Preview: Jazz FM Awards return in 2016

The Jazz FM Awards, produced by Serious, will return in 2016 with an awards presentation taking place at London's Bloomsbury Ballroom

The 2016 Jazz FM Awards will take place at the Bloomsbury Ballroom in London on Tuesday 26th April. The awards recognise talented performers from the worlds of jazz, blues and soul and will once again feature appearances from a selection of acclaimed artists and groups.

Last year’s ceremony was presented by actor and comedian John “Fast Show” Thomson. The ceremony saw performances from Hugh Masekela and Rebecca Ferguson in front of an audience of guests including Laura Mvula, Cerys Matthews, Denis Lawson and Jon Snow. The organisers have confirmed the first performer for this year’s event, the Grammy Award-winning vocalist and songwriter Gregory Porter (pictured right). As well as showcasing new material, Porter (who was the 2015 Jazz FM Awards International Artist Of The Year) will also be honoured with the Impact Award, presented to a jazz artist who’s made an outstanding impression on the wider global music scene.

Speaking about receiving the award, Porter said: “The UK audience was the first audience to propel me really all over the world. I launched myself from the experiences I was having in the UK. France got jealous and Germany was like 'OK what's all this commotion about?' and so the energy that was created is what pushes me and so I'm delighted to have the UK be the first place that I exercise this new music. In a way, you've let me know who I am in the past, so I'm going to lay the music on you and I hope you'll do it again ... I'm thankful for Jazz FM's approach, and for embracing me and my sound.”

This is the third time that these awards have been presented. The Jazz FM Awards 2016 will present the following awards on the night:

Breakthrough Act
Instrumentalist of the Year
Album of the Year
Jazz Innovation of the Year
Live Experience of the Year
UK Jazz Act of the Year
International Jazz Artist of the Year
Blues Artist of the Year
Soul Artist of the Year
Vocalist of the Year
Jazz Impact Award – to be presented to Gregory Porter
Digital Initiative Award
Lifetime Achievement Award

The Digital Initiative Award is a new award for this year. It's intended "to recognise a musician who has harnessed the power of technology to engage with audiences and to take their music or performance to another dimension."

The Jazz FM Awards 2016 is a partnership between Jazz FM and Serious, with the support of the Grange Hotels, Mishcon De Reya, PPL, Yamaha and Denbies Wine Estate.

More information can be found on the Jazz FM Awards website.

Bruce Lindsay

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