Introducing Stretch Trio, Our 2014 Peter Whittingham Jazz Award winners

We're excited to announce that Leeds-based Stretch Trio have won this year’s Help Musicians UK Peter Whittingham Jazz Award, securing £4,000 of vital funding.

Their inventive approach and willingness to experiment impressed our expert panel last Thursday (Dec 4), which included trombonist Dennis Rollins, saxophonist Pete Wareham, and Justin McKenzie of London promoter Jazz re:freshed.

It’s been an important year for the trio; they’ve released their debut album 'Antithesis', performed at Gateshead International Jazz Festival alongside Bill Frisell, Jack Dejohnette and Polar Bear, became part of the all-new Jazz North Introduces initiative, and were chosen to receive mentoring sessions from internationally acclaimed saxophonist Iain Dixon.

All this has lead them to a critical point, and with the support of the Peter Whittingham Award we're confident they will carve out an exciting future for themselves:

“We are thrilled to have been offered the Peter Whittingham Jazz Award 2014. It comes at a crucial moment in our career and will enable us to develop the band in a way that would not otherwise have been possible”.

The Peter Whittingham Award has a proven track record of supporting the very best emerging jazz talent, with previous winners including Soweto Kinch (now a Help Musicians UK ambassador), Dave O’Higgins, Empirical, Led Bib and Roller Trio, who between them have notched up several Mercury and MOBO award nominations.

Also successful at the auditions was Birmingham-based pianist Mark Pringle. He’ll receive a Help Musicians UK Development Award, following in the footsteps of previous recipients Gwilym Simcock, Trish Clowes and Peter Edwards.

Established in memory of Peter Whittingham, an expert in survival medicine, the family’s connection with the award continues, with Peter Whittingham’s son-in-law Clive Shelton chairing the panel. Clive said:

“We heard a broad range of talent at this year’s auditions but Stretch Trio really impressed the panel with their creativity and integrity. This is a band with huge potential and their music deserves to be heard by a wide audience."

Take a listen to Stretch Trio's debut album 'Antithesis' below:

Join the conversation over on Facebook and Twitter via  #PeterWhittinghamJazz

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