Talented young jazz trumpeter and composer Reuben Fowler has received the Musicians Benevolent Fund’s Peter Whittingham Jazz Award.
Born in Wakefield, Reuben began his jazz career at 15 with the Doncaster Jazz Association, moving on to the National Youth Jazz Orchestra, and has since played with the likes of Stan Sulzmann, Jim Hart, the Gareth Lockrane Big Band and Troyk-estra. He graduated from the Royal Academy of Music this year, winning the Kenny Wheeler Jazz Prize for excellence in both performance and composition.
Reuben impressed a panel including renowned jazz musicians Denys Baptiste, Liane Carroll and Clark Tracey, and distinguished jazz promoter Steve Rubie from London’s 606 Club.
The Peter Whittingham Jazz Award has launched the careers of many of the UK’s top jazz musicians. 2011 winners Roller Trio went on to receive Mercury and MOBO nominations for their debut album. Previous recipients include Scott Stroman, Errollyn Wallen, Dave O’Higgins, Soweto Kinch, Gwilym Simcock, 2009 Mercury Prize nominees Led Bib and 2010 MOBO award winners Empirical.
Reuben will use the award to fund a recording project to be released in 2013. On receiving the award, he said 'I am thrilled to have been offered this prestigious award – it is a fantastic opportunity and I am grateful to the panel and the Musicians Benevolent Fund for their support.'
Clive Shelton, chair of the judging panel and Peter Whittingham’s son-in-law, said: ‘the Peter Whittingham Award has launched the careers of many of the UK’s top jazz musicians. As always, there were some strong contenders but the panel unanimously agreed that Reuben was the stand-out candidate’.
The panel also commended drummer/composer and Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama graduate Ollie Howell. He will receive a Peter Whittingham Development Award to help promote his upcoming CD. The album will feature music inspired by his recent diagnosis of a brain malformation which required several neurosurgeries over the last few years, and focusses on the motivation towards his recovery, with all of the music written either in hospital or surrounding surgery visits.