|Yamaha Jazz Scholars 2011. Phot credit: Hayley Madden|
Yamaha Jazz Scholars 2011
(Portcullis House SW1, Report by Bruce Lindsay)
Michael Connarty MP and JazzFM's Helen Mayhew presented the fifth annual Yamaha Jazz Scholar awards at the Houses of Parliament on 13 July. The awards recognise the talents of six newly-graduated musicians, one from each of the full-time jazz degree courses in the UK, who each receive a £1,000 scholarship as well as a chance to record for an album to be distributed with Jazzwise magazine later this year.
The 2011 winners are:
Josh Arcoleo (Royal Academy) – tenor sax
Nick Costley-White (Guildhall) – guitar
Chris Eldred (Trinity) – piano
Chris Hyson (RWCMD) – double bass
Jonathan Silk (Birmingham Conservatoire) - drums
Riley Stone-Lonergan (Leeds College of Music) – tenor sax.
Josh Arcoleo is probably the best known of the Scholars: he's a member of the Kit Downes Sextet and was awarded the inaugural Kenny Wheeler Prize earlier this month. He also seemed like the most confident of the group when the six Scholars took to the stage, but all of these young musicians displayed obvious promise during their performance.
The evening's speeches were measured and brief. Bill Martin, from Yamaha, spoke positively and passionately about the awards and the recipients.
Michael Connarty, co-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group, was similarly positive, as always. He spoke in support of the extension of copyright from 50 to 70 years, to help in protecting the incomes of composers and performers, and also made the evening's only critical comment. Referring to the Norwegian government's commitment to the international promotion of its musical talent Connarty criticised the British government's failure to promote its own music, jazz in particular, on the world stage and suggested that the British Council could do more.
The evening began with a short but upbeat and entertaining set from the Joe Stilgoe Trio. Pianist Stilgoe was in fine voice and it was good to hear bassist Tom Mason and drummer Ben Reynolds showing off their vocal prowess as well as their instrumental talents. The trio's jazz version of Jessie J's “Price Tag” was a highlight, even if most of the audience seemed unaware of Jessie J herself: “She's from the world of pop music” Stilgoe helpfully explained.
2010 Awards Report
Supported by Yamaha Music Education