This year’s Jazz FM Awards ceremony took place at Shoreditch Town Hall, London on Tuesday 30 April (UNESCO International Jazz Day), with the winners reflecting the strength and vibrancy of the UK and US jazz scenes. Among those taking home gongs were emerging London-based saxophonist Cassie Kinoshi, who is making waves with her SEED Ensemble, winning Breakthrough Act of the Year, while fiery fast-rising tenorist Nubya Garcia won the public vote for the UK Jazz Act of the Year.

More established artists among the winners included expat US saxophonist (and former Jazz Messenger) Jean Toussaint, who won Instrumentalist of the Year, while Shabaka Hutchings’ incendiary four-piece Sons Of Kemet won the public vote for their all-conquering Your Queen Is A Reptile in the Album of the Year category. Transatlantic triumphs included drummer/producer Makaya McCraven winning International Jazz Act of the Year; tenor titan Kamasi Washington’s spontaneous appearance at south London’s Steam Down venue helped it and its live jazz collective scoop Live Experience of the Year and leading US guitarist and singer Eric Bibb was named Blues Artist of the Year.

The Blue Note record label’s 80th anniversary this year was also recognised with its president, Don Was, receiving the PPL Lifetime Achievement Award, with a congratulatory video message from his friend, and Beatles drummer, Ringo Starr. The night’s other special award saw Quincy Jones’ vocal protégé Jacob Collier collect the PRS for Music Gold Award. Hosted by Jazz FM presenters Chris Philips and Jez Nelson, there were live performances from singer Beverley Knight, who paid tribute to late-great soul-jazz vocal legend Aretha Franklin, while the high-energy Steam Down Collective closed out the show in emphatic style.

Mike Flynn

For more details visit www.jazzfmawards.com

The full list of winners is as follows:

Breakthrough Act: Cassie Kinoshi

The Digital Award: Louis Cole

The Innovation Award: Steam Down

Instrumentalist Of The Year: Jean Toussaint

International Jazz Act Of The Year: Makaya McCraven

Soul Act Of The Year: Poppy Ajudha

Blues Act Of The Year: Eric Bibb

Vocalist Of The Year: Cherise Adams-Burnett

UK Jazz Act (Public Vote): Nubya Garcia

Album Of The Year (Public Vote): Sons Of Kemet – Your Queen Is A Reptile

Live Experience Of The Year (Public Vote): Steam Down featuring Kamasi Washington

PRS for Music Gold Award: Jacob Collier

PPL Lifetime Achievement Award: Don Was and Blue Note Records

 

RibotWeb

Portugal’s premier experimental jazz bash, Jazz em Agosto, adopts a decidedly rebellious stance this year with a series of events pushing for protest and a manifesto of social change. Held between 1-11 August, within the grounds of Lisbon’s picturesque Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, among the sonic insurgents appearing at this year’s festival are Marc Ribot, who’ll be performing his ‘Songs of Resistance’ suite, plus Nicole Mitchell, Joey Baron, Tomas Fujiwara, Zeena Parkins, Ambrose Akinmusire, Ingrid Laubrock, Tom Rainey, Julien Desprez and Mary Halvorson.

Spencer Grady

For more details and ticket info visit www.gulbenkian.pt/jazzemagosto/en

lovesupreme2019 may

The organisers of this year’s Love Supreme Jazz Festival, which runs from 5 to 7 July, have confirmed that cult jazz-trip-hop band The Cinematic Orchestra (above left) will make an exclusive UK festival appearance at the event. This follows their sold-out three nights at London’s Roundhouse in March in support of their new album, To Believe, which was the band’s first release in 12 years. Other names added to the bill include reggae legend Jimmy Cliff and Zambian-born singer/rapper Sampa the Great, while the vibrant Bandstand line-up features a swathe of emerging jazz talents. Names to watch out for including Tomorrow's Warriors 5tet, storming Birmingham saxophonist Xhosa Cole and his Quartet and the Mingus Underground Octet. The opening Friday night line-up for the Arena stage has also been confirmed and includes soulful jazz-funk crew Yakul (above right), the virtuosic large-ensemble Patchwork Orchestra and danceable brass-fuelled Afro-jazz-fusion band Kongo Dia Ntotila.

These names join those already announced in Jazzwise (media partners for the festival) which include high-flying piano trio GoGo Penguin, spiritual jazzers Maisha, funky flautist Tenderlonius, grime-jazz tuba-ist Theon Cross, heavy-groovers Steam Down Collective, fast-rising SEED Ensemble and Brit-jazz vibist Orphy Robinson performing his acclaimed version of Van Morrison’s seminal album Astral Weeks. Some strong US names include fiery New Orleans five-piece Tank and the Bangas (above centre), Grammy-nominated pianist Christian Sands, cutting-edge Chicagoan drummer/producer Makaya McCraven and trumpeter Marquis Hill’s Blacktet. Experimental jazz sounds come via the Jazz in the Round stage, alongside further performances on the Bands & Voices cabaret and spoken word stage. Headliners Jamie Cullum, Snarky Puppy, Chick Corea’s Spanish Heart Band, Louie Vega & The Elements of Life Band and Kamaal Williams round-out the three-day event that takes place in the idyllic surroundings of Glynde Place, East Sussex.

