Lauren Kinsella wins composition award

The singer and composer has won this year's £10,000 Jazz Composition Fellowship in competition with Chris Montague, Tori Freestone and Percy Pursglove

Lauren Kinsella (pictured right) is a Dublin-born vocalist and composer based in London. The winner of Jazz FM's Vocalist of the Year award in 2016, she sings and composes in outfits including Snowpoet with multi-instrumentalist Chris Hyson and works as a soloist and bandleader. She has appeared on several albums, including releases by Snowpoet and Blue-Eyed Hawk and her 2009 collaboration with vocalist Sarah Buechi, Sessile Oak. In 2015 she wrote and performed What Window Do You Look Out Of?, a commission by Marsden Jazz Festival.

Kinsella said of the award: “I am absolutely humbled to receive such an award and to be shortlisted with such amazing artists. The award will allow me valuable time in order to create a new project that I really believe in". The panel of judges included composer, arranger and conductor Issie Barratt, multi-instrumentalist and composer Orphy Robinson and Richard Williams, music writer and Artistic Director of the Berlin Jazz Festival. Musicians were originally nominated by a group of established practitioners, journalists and academics in the field.

Vanessa Reed, chief executive of PRS for Music Foundation and chair of the panel said: “The panel was excited by Lauren’s strong original voice, her artistic ambition and integrity. They were also impressed by her production skills and ability to surround herself with interesting collaborators from a multiplicity of artistic media. The panel has no doubt that this fellowship will enable her to grow and develop as an artist of real significance”.

Saxophonist Tori Freestone, guitarist Chris Montague and trumpeter Percy Pursglove were the 2017 runners up. Each received an award of £1,000, presented by novelist Will Self (pictured left with Lauren Kinsella) at the awards ceremony at Conway Hall, London.

Snowpoet play the Imbolc festival in Derry, Ireland on 3 February. They are about to record their second album and will be announcing a new tour. Kinsella is working on a new project, Roamer, developing music based on the poetry of Irish poet Cherry Smyth and will appear at the Intakt Festival at the Vortex in London on April 21 as part of a quartet with Swiss singer Sarah Buechi, cellist Hannah Marshall and bassist John Edwards performing Buechi's original compositions.

The Arts Foundation's annual Jazz Composition Fellowship is supported by PRS for Music Foundation, part of a three-year partnership between the two organisations. The Arts Foundation gave six awards in 2017 - totalling £78,000 - to emerging artists in the categories Creative Non-Fiction, Essay Films, Furniture Design, Jazz Composition, Live Art and Materials Innovation.

Bruce Lindsay

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