Help Musicians has announced the 2020 Peter Whittingham Jazz Award recipients, supporting four jazz acts at the tipping point of their career.
To mark three decades of the Award, and at a time when the landscape is so challenging yet the scene so vibrant, Help Musicians has increased its investment to support jazz musicians to thrive in all aspects of their career. Each awardee this year will receive a grant to progress their music as well as tailored 1:1 business advice sessions with industry experts to bolster their business, and access to health resources through our partner, British Association of Performing Arts Medicine (BAPAM).
The three jazz musicians each receiving the £5,000 Peter Whittingham Jazz Award are Xhosa Cole, Lara Jones and Liam De Tar and his 5-band piece Yaatri while Shirley Tetteh receives the £2,500 Development Award.
Awardee Lara Jones said: "I am incredibly grateful to Help Musicians for this award, it's a real honour to receive an award of this prestige! I have huge respect for previous winners and to be selected this year after the effects covid-19 has had on my practice is remarkable. It's also important to note that women are under-represented in jazz and across the music industry, we must champion women in music. I hope other women and LGBTQ artists see this and know this award is for you and we continue to make the industry more diverse, championing all artists.”
Awardees of the 2020 award and their projects are as follows:
Xhosa Cole plans to compose six original duets for saxophone and various percussion instruments from across the globe. Xhosa is creating alongside six master percussionists from different areas of the African diaspora to produce a suite of original works that each highlight a particular rhythmic influence, angle or dynamic of jazz music.
Lara Jones will be working on a new album project ‘Flow’, exploring the theme of interruptions, challenging ideas of silence, inner voices, sexism and technological singularity. It will be released alongside a music video and a pre-recorded live set for an online launch. Lara will also undertake mentorship in production from musician Chris Sharkey.
Liam De Tar and his 5-piece band Yaatri, plan to complete their debut 47-minute, 8 track rock/jazz/world LP, as well as the development of supporting single/album artwork, live video and vinyl. The award will also allow the band to fund the promotion and release of their LP and support their growth as musicians and as a business.
Shirley Tetteh (Nardeydey), who has been awarded the £2,500 Development Award, plans to record a collection of music largely inspired by the work of Cameroonian drummer Brice Wassy. The collection will be performed as a trio, including Shirley, drummer Patrick Boyle, and double bassist Rio Kai both of Seed Ensemble. Shirley will also take advantage of documenting the sessions with a videographer for the purpose of marketing the project creatively.
Over the past 30 years, the Peter Whittingham Jazz Award has supported many leading jazz musicians, including Help Musicians Ambassador Soweto Kinch, Errollyn Wallen MBE, Dave O’Higgins, Gwilym Simcock and Roller Trio.