Last year’s successful event, hosted by Humphrey Lyttelton and Jools Holland combined awards and performances from the complete spectrum of ‘jazz’. Popular awards included Rising Star for pianist Alex Wilson and the BBC Lifetime Achievement Award for Humph himself. Guest presenters included Michael Parkinson, Roni Size and Rolling Stone, Charlie Watts and notable live highlights were show-stopping performances from the likes of Best Band winner Courtney Pine, who amazed with his virtuoso display of circular breathing and Norma Winstone, surprise winner of the Best Vocalist award.
Nomination forms for this year’s event have been sent to 100 of the most influential members of the UK music industry. The voting college has been expanded to include more votes from all four nations of the UK and all areas of ‘jazz’ related music. A new award for 2002 will celebrate the groups, musicians or organisations who keep alive the spirit from the early days of jazz and will be named the Jazz Heritage Award. The award categories are: Best Band, Best Vocalist, Best Instrumentalist, Best Album, Rising Star, Services to Jazz, Best New Work, Jazz Innovation, Jazz Heritage, International Award and the BBC Lifetime Achievement Award. When all the votes have been counted, the top three nominees in each category will be announced, this is expected to be in the week commencing May 6th.
In a joint statement, Controllers of BBC Radio 2 and 3, James Moir and Roger Wright said: "Jazz is a hugely important part of the contemporary music scene and, following the success of the first BBC Radio Jazz Awards last year it is only natural to make this celebration of jazz and the BBC’s unique support for the genre an annual event."
Terry Carter, Producer, BBC Radio Jazz Awards said: "This year’s show promises to be a star studded affair with guests from stage, screen, television and politics. Hosts on the night will be big band leader and TV and radio presenter Jools Holland and one of Britain’s best known jazz musicians Courtney Pine."
The awards ceremony will feature nine live performances from the biggest names in jazz. Those performing will be chosen from the various nominees highlighting those artists who have shone brightest over the last 12 months as well as one or two special guests.
BBC Radio 2 shows such as Humphrey Lyttleton’s Best of Jazz, Courtney Pine’s Jazz Crusade, Stacey Kent’s Big Band Special, Michael Parkinson’s Sunday Supplement and The Jools Holland Show and Radio 3 shows such Jazz On 3, Jazz Legends, Jazz Line-up, Jazz File and Jazz Record Requests underline BBC Radio’s position as the market leader in bringing jazz, both old and new, to the listening public.
The BBC Radio Jazz Awards take place at London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall on Wednesday , July 31st and will be broadcast on BBC Radio 2 on Monday, 5 August at 7.00-8.30pm and on BBC Radio 3’s Jazz Line-Up on Saturday, 3 August at 4.00pm.
Further information: Marc Connor at Air, (020) 8287 4064
Hester Nevill, BBC Radio 2 Publicity (020) 7765 5712
or Sian Davis, BBC Radio 3 Publicity (020) 7765 5887