative of the Year
Sponsored by Oanda
Esperanza Spalding: Exposure
Instrumentalist of the Year
Sponsored by Grange Hotels
International Blues Artist of the Year
Sponsored by British Airways
Jazz Innovation of the Year
Sponsored by Mishcon de Reya
Shabaka Hutchings: Multiple projects
Vocalist of the Year
Sponsored by Lateralize
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
Sponsored by MediaCom
Recipient: George Benson
PRS for Music Gold Award
Recipient: Pat Metheny
Images courtesy PA.