NEWS: Manu Codija Trio win 2015 BMW Welt Jazz Award

Jérôme Regard, Manu Codija, Philippe Garcia with the BMW Welt Award
Photo credit: Ralf Dombrowski

In this last report, Ralf Dombrowski, who has been photographing and observing this year's seventh annual BMW Welt Jazz Award gives the result from last night's final. The winners of the competition and of its EUR15,000 prize, with the strap-line this year "Playing my Guitar", were chosen from about 50 entries which the jury (members listed below) considered blind. Ralf writes: 

The final round first presented the FAT trio from Austria with their highly intellectual, but also very well-constructed music with a significant debt to Frank Zappa and the heritage of rockjazz modernism ... followed by the trio of Manu Codjia (with Jérôme Regard, bass, and Philippe Garcia, drums). The latter group triumphed last night. They were worthy winners.

Manu Codija. and the trophy. Photo credit: Ralf Dombrowski

Whereas in the competitive, the trio had been good but had appeared unfocused, this time the French guitarist with family roots in Cote D'Ivoire and his colleagues reallly had the situation under control. They played a programme with covers of Michael Jackson, Leonard Cohen plus a few originals that had a wonderfully cumulative effect. There was empathy, the stylistic areas they were drawing on ranged far and wide from fusion to an emotionally involving ballad. They made their mark with a blend of authenticity, emotion and energy outbursts that ultimately won the day. Structurally they weren't pushing barriers, but their craftsmanship was excellent and their charm very affecting.

BMW will be continuing its sponsorship further. The theme next year will be “taking inspiration from the heroes of jazz.” It will be fascinating to see what will emerge from that...

The jury were: Christiane Böhnke-Geisse (formally of Unterfahrt, now running the agency Jazz By Heart), Heike Lies (Munich Culture Deprtment), Andreas Kolb (Jazzzeitung / Silberhorn), Roland Spiegel (Bayerischer Rundfunk). The non-voting Chair was Oliver Hochkeppel (Süddeutsche Zeitung)

LINKS: BMW Jazz Award
REPORT: Opening round(Michel Sajrawy)
REPORT: Camilla Meza
REPORT: Franz Hellmuller

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