Winners announced for 2013 Parliamentary Jazz Awards

The House of Commons played host to the ninth PPL sponsored Parliamentary Jazz Awards on the evening of Wednesday 8 May which was attended by a record number of MPs and peers, showing a cross-party love of jazz. The UK jazz awards were hosted by broadcaster Moira Stuart OBE. Many MPs, Peers and renowned jazz musicians were present on the night including Stan Tracey OBE, Norma Winstone, Gwilym Simcock, Liane Carroll, Gregory Porter, The Rt Hon The Lord Prescott and Lord David Steel.

The full list of winners is:

Jazz Musician of the Year: Guy Barker
London born trumpeter Guy Barker has been a well-known musician on the UK scene for 3 decades, since his early days as a member of the National Youth Jazz Orchestra. He’s worked with many fine bands led by the likes of Gil Evans, Georgie Fame, Cleo Laine and Clark Tracey. He’s the first-call bandleader and arranger for the gala opening night concert of the London Jazz Festival, ‘Jazz Voice’, working with top vocalists and matching them with songs from the jazz repertoire. He’s also a regular arranger and band leader for BBC Radio 2’s flagship live programme, ‘Friday Night Is Music Night’, working with the BBC concert orchestra, for which he’s recently been appointed Associate Composer.

Jazz Album of the Year: John Surman ‘Saltash Bells’ (ECM)
This extraordinary solo recording can be seen as saxophonist and composer John Surman’s personal sound portrait of his early years in the West Country, and with its beautiful blend of reeds and electronics summons the mists, moors and mysteries in hauntingly evocative style.

Jazz Ensemble of the Year: Impossible Gentlemen
Formed in 2010 and following from their debut album and tour, this quartet has already earned the moniker ‘jazz supergroup’.  And with much justification: the personnel boasts UK’s Gwilym Simcock and Mike Walker (joint bandleaders) with - from the U.S. -  Steve Swallow and Adam Nussbaum. The coming together of these four masters has created a band steeped with individual experience that has produced its own independent and thoroughly engaging sound.

Live Jazz Award of the Year: The Vortex, London
Celebrating its 25th anniversary year and volunteer-led, this not-for-profit venue promotes 400 performances a year of emerging and established talent.  Short listed by Music Week as one of the best live promoters of 2011 and voted into its Top 10 London venues by Time Out readers in 2012, notable performances in recent years have included the Portico Quartet, Three Trapped Tigers and Pete Wareham, Polar Bear and The Final Terror, Evan Parker, Dame Cleo Laine, Tim Berne and Jerry Bergonzi. 
Jazz Journalist of the Year: Rob Adams
Originally a double bassist, Rob has had a distinguished career as a promoter as well as a journalist. He has been jazz columnist for The Herald since 1988 covering Scottish traditional music, Americana and world music as well as jazz. He is widely regarded as Scotland's leading jazz journalist. He is very supportive of Scottish jazz talent, and his acute ears and lively writing style – along with his perseverance - have done much to raise the profile of jazz in Scotland. In his words, “I'm currently involved in persuading the health authorities that live music should be considered as one of your five-a-day.”
Jazz Broadcaster of the Year: Mike Chadwick
The jazz DJ Mike Chadwick has broad tastes and an enthusiast’s approach on air. A popular live DJ in venues throughout the country over the years, Chadwick has acquired a cult status over 14 years at Jazz FM.  In more recent times, he has contributed some typical mixes of new releases and dance-oriented Latin and fusion music to theJazz, and he continues to be an open-minded and innovative concert programmer as a Music Officer at the Brewery Arts Centre in Kendal, Cumbria.

Jazz Publication of the Year: Catherine Tackley - Benny Goodman’s Famous 1938 Carnegie Hall Jazz Concert
Benny Goodmans’ 1938 concert at Carnegie Hall is considered to be one of the most important live moments in jazz’s history.  75 years on, Catherine Tackley examines the impact and influence of both the concert itself and the subsequent recording, released in 1950 on Columbia Records.  Exhaustively researched and of equal interest to jazz fans as well as jazz scholars, the book is a prime example of the sort of in-depth research that helps to constantly re-invigorate jazz as a musical genre and a subject of academic study.

Jazz Education Award: Nick Smart
In his role as Head of Jazz at the Royal Academy of Music, Nick Smart has become one of the leading figures in jazz education, both in the UK and internationally. Since graduating from the Guildhall School of Music in 1998 he has been committed to education alongside a busy playing career, and already nurtured several generations of future jazz musicians. As a trumpet player Nick continues to record his own projects and play in many leading groups, touring the world as a soloist. He has recently overseen the acquisition of the archive of jazz composer Kenny Wheeler by the RAM.

Services to Jazz Award: Stan Tracey OBE
Pianist and composer Stan Tracey is not just one of the enduring giants of British jazz - and still in scorching form at 86 - he’s an international jazz star whose artistry has been acclaimed by some of the music’s most famous creators. His 1965 masterpiece Under Milk Wood is probably his most acclaimed work, but he has also composed some of the most creative homages to the Ellington  style written since the Duke's death, led every kind of band from duos to orchestras, played free-improvisation and swing alike, and had entire festivals devoted to his work. A true original, Stan Tracey is one of a gifted handful of homegrown artists who have introduced British jazz to the world.

APPJAG Special Award: Elaine Delmar

“The Parliamentary Jazz Awards is the way MPs and Peers of all political parties aim to support British jazz by recognising and honouring the amazing musical talent we have in this country. The star studded names of this year’s winners speak for themselves and we are very grateful to PPL for sponsoring the Awards”  said Michael Connarty MP, APPJAG Co-Chairman.

Guests were treated to a performance by James Pearson and the Ronnie Scott’s All Stars.

The APPJAG has 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, to promote jazz as a musical form and to raise its profile inside and outside of Parliament.  The Group’s officers are Co-Chairs Michael Connarty MP and Lord Colwyn, Secretary: Baroness Coussins and Treasurer, Kelvin Hopkins MP.