Dame Cleo Laine and George Benson to receive special honours at Jazz FM Awards

With this year's edition of the Jazz FM Awards set to take place on 30 April, which is also International Jazz Day, the recipients of two special awards have been revealed. These include the PPL Lifetime Achievement Award which will be presented to revered British jazz singer Dame Cleo Laine (above left), now aged 90, in recognition of her extraordinary music career. This spans more than 100 albums (including working with Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk and Ray Charles) as well as countless performances alongside her late great husband Sir John Dankworth and with the cream of UK and international jazz scene. Laine commented on the award: "It is an incredible honour to be the recipient of this year's PPL Lifetime Achievement Award. 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. Thank you very much to Jazz FM for recognising my work."

The second special award goes to US guitarist and singing star George Benson (above right) who will be honoured with this year's Impact Award, in recognition of his music reaching a huge audience across his fifty-year career that includes winning 10 Grammy Awards and selling tens-of-millions of albums. The fifth edition of these awards will be presented by Jazz FM DJs Chris Philps and Jez Nelson at a ceremony at Shoreditch Town Hall on 30 April.

The full list of nominees is as follows:

Breakthrough Act of the Year: Ezra Collective; Nubya Garcia; Rob Luft.

International Soul Artist of the Year: Jordan Rakei; Leroy Hutson; Moonchild.

UK Jazz Act of the Year (Public Vote): Dinosaur; Ezra Collective; Kansas Smitty's House Band.

Digital Initiative of the Year: Esperanza Spalding: Exposure; Jacob Collier: I Harm U; Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club: Live Streaming.

Instrumentalist of the Year: Evan Parker; Theon Cross; Yazz Ahmed.

International Blues Artist of the Year: Lucky Peterson; Taj Mahal & Keb' Mo; Robert Cray.

Jazz Innovation of the Year: Carleen Anderson: Cage Street Memorial; Joe Armon Jones and Maxwell Owin: Idiom; Shabaka Hutchings: multiple projects.

Vocalist of the Year: Alice Zawadzki; Liane Carroll; Zara McFarlane. International Jazz

Artist of the Year: Cécile McLorin Salvant; Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah; Thundercat.

Album of the Year (Public Vote): Blue Note All-Stars – Our Point of View; Cécile McLorin Salvant – Dreams and Daggers; Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah – Diaspora; Denys Baptiste – The Late Trane; Phronesis – The Behemoth; Thundercat – Drunk.

Live Experience of the Year (Public Vote): An evening with Dave Holland – Ambleside Days Festival at Zephirellis Cinema (featuring Norma Winstone, Gwilym Simcock, Mike Walker, Nikki Iles, Mark Lockheart, Stan Sulzmann, Tim Garland, John Helliwell, Nick Smart, James Maddren and Asif Sirkis); CHICAGOXLONDON – Makaya McCraven at Total Refreshment Centre – 18 October, featuring Theon Cross Trio and Jaimie Branch Fly Or Die Ensemble; Ronnie Scott's presents Ezra Collective – EFG London Jazz Festival at Islington Assembly Hall; Jazz Re:Fest at the Southbank Centre; Pharoah Sanders Quartet + Denys Baptiste + Alina Bzhezhinska: A Concert for Alice and John – EFG London Jazz Festival at The Barbican and Randolph Matthews – Jazz in the Round at Love Supreme Festival.

Mike Flynn

For more info visit www.jazzfmawards.com

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