NEWS: WDR 2014 Jazz Prizewinners announced

Christina Fuchs. Photo credit Volker Beushasen
The WDR Jazz Prizes, which will be distributed at a Prizewinners concert on 31st January 2014, have been announced. This year, the Cologne-headquartered broadcaster will hold its festival, of which the Prizewinners evening is a part, at the end of January in Gütersloh.

The total prize value is EUR 30,000, making these prizes one of the major awards of the European scene.

Jazz Composition Prize: Christina Fuchs. The Munich-born saxophonist was taught - among others - by Steve Lacy. She was the founder of the United Women’s Orchestra, and leads the groups Duo Kontrasax and her own 'No Tango' Quartet.

Jazz Improvisation Prize: Florian Weber. The Cologne-based pianist was the first German pianist ever to record an album (with Lee Konitz) live at the Village Vanguard in New York . He has also played with Eddy Henderson, Pat Metheny, Ralph Alessi, Lionel Loueke, Dan Weiss, Thomas Morgan, Markus Stockhausen and Tomasz Stanko. He runs the jazz programme in at the Hochschule in Osnabrück.

Young Generation Prize: „JazZination“ from the Gesamtschule Iserlohn.

The "Ehrenpreis" (honorary prize), which last year was directed at jazz journalism both in print and on the radio (Sebastian was one of the judges) this year goes to "significant support to young musicians by record labels in the German-speaking countries". It will be split between:

-   The "Young German Jazz" series from ACT Music
-  "Jazzthing Next Generation“, a collaborative venture between the magazine JazzThing magazine and the label Double Moon Records.

In the Press release, the culture radio station WDR 3's head of programming Karl Karst salutes the "undamaged vitality of North Rhine Westphalia as a 'jazz-Land' and the continuing commitment of WDR's culture radio station WDR3 to offer jazz a platform."

WDR3 is among of the most significant and influential jazz broadcasters in Continental Europe. Sebastian will be live-blogging from the 2014 Festival in Gütersloh. (Archive: Report from the 2013 Awards)

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