Help Musicians UK (HMUK) have announced today that emerging jazz musicians are now welcome to apply for this year’s Peter Whittingham Jazz Award. The application process opened on Monday 6 August and in a significant change to previous years, the award scheme will be available to individual artists and groups of up to 8 members aged 18 and over. 

Applicants must be working towards a sustainable career in jazz and be able to show musicianship, creativity and ambition in their proposals. The main award of £5000 can be used to fund a range of activities including recording, filming, touring and mentoring and additional Help Musicians UK Development awards may be offered to other suitable candidates.

While last year’s award shone a light on women in jazz, an under-represented group within the genre, HMUK have this year widened the eligibility criteria so that artists at the very start of their careers can be considered and represented. With this year’s award, the charity will be welcoming applications from musicians coming from an even more diverse array of backgrounds, as part of the charity’s commitment to diversity and inclusion in music.  

The deadline for applications is Friday 12 October 2018 at 5pm and auditions for those shortlisted will be held on Friday 2nd November. Applicants are asked to submit an online proposal which should include details of a creative project showing how they plan to use the award funding to take their career to the next level.

Over the past 28 years the award has been given to many leading jazz musicians, including Help Musicians UK Ambassador Soweto Kinch, Errollyn Wallen MBE, Dave O’Higgins, Gwilym Simcock and Roller Trio. Last year’s award went to Scottish tenor saxophonist and band-leader Helena Kay, a jazz graduate from Guildhall School and former Young Scottish Jazz Musician of the Year.

Helena talked about how the win had helped move her career forward: “Winning the award enabled me to record my debut album in February with my trio, which will be released in December on Ubuntu Music, alongside an album launch tour.”

Bex Ransom, HMUK’s Creative Programme Officer talked about some of the changes to this year’s award: “I am very excited about this year’s Peter Whittingham Jazz Award. We have opened up the criteria so that any emerging jazz musician or group can now apply for the award. This £5,000 award will provide next level support in a pivotal moment of their career. We are interested in applications from a diverse range of musicians, incorporating a range of activity to demonstrate how our support will be the stepping stone they need in order to reach their ambitions.”

Musicians interested in taking part in this year’s award can read more about how to apply, who is eligible and guidance on what can and can’t be funded by downloading the 2018 application pack available here


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