International Stars Honoured At The 2017 Jazz FM Awards

image of advert for Jazz FM Awards 2017

The Rolling Stones win big, Ella Fitzgerald remembered on the centenary of her birth, and a surprise visit from Van Morrison at this evening’s 2017 Jazz FM Awards ceremony.

The Rolling Stones, Laura Mvula, Damien Chazelle, Donny McCaslin and Gilles Peterson were among the winners at the 2017 Jazz FM Awards, which took place this evening at Shoreditch Town Hall in the heart of East London.

Ronnie Wood, Charlie Watts & Mick Jagger at the Jazz FM Awards 2017
Ronnie Wood, Charlie Watts & Mick Jagger at the Jazz FM Awards 2017 photo by Hannah Young

A glittering array of UK and international talent turned out to celebrate the very best of jazz, blues, soul and beyond, as the music industry and public figures, including Charlie Watts, Mick Jagger, Ronnie Wood, Laura Mvula, Van Morrison, Georgie Fame, Adrian Lester, Will Young, Maxi Jazz, The Brand New Heavies, Courtney Pine and more, gathered at a ceremony hosted by Jazz FM presenter Jez Nelson.

The Stones collected an impressive two Awards, fighting off stiff competition to take home the accolades of Blues Artist of the Year and the public voted Album of the Year, which were personally accepted by Charlie Watts, Mick Jagger, and Ronnie Wood.

image of The Rolling Stones Blue and Lonesome album cover

Blue and Lonesome producer Don Was sent a message direct from California, and Watts was also presented with The Gold Award in recognition of his significant contribution to jazz and blues from his long-term friend and iconic British jazz musician Evan Parker.

Don Was said: “The Rolling Stones are among some of the most hard-working and talented musicians ever to step in front of a microphone, and when they kick into gear, the whole becomes far greater than the already gigantic sum of the parts… that’s exactly what happened during the making of Blue and Lonesome…”

photo of Damien Chazelle
Damien Chazelle

La La Land and Whiplash Director Damien Chazelle was honoured with The Impact Award and thanked the station via video: “I want to thank Jazz FM for honouring me with this year’s Impact Award. It truly means the world to me, I’ve been jazz-obsessed my whole life, as a former wannabe jazz musician. I was never quite good enough to make it… so I decided to film jazz musicians instead and try to put jazz on screen… I truly believe in the marriage between jazz and cinema, and I hope to play a small tiny part in keeping that tradition alive.”

photo of Laura Mvula by Hannah Young
photo by Hannah Young

Other highlights from the night included Laura Mvula receiving the Award for Soul Artist of the Year, which she followed up with a memorable live rendition of “The Man I Love” as a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald, whose birthday centenary coincided with the event.

photo of Van Morrison by Hannah YoungPPL Lifetime Achievement Award winner Georgie Fame, who after being presented with his Award by Van Morrison, captivated audiences with an exclusive, one –off collaboration with MBE trumpeter Guy Barker, and Donny McCaslin flew in especially for the ceremony to perform material from his critically acclaimed album in memory of David Bowie, Beyond Now.

McCaslin also took home the International Jazz Artist of the Year Award, and Donny was surprised with a special video from Tony Visconti, congratulating him on the honour: “Congratulations Donny on winning the International Jazz Artist of the Year Award. When we did Blackstar together you blew our minds because you’re a one take guy… and David and I weren’t quite used to such professionalism. If it wasn’t for you Blackstar wouldn’t be the success that it is, it was so much fun working with you and your band. This is a well-deserved Award.”

photo of Donny McCaslin by Hannah Young
Donny McCaslin by Hannah Young

South London jazz/groove duo on the rise Yussef Kamaal were named as the Breakthrough Act of the Year, and in their absence, the Award was collected by DJ Gilles Peterson, who discovered and signed them to his label Brownswood Records in 2016. Peterson also picked up the Digital Initiative of the Year Award in recognition of Worldwide FM. US drummer and social activist Jaimeo Brown was honoured with Jazz Innovation of the Year for his Transcendence project.

The full list of winners is as follows:

BREAKTHROUGH ACT OF THE YEAR (Sponsored by Yamaha)  - Yussef Kamaal

INTERNATIONAL JAZZ ARTIST OF THE YEAR (Sponsored by Oris Watches) – Donny McCaslin

VOCALIST OF THE YEAR (Sponsored by PRS for Music) – Norma Winstone

INSTRUMENTALIST OF THE YEAR (Sponsored by Rathbones) – Nikki Yeoh

BLUES ARTIST OF THE YEAR (Sponsored by The Piano Bar Soho) – Rolling Stones

SOUL ARTIST OF THE YEAR (Sponsored by RCS)  - Laura Mvula

JAZZ INNOVATION OF THE YEAR (Sponsored by Mishcon de Reya) – Jaimeo Brown

DIGITAL INITIATIVE OF THE YEAR (Sponsored by Pollitt & Partners)  - Gilles Peterson – Worldwide FM

ALBUM OF THE YEAR (PUBLIC VOTE) (Sponsored by Arqiva) - Rolling Stones – Blue & Lonesome

UK JAZZ ACT OF THE YEAR (PUBLIC VOTE) (Sponsored by Grange Hotels) – Shabaka Hutchings

LIVE EXPERIENCE OF THE YEAR (PUBLIC VOTE)  - Orphy Robinson All Stars – The Bobby Hutcherson Songbook


IMPACT AWARD Recipient: Damien Chazelle

THE GOLD AWARD Recipient: Charlie Watts


More info – Jazz FM Awards