I caught the tube from the MU offices in the Oval and travelled on the Northern Line into the West End at lunchtime today to attend the voting panel for this year’s Parliamentary Jazz Awards at Pizza Express in Dean Street, Soho. I have been a member of this panel for a considerable number of years and the event is smoothly co-ordinated by trumpeter and ex-Jazz Services supremo , Chris Hodgkins.
The panel is made up of names from the jazz community including musicians, editors, reviewers, promoters, managers and educators. The group creates a shortlist of nominees from the names proposed by the jazz public and this shortlist acts as an informed guide from which the MPs and Peers of APPJAG will chose each award winner. The awards ceremony itself will take place in central London on 16th October.
This year the categories include Vocalist, Instrumentalist, Album of the Year, Ensemble, Newcomer, Venue/Promoter/Festival, Media, Education and Services to Jazz. The standing rules for the Awards state that each nominee should be judged on their work during the preceding year, in this case, 2017.
Having selected the shortlists following three hours of interesting debate, we repaired to the bar in the Soho Theatre for a very pleasant drink in good company.