Last night saw a very successful night for Help Musicians UK's talented young artists at the Parliamentary Jazz Awards. Now in their eleventh year, the awards have gained enormous support from the music community as a celebration of the UK's thriving jazz scene.

Phil MeadowsSponsored by music licensing company PPL, and hosted by Moira Stewart, special guests at The House of Commons included leading jazz figures from Jamie Cullum to Dame Cleo Laine. Members of the All Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group were also in attendance, including veteran politicians Kenneth Clarke MP and Lord Prescott. Ronnie Scott’s All Stars were on hand to provide live music. With a hive of energy setting the tone for the evening, Help Musicians UK artists were well represented, with saxophonist Phil Meadows and the Engines Orchestra taking out Ensemble of the Year. Since receiving the Peter Whittingham Jazz Award in 2013, Phil has gone on to achieve many successes which you can read about in his blog.

The Newcomer of the Year award went to Peter Edwards, with the Elliot Galvin Trio narrowly missing out after being nominated for the same prize. Amongst the successes of the evening, the Instrumentalist of the Year was awarded to Laura Jurd.

Phil, Peter, Laura and the Elliott Galvin Trio are all alumni of Help Musicians UK’s prestigious Peter Whittingham Award, which has been successfully launching jazz careers for 25 years.

Other notable success went to Help Musicians UK partner the National Youth Jazz Orchestra, taking out the Jazz Education Award, with several artists speaking passionately about music education funding and the importance of investment in jazz.

Engines Orchestra

There’s no doubting that this is an exciting time for jazz, but with big funding challenges facing both artists and promoters. Tim Foxon, our Talent Programme Manager, said "The last few years have seen Help Musicians UK support some exceptionally talented rising jazz stars through the Peter Whittingham Award and other schemes. It is fantastic to see their achievements recognised by the jazz community. These are clearly exciting times for the UK scene, but it's absolutely vital that together we continue to nurture outstanding talent."

Congratulations to all of the nominees! For a full list of winners, go to London Jazz News.  

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