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Thursday, 2 January 2020

Dafydd Williams's highlights from 2019

 Freese Trio
Dafydd Williams: highlights of the year.....

2019 represents a really successful year for Northern-based jazz artists and bands, who participated in a wide variety of artist development programmes and received numerous accolades. Highlights have included:

 Music:Leeds supporting Freese Trio and Jasmine through their Launchpad Artists programme

Those selected for mjf’s hothouse development programme, including Lara Jones, Francine Luce, Thanda Gumede, Faye MacCalam, Sarah Heneghan and Liam DeTar

Sam Healey was recently announced as a recipient of Help Musicians UK’s Peter Whittingham Jazz Award, with Emma Johnson receiving the Development Award as part of the same programme

Yaatri were selected for this year’s Jazz North Introduces scheme

A fantastic line-up for Round 7 of Jazz North’s Northern Line programme, including SogoRock, Rafe's Dilemma, Not Now Charlie, Nishla Smith Quintet, John Pope Quintet, Freese trio and Beyond Albedo 

Zoe Gilby won "Jazz Vocalist of the Year" at this year's Parliamentary Jazz Awards.

Jamil Sheriff was nominated for a Parliamentary Jazz Award for the ‘Jazz Education Award’ and Marsden Jazz Festival nominated for ‘Jazz Venue of the Year’

James Hamilton was awarded an Ivors Composers Award for his sound art composition ‘Aurora’

Family Band were selected for the latest edition of the 12 Points Showcase and performing at Bimhuis in Amsterdam

There was also strong representation at this year’s London Jazz Festival from those who are either based, are from, or have previously studied in the North of England. An extremely diverse set of Northern-based jazz on the line-up included  J Frisco, Roller Trio, Space F!ght and Tetes de Pois

For me, one of the stand-out performances was by former LCoM student Ashley Henry in his sold-out show at EartH Hackney. Ashley has also done a series of workshops for Ronnie Scotts and appeared on a number of radio shows. His latest album "Beautiful Vinyl Hunter" was selected by BBC 6 Music’s Cerys Matthews as an ‘album of the year’.

Special mention should go to Ronnie Bottomley’s 90th big band gig, which took place at LCoM as part of the JazzLeeds Festival. It was a fantastic celebration of his career, with welcome appearances from the likes of Nicki Allan and others. Ultimately, individuals like Ronnie have helped lay the foundations for today’s rich jazz ecology across West Yorkshire and further afield.

Dafydd Williams is a Board Member of Jazz North and Development and Alumni manager at Leeds Collge of Music


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