British Jazz Award winners 2017

The winners of the 2017 British Jazz Awards have been announced, the result of votes from over 5000 jazz fans from across the UK.

Now in their 31st year, the British Jazz Awards were established to give the gig-going, record buying public the chance to vote for their favourite performers, bands and releases from the previous 12 months, via post and an online survey.

Four nominees in each of the 16 categories were selected by a panel of figures from within the jazz community. In addition, voters had the chance to vote for any musicians not nominated who they considered worthy of a placing as a "write-in" vote. Most of last year’s winners failed to make it two in a row. Freddie Gavita picked up the trumpet award for the first time and the Nigel Price Organ Trio did likewise in the best small group category. In addition, Rory Ingham won the rising star award, given to the best up and coming musician under 25.

This year’s services to British jazz award was given to Chris Barber (pictured above by Luc Lodder), in recognition of managing to keep his Big Chris Barber Band on the road for nearly seven decades, through straitened economic times and seemingly without thoughts of retirement.

The complete 2017 winners list is as follows:

Trumpet: Freddie Gavita
Trombone: Mark Nightingale
Clarinet: Alan Barnes
Alto sax: Soweto Kinch
Tenor sax: Karen Sharp
Piano: Nikki Iles
Guitar: Martin Taylor
Double bass: Alec Dankworth
Drums: Clark Tracey
Miscellaneous instrument: Ross Stanley (Organ)
Vocals: Clare Teal
Rising star: Rory Ingham (Trombone)
Big band: Scottish National Jazz Orchestra
Small group: Nigel Price Organ Trio
New album: Woodville Records: The Lowest Common Denominator – Gilad Atzmon/Alan Barnes
Reissue album: Lake Records: Dusts Off The Archives – Humphrey Lyttelton
Services to British jazz: Chris Barber

The 2017 nominating panel was: Sue Edwards (manager/tour organiser), Jill Roger (director: Glasgow Jazz Festival), Phil Meadows (musician/educator/band leader), Laurie Burnette (managing director, Jazz London Radio), Lance Liddle (Bebop Spoken Here), Dave Cottle (Swansea International Jazz Festival), Chris Hodgkins (musician/broadcaster), David Nathan (National Jazz Archive), Denny Ilett (Bristol International Jazz and Blues Festival), Fred Lindop (Swanage Jazz Festival), John Billett (JBGB Events), Peter Vacher (jazz writer), Ron Simpson (Jazz Rag).

The full details of winners and nominees can be found at the British Jazz Awards web page.

Bruce Lindsay

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