The Rolling Stones, Laura Mvula, Georgie Fame, Damien Chazelle, Donny McCaslin, Jaimeo Brown, Shabaka Hutchings, and Gilles Peterson were among the winners at the 2017 Jazz FM Awards, which took place on 25th April at Shoreditch Town Hall in the heart of East London.
A glittering array of UK and international talent turned out to celebrate the very best of jazz, blues, soul and beyond, as the music industry and public figures, including Charlie Watts, Mick Jagger, Ronnie Wood, Laura Mvula, Van Morrison, Georgie Fame, Adrian Lester, Will Young, Maxi Jazz, The Brand New Heavies, Courtney Pine and more, gathered at a ceremony hosted by Jazz FM presenter Jez Nelson.
The Stones collected an impressive two Awards, fighting off stiff competition to take home the accolades of Blues Artist of the Year and the public voted Album of the Year, which were personally accepted by Charlie Watts, Mick Jagger, and Ronnie Wood. Blue and Lonesome producer Don Was sent a message direct from California, and Watts was also presented with The Gold Award in recognition of his significant contribution to jazz and blues from his long-term friend and iconic British jazz musician Evan Parker.
Don Was said:
“The Rolling Stones are among some of the most hard-working and talented musicians ever to step in front of a microphone, and when they kick into gear, the whole becomes far greater than the already gigantic sum of the parts… that’s exactly what happened during the making of Blue and Lonesome…”
La La Land and Whiplash Director Damien Chazelle was honoured with The Impact Award and thanked the station via video:
“I want to thank Jazz FM for honouring me with this year’s Impact Award. It truly means the world to me, I’ve been jazz obsessed my whole life, as a former wannabe jazz musician. I was never quite good enough to make it… so I decided to film jazz musicians instead and try to put jazz on screen… I truly believe in the marriage between jazz and cinema, and I hope to play a small tiny part in keeping that tradition alive.”
Shabaka Hutchings was voted by the public as the UK Jazz Act of the Year, Jaimeo Brown was honoured with Jazz Innovation of the Year for his Transcendence project, and revered British saxophonist Courtney Pine presented Nikki Yeoh with the Instrumentalist of the Year Award. South London jazz/groove duo on the rise Yussef Kamaal were named as the Breakthrough Act of the Year, and in their absence the Award was collected by DJ Gilles Peterson, who discovered and signed them to his label Brownswood Records in 2016. Peterson also picked up the Digital Initiative of the Year Award on the night in recognition of Worldwide FM.
Other highlights from the night included Laura Mvula receiving the Award for Soul Artist of the Year, which she followed up with a memorable live rendition of “The Man I Love” as a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald, whose birthday centenary coincided with the event. PPL Lifetime Achievement Award winner Georgie Fame, who after being presented with his Award by Sir Van Morrison, captivated audiences with an exclusive, one –off collaboration with MBE trumpeter Guy Barker, and Donny McCaslin flew in especially for the ceremony to perform material from his critically acclaimed album in memory of David Bowie, Beyond Now. McCaslin also took home the International Jazz Artist of the Year Award, and Donny was surprised with a special video from Tony Visconti, congratulating him on the honour:
“Congratulations Donny on winning the International Jazz Artist of the Year Award. When we did Blackstar together you blew our minds because you’re a one take guy… and David and I weren’t quite used to such professionalism. If it wasn’t for you Blackstar wouldn’t be the success that it is, it was so much fun working with you and your band. This is a well-deserved Award.”
The full list of winners is as follows:
BREAKTHROUGH ACT OF THE YEAR (Sponsored by Yamaha)
INTERNATIONAL JAZZ ARTIST OF THE YEAR (Sponsored by Oris Watches)
VOCALIST OF THE YEAR (Sponsored by PRS for Music)
INSTRUMENTALIST OF THE YEAR (Sponsored by Rathbones)
BLUES ARTIST OF THE YEAR (Sponsored by The Piano Bar Soho)
SOUL ARTIST OF THE YEAR (Sponsored by RCS)
JAZZ INNOVATION OF THE YEAR (Sponsored by Mishcon de Reya)
DIGITAL INITIATIVE OF THE YEAR (Sponsored by Pollitt & Partners)
Gilles Peterson – Worldwide FM
ALBUM OF THE YEAR (PUBLIC VOTE) (Sponsored by Arqiva)
Rolling Stones – Blue & Lonesome
UK JAZZ ACT OF THE YEAR (PUBLIC VOTE) (Sponsored by Grange Hotels)
LIVE EXPERIENCE OF THE YEAR (PUBLIC VOTE)
Orphy Robinson All Stars – The Bobby Hutcherson Songbook
PPL LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Recipient: Georgie Fame
Recipient: Damien Chazelle
THE GOLD AWARD
Recipient: Charlie Watts
The Jazz FM Awards 2017 is a partnership between Jazz FM and Serious and is made possible with the support of PPL, Mishcon De Reya, PRS for Music, British Airways, Rathbones, Pollitt & Partners, Oris Watches, Grange Hotels, RCS, Everyman, SharpStream, Denbies Wine Estate, Boxer Gin, Fever Tree, Yamaha, The Piano Bar Soho and Arqiva.