– Mike Flynn

For more info visit www.lovesupremefestival.com

 John McLaughlin 2

Kicking off this evening’s set with a high-octane crash through Mahavishnu Orchestra’s ‘Trilogy’ from 1972 was always going to be a crowd-pleaser – and this quartet of astonishing virtuosi are more than up to the job: John McLaughlin, at 77, still maintains a luxuriant silver mane and considerable chops; Anglo-Indian drummer Ranjit Barot has an extremely loud and belligerent attack clearly informed Billy Cobham’s world-shaking muscle; black-gloved Cameroonian bassist Étienne M’Bappe is precise and funky; and keyboardist Gary Husband revels in pitch-bent synth solo madness.

Surprisingly, though (and despite McLaughlin’s introductory promise of a few oldies), this opening salvo is tonight’s only track from the 1970s heydays – unless you include ‘Echoes From Then’ from the 4th Dimension’s 2012 album, Now Here This, which deliberately evokes the early days of jazz-rock and fusion. There are breezy versions of two different tracks by Pharoah Sanders – ‘Light At The Edge Of The World’ and ‘The Creator Has A Master Plan’, the latter providing a showcase for Barot’s soulful vocals – but other than that, the majority of tonight’s tunes are drawn from the 1990s onwards, with a healthy selection from the 4th Dimension’s own catalogue.

John McLaughlin 1

‘Abbaji’ (from 2008’s Floating Point), is dedicated to the great tabla player Alla Rakha, and highlights Barot’s ability to mix western jazz and rock stylings with complex traditional Indian rhythms, with the drummer engaging in lightning-tongued konnakol rhythmic vocals while Husband counts the complex tala with handclaps. Husband – who first came to McLaughlin’s attention as drummer for Allan Holdsworth – wastes little time getting behind the second kit and smashing out a heavy drum solo, later sending the energy rocketing with a furious drum battle with Barot.

Throughout all of the testosterone-drenched frenzy, McLaughlin remains calm and composed, a rather humble legend with nothing left to prove.

Daniel Spicer
– Photos by Tatiana Gorilovsky (www.TatianaJazzPhoto.com)

 

EFG LJF May

This year’s EFG London Jazz Festival, its 27th edition, runs from 15 to 24 November with a number of key additions now confirmed by organisers Serious. Chief among these will be a Kings Place residency from multi-Grammy Award winning drummer, singer and producer Terri Lyne Carrington (above centre) throughout the first weekend of the festival. Known for her work with the likes of Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter and Esperanza Spalding, Carrington has also led her own Mosaic Project to huge acclaim. Her residency will feature her band of saxophonist Morgan Guerin, vocalist Debo Ray and drummer Kassa Overall who will collaborate with a range of UK-based musicians.

Concerts marking the ECM label’s 50th anniversary in the programme include a previously announced headline slot for Norwegian sax star Jan Garbarek at the Royal Fetstival Hall on 17 November, as well as new labelmate Joe Lovano (above left) who’ll be playing music from his ECM debut as a leader, Trio Tapestry, at Queen Elizabeth Hall on the same night. The US tenor titan is joined by the record’s line-up of pianist Marilyn Crispell and percussionist Carmen Castaldi. ECM-signed Polish pianist Marcin Wasilewski also appears with his Trio (Cadogan Hall, 15 Nov). Elsewhere UK free-improv sax heavyweight Trevor Watts, marks a more personal anniversary with his 80th Birthday Celebration at the Purcell Room featuring a stellar line-up of bassist John Edwards, drummer Mark Sanders and his key collaborator Veryan Weston on piano (15 Nov). Also announced is highly-rated US pianist Christian Sands who tops a double-bill with London-based saxophonist Camila George (Cadogan Hall, 19 Nov); and renowned Panamanian pianist Danilo Pérez brings his new Global Messengers band to town for its UK debut (QEH, 22 Nov).

Further concerts include Swiss jazz singer Lucia Cadotsch (above right) who performs music from her album, Speak Low (Purcell Room, 19 Nov), and the hard-swinging legacy of Art Blakey is fired-up over two concerts with former Jazz Messenger Jean Toussaint delivering originals from his Blakey-inspired album, Brother Raymond, for a matinee show, while drummer Ralph Peterson brings a crack-troupe of fellow Messengers alumni – bassist Essiet Essiet, saxophonists Bobby Watson and Bill Pierce, trumpeter Brian Lynch and keyboardist Geoff Keezer – for an evening show (23 Nov). And there's a chance to see SEED Ensemble, saxophonist Cassie Kinoshi's talent-packed 10-piece, at the Jazz Cafe (24 Nov).

These concerts join those already announced in Jazzwise (media partners for the festival) and include: Jazz Voice (RFH, 15 Nov); Cécile McLorin Salvant and Sullivan Fortner (Barbican, 16 Nov); CrossCurrents (Cadogan Hall, 17 Nov); Lars Danielsson Group: Liberetto III (Wigmore Hall, 19 Nov); Makaya McCraven (Village Underground, 19 Nov); Marius Neset: Viaduct (QEH, 21 Nov); Eliane Elias, plus Vinicius Cantuária (Barbican, 22 Nov); Omar Puente and Friends (Kings Place, 22 Nov); BBC Concert Orchestra, Nu Civilisation Orchestra, String Ting, Misha Mullov Abbado (QEH, 23 Nov); Swingin’ With Strings feat. Claire Martin (Cadogan Hall, 24 Nov) and Dan Tepfer: Natural Machines (Kings Place, 24 Nov).

Mike Flynn

For full details and tickets visit www.efglondonjazzfestival.org.uk

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