British jazz stands alongside biggest and finest international stars at this year's BBC Jazz Awards
Dave Brubeck was given a Lifetime Achievement Award at the seventh annual BBC Jazz Awards which took place last night (Thursday 12 July) at the Mermaid Theatre, London.
The legendary jazz pianist also performed via satellite link from New York with the BBC Big Band in London, led by Guy Barker.
Hosted by Paul Gambaccini, the awards recognised the very best of British Jazz – Martin Taylor, Finn Peters and The Neil Cowley Trio won awards – as well as celebrating the life and work of George Melly, who died last week.
This year's ceremony included a new category, International Artist Of The Year, awarded to platinum-selling French-American singer Madeleine Peyroux, while Curtis Stigers was awarded the BBC Radio 2 Jazz Artist Of The Year Award.
Rickie Lee Jones, Richard E Grant, Bill Wyman and Sir John Dankworth were among those presenting awards at the event.
Hosted by BBC Radio 2 and BBC Radio 3, the BBC Jazz Awards have become a key fixture on the British and international jazz scenes, providing a global platform for breakthrough British jazz talent as well as drawing the biggest musical stars to the UK.
Past years have seen the likes of Quincy Jones, Oscar Peterson, Clark Terry and Hugh Masekela pick up awards and deliver memorable performances.
Highlights of the BBC Jazz Awards can be heard on Radio 3's Jazz Line-Up on Saturday 14 July at 4pm and on Radio 2 on Monday 16 July at 10pm, and will be available to listen again for seven days after transmission at bbc.co.uk/radio2 and bbc.co.uk/radio3.
Winners of BBC Jazz Awards 2007 were:
|Radio 3 Jazz Line-Up Best Band
|Radio 3 Jazz On 3 Innovation
|Album Of The Year
||Displaced – Neil Cowley
|Radio 2 Jazz Artist Of The Year
||Richard E Grant
|Radio 2 Heart Of Jazz Award
|Services To Jazz
||Sir Bill Morris
||Rickie Lee Jones
||Sir John Dankworth
Notes to Editors
Services To Jazz In The UK:
The Services to Jazz Award 2007 was presented to Gary Crosby who is recognised as one of the UK's pioneering British jazz talents and one of the country's most important bandleaders.
Gary is well known for his unbounded and tireless commitment to helping young people – musicians, dancers, writers and visual artists – develop successful careers in jazz.
Over the years, Crosby has gained the respect of musicians, promoters, arts organisations and others involved in the music industry, not only for his musical skills as a double bassist and arranger, but also for his vision and ability to make things happen.
After cutting his teeth in the Jazz Warriors (the key black jazz group of the Eighties whose alumni include Courtney Pine), Gary set up Tomorrow's Warriors in 1991, providing a platform and peer network for talented young musicians who wished to pursue a career in jazz.
A particular focus was young musicians who came to jazz without formal training, the aim being to create a forum within which drive and talent could be the deciding factor in their development.
Madeleine Peyroux is either an old soul or was "born with it" (depending on one's theory about the flashpoint of artistry); that became apparent in 1996 with the release of her debut album, Dreamland, a remarkably knowing work on which the then 22–year–old singer brought commensurate insight to material associated with Billie Holiday, Bessie Smith and Patsy Cline.
Her decision to cover Edith Piaf's La Vie En Rose reflected the formative years that the Georgia-born Peyroux had spent living in Paris, aged 13 to 22.
In the ten years since then she has brought a wealth of life experience to her natural affinities, first manifested on the long-in-coming sophomore album Careless Love and brought to fruition on Peyroux's new album Half the Perfect World.
Where Careless Love brought her international success and universal critical acclaim, Half The Perfect World has cemented Madeleine's position as one of the pre–eminent jazz singers of the day.
The BBC was delighted to present the BBC Jazz Lifetime Achievement Award to Dave Brubeck, one of the most well–known jazz pianists of all time.
The classic Dave Brubeck Quartet featuring Paul Desmond's liquid saxophone lasted for 17 years, during which time they produced the very first million-selling jazz tune – Take Five.
This classic band toured the world many times and introduced enormous numbers of people to the jazz sound. In 1996 Brubeck received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
As a composer, Dave Brubeck has written and recorded several large–scale works including two ballets, a musical, an oratorio, four cantatas, a mass, works for jazz combo and orchestra, and many solo piano pieces.
In the last 20 years, he has organised several new quartets and continued to appear at the Newport, Monterey, Concord, and Kool Jazz Festivals. Brubeck performed at the White House in 1964 and 1981, and at the 1988 Moscow summit honouring the Gorbachevs.
He is the recipient of four honorary degrees, the BMI Jazz Pioneer Award, and the 1988 American Eagle Award presented by the National Music Council.
Brubeck's music has been used in many international programmes and films including The Simpsons, Charlie Brown, Police Academy and Wedding Crashers.
Dave even starred as himself in the film All Night Long (1961), based on Othello and set in the early Sixties, in which Brubeck was neatly positioned as a vehicle to showcase some of the best jazz musicians of the period – including Charlie Mingus, Tubby Hayes and Sir John Dankworth.
The BBC Jazz Awards 2007 Double CD will available to buy on 9 July (on Specific Jazz) and includes tracks from all of this year's nominees.
BBC Jazz Awards broadcast details:
- Jazz On 3 – Friday 13 July, 11.30pm, Radio 3
- Jazz Line-Up – Saturday 14 July, 5pm, Radio 3
- BBC Jazz Awards (full concert) – Monday 16 July, 10pm, Radio 2
Radio 2 Jazz programmes:
- Michael Parkinson's Sunday Supplement – Sundays at 11am
- Big Band Special – Mondays at 10pm
- The Best Of Jazz – Mondays at 10.30pm
Radio 3 Jazz programmes:
- Jazz Library – Fridays at 10.30pm
- Jazz On 3 – Fridays at 11.30pm
- Jazz Line-Up – Saturdays at 4pm
- Jazz Record Requests – Saturdays at 5.30pm