2015 All Party Parliamentary Jazz Awards nominations announced

The nominations for the 2015 Parliamentary Jazz Awards, Britain’s premier awards for the jazz loving public and fans in both Houses, were announced on 5 February.

British broadcaster Moira Stuart returns to compere the ceremony, now in its eleventh year, and which is organised by the All Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group (APPJAG). There will be special guest performances by James Pearson and The Ronnie Scott’s All Stars.

The nominees feature a broad array of jazz talent from within the industry, including: East London jazz singer Zara McFarlane, winner of the 2014 MOBO prize for best jazz act; Jason Yarde, an accomplished composer considered one of the most imaginitive and stylistically divese saxophonist’s in the UK; legendary Soho jazz venue Spice of Life, acclaimed for hosting the likes of Bob Dylan, Cat Stevens, Jamie Cullum and Soweto Kinhch in its 50-year lifespan; and the National Youth Jazz Orchestra, one of Britain’s longest running jazz ensembles for young people under 25.

Sponsored by music licensing company PPL, the award categories reflect the ever-increasing scope of talent from within the UK’s jazz scene. They include: Jazz Vocalist of the Year; Jazz Instrumentalist of the Year; Jazz Album of the Year; Jazz Ensemble of the Year; Jazz Newcomer of the Year; Jazz Venue of the Year; Jazz Media Award, Jazz Education Award, and the Services to Jazz Award.

Peter Leatham, CEO, PPL, said:

'We at PPL are delighted to continue our long-standing relationship with APPJAG and to be the main sponsor of these Awards. I would like to extend my personal thanks and appreciation to Michael Connarty MP and to Lord Colwyn for doing such a fantastic job in co-chairing and running APPJAG.'  

Michael Connarty MP, Co-Chair of APPJAG, said:

'These shortlists demonstrate the wealth of talent and commitment that exists in the British jazz scene. Now in its 11th year, the Parliamentary Jazz Awards honours the best of British jazz. MPs and Peers in the All Party Group are delighted to host another ceremony in the House of Commons and we are extremely grateful to PPL for sponsoring the event.'

The full list of nominees is as follows:

Jazz Vocalist of the Year                     

  • Alice Zawadzki
  • Georgia Mancio
  • Norma Winstone MBE
  • Zara McFarlane

Jazz Instrumentalist of the Year          

  • Jason Yarde
  • Laura Jurd
  •  Phil Robson

Jazz Album of the Year                       

  • Partisans ‘Swamp’
  • Julian Argüelles ‘Circularity’
  • Tim Garland ‘Songs to the North Sky’

Jazz Ensemble of the Year                  

  • Engines Orchestra
  • Loose Tubes
  • Partisans

Jazz Newcomer of the Year              

  • Blue-Eyed Hawk
  • Elliot Galvin Trio
  • Peter Edwards

Jazz Venue of the Year            

  • Manchester Jazz Festival
  • Spice of Life
  • St Ives Jazz Club

Jazz Media Award                               

  • Jazz on 3, BBC Radio 3
  • London Jazz News, www.londonjazznews.com
  • The Jazz Breakfast, www.thejazzbreakfast.com

Jazz Education Award

  • Dr Tommy Smith
  • National Youth Jazz Orchestra
  • Simon Purcell

Services to Jazz Award                      

  • Chris Hodgkins
  • Evan Parker
  • Mike Gordon

APPJAG currently has over 100 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.