Pat Metheny, Ezra Collective, Esperanza and Nubya Garcia among winners at fifth Jazz FM Awards


The winners of this year's Jazz FM Awards were announced tonight at a glitzy ceremony at Shoreditch Town Hall, on 30 April. The star-studded event saw international guitar luminaries Pat Metheny and George Benson receive the special Gold and Impact Awards respectively while Brit-jazz vocal doyenne Dame Cleo Laine was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award. Yet it was the younger newcomers of British and American names who made the biggest impression on the evening with several of the new generation of British jazz musicians walking away in triumph.

These included saxophonist Nubya Garcia picking up the Breakthrough Act of the Year Award; US bassist/singer Esperanza Spalding receiving the Digital Initiative of the Year prize for her daring Exposure project, and charismatic singer Cécile McLorin Salvant taking home the International Jazz Artist of the Year Award. Yet it was fresh-faced London five-piece Ezra Collective who capitalised on their huge fanbase to win the awards UK Jazz Act of the Year and Live Experience of the Year, both of which were open to a public vote.

Other winners on the night were: Album of the Year: ThundercatDrunk; International Soul Artist of the Year: Moonchild; Instrumentalist of the Year: Evan Parker; International Blues Artist of the Year: Robert Cray: Jazz Innovation of the Year: Shabaka Hutchings; Vocalist of the Year: Zara McFarlane. Hosted by Jazz FM presenters Chris Philips and Jez Nelson the evening also saw vocal star Salvant perform an extraordinary vocal display and a surprise performance by Dame Cleo Laine.

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