Congratulations to the northern recipients at the 2018 Parliamentary Jazz Awards. The awards event took place in the swish settings of the latest PizzaExpress Live venue in Holborn, London.
During the ceremony, award presenters comprised of British politicians and home-grown UK jazz talent including Co-Chairs of the All Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group, Kelvin Hopkins MP and Lord Colwyn; Elaine Delmar, Jon Newey, Editor in Chief of Jazzwise, Deirdre Cartwright, Sarah Champion MP, Chi Onwurah MP, Ian Shaw, John Fordham, Baroness Coussins and Saad Gantar (Regional Operations Director Pizza Express).
Compére for the evening was Ross Dines of PizzaExpress Live, “This has been a really strong year for the Parliamentary Jazz Awards in terms of talent and nominations. The well deserved recipients are a veritable who’s who of names that have made a real impact on the music and helped make the UK one of the world’s leading jazz territories”. A big hand to the Parliamentary Band on the evening; Max Brittain, Alison Rayner, Henry Lowther, Fraser Smith and Sophie Alloway.
Kelvin Hopkins MP, APPJAG Co-Chairman, said: “The Parliamentary Jazz Awards are a great way for MPs and Peers of all political parties to show their support for British jazz by recognising and honouring the amazing musical talent we have in our country. From established stars to fresh new talent, the range and diversity of this year’s winners shows the vibrancy and creativity of British jazz. We are extremely grateful once again to PizzaEpress Live for supporting the Awards.”
APPJAG currently has 80 members from the House of Commons and House of Lords across all political parties. Their aim is to encourage wider and deeper enjoyment of jazz, to increase Parliamentarians’ understanding of the jazz industry and issues surrounding it, to promote jazz as a musical form and to raise its profile inside and outside Parliament. The Group’s officers as at the 16th July 2018 are Co-Chairs, Kelvin Hopkins MP and Lord Colwyn, Secretary, Baroness Coussins, Vice Chairs, Alison Thewless MP and Sarah Champion MP, the Treasurer is Ian Paisley MP. Officers are: Lord Crathorne, John Mann MP and Sir Greg Knight MP. The Secretariat is Chris Hodgkins.
Jazz Venue of the Year: Jazz At The Lescar in Sheffield
Every week since January 2013, over 50 nights a year, Jazz At The Lescar have brought together musicians and audiences in a welcoming, friendly, and listening environment that allows artists to express themselves freely, and provides the opportunity for audiences to experience something out of the ordinary in the backroom of a pub in Sheffield, and occasionally at other ‘pop-up’ venues.
They are a small group of volunteers, mostly musicians from the Sheffield Jazz scene, focused on providing a platform for the very best musicians from around the North, the UK, and further afield. Our programming covers the full spectrum of music encompassed by jazz and improvised music, from the mainstream to the experimental, and its many varied intersections with other musical forms; always with an eye on quality.
They are non-profit, and all money taken at the box, apart from a small contribution to cover marketing, goes to the musicians. The core team are Jez Matthews, Hannah Brady, Rich Keates, and Helen Matthews, supported by an amazing bunch of people (including students from Sheffield University) who provide assistance on the nights, help with publicity, run the website, give us advice, and sell tickets. They couldn’t do it without the creative freedom offered by the team at the Lescar itself to promote the full wide range of music every week, and of course it wouldn’t happen at all without the incredible musicians and audiences who all bring their warmth, vibe and energy to make the magic happen, not least the pin-drop silence that happens for a bass solo or the whisper of a cymbal.
Jazz Media Award: Lance Liddle – Bebop Spoken Here
Lance Liddle is a retired saxophonist based in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Lance played along played alongside Sting in the Newcastle Big Band in the 1970s.
Lance Liddle has been a jazz fan and student of the music since he was 15 years of age attending concerts, festivals, and clubs and, of course, buying and, later, reviewing CDs on Bebop Spoken Here.
Lance Liddle started Bebop Spoken in 2008 with the sole purpose of “Updating the world about jazz in the northeast and updating the northeast about jazz in the world”; all done in a light-hearted manner and the Bebop Spoken Here is updated daily.
The Bebop Spoken Here team covers all genres and reviews most northeast gigs. The blog has 3.5 million page views and is ranked at number 3 in UK and number 26 in the world.
Instrumentalist of the Year: Arun Ghosh
Arun Ghosh is a clarinetist, composer and music educator. Described by Ravi Shankar as a ‘natural born improviser’, he is a renowned innovator of the modern Indo Jazz style. A passionate, dynamic and eloquent performer, Arun’s playing combines South Asian raags (scales) and taals (rhythms), with the musical inspirations of his British-Asian and northern upbringing; jazz, rock, classical, folk, hip-hop and dance cultures. Based in London and Manchester, Arun has released four albums on Camoci Records; his latest, the autobiographical “but where are you really from?” was released in October 2017, accompanied by an extensive national tour in 2017/18.