Peter Whittingham Jazz Award 2018 winners announced

jazz award winners

Saxophonists Alex Hitchcock and Tom Smith, and trumpeter Sheila Maurice-Grey, are the three emerging artists to win the Peter Whittingham Jazz Award 2018.

Now in its 28th year, the award offers new jazz musicians or groups financial aid to undertake a creative project of their choice that will support their professional development.

It can fund recording, filming, touring, performances, mentoring, collaboration and promotion, and is presented by Help Musicians UK.

This year’s winning artists will receive £5,000, £3,000 and £2,000 respectively to bolster their careers.

Hitchcock said: ‘I’m delighted to win this award and very grateful to Help Musicians UK for the opportunity. I’m really excited to be able to work with three of my favourite musicians on this new project in Will Barry, Ferg Ireland, and Shane Forbes.

‘This will allow us space to collaborate and create some really forward-thinking new music. I can’t wait to find out how Will, Ferg and Shane’s unique and distinctive musical personalities combine with me in this project.’

The Peter Whittingham Jazz Award was launched in 1990 to honour its namesake, an expert in survival medicine and also a pianist who enjoyed the music of Gershwin, Porter, Sondheim, Bernstein, Shearing and Peterson.

After Whittingham’s death in 1987 his family set up this award in his memory and their connection with the award continues.

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.