Jewellery Quarter BID wins British Jazz Awards for Brum

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Birmingham has been successful in capturing the 2013 British Jazz Awards and bringing this most important of British jazz events back to the City where it all began, 27 years ago.

Appropriately enough for such a glittering procession of talent, the Awards (known in the business as the ‘Jazz Oscars’) will this year be produced in partnership between The Jewellery Quarter BID and the Birmingham International Jazz & Blues Festival.

On Wednesday July 10th, Birmingham will play host to the best jazz musicians in the country, as the Award Winner’s presentation takes place at the picturesque St Paul’s Church, in the heart of The Jewellery Quarter.

As well as the prize giving, the winners will give a public performance on the night, forming a top draw lineup of the kind rarely seen anywhere these days, other than the British Jazz Awards. The music doesn’t stop there.

Several of this year’s nominees, along with an exciting array of musicians from around the globe, will be coming to Brum for the 29th Birmingham International Jazz & Blues Festival over the period of July 5-14th.

Over 170 (mostly) free performances will take music to pubs, restaurants and public places around the city, making up Europe’s biggest free jazz party.

A 20-strong nomination panel of jazz experts – journalists, festival directors, broadcasters, venue owners – provide the nominations for the awards, which are then put to the public vote by jazz fans from throughout the UK. Online voting takes place at tiny.cc/britishjazzawards/.

There are 16 categories open to the public vote, including 11 instrumental categories alongside those for Rising Star, Big Band, Small Group and industry awards to record companies for Best New Album and Best Reissue. There is also an award for Services To British Jazz, decided by The British Jazz Awards panel.

The awards, originally sponsored by Mitchells & Butlers, were for many years presented in The Grand Hotel in Birmingham, by the likes of Humphrey Lyttelton, Benny Green, John Dankworth and Cleo Laine.

Nina Simone came to The Grand Hotel to accept her Platinum Disc for “My Baby Just Cares For Me”. Ronnie Scott won awards, and in 1990 Miles Davis won the Getzen Fairweather Award (then part of The British Jazz Awards) for the best trumpet performance during the previous year’s Birmingham International Jazz Festival.

When BT took sponsorship they moved the awards presentation to London, where it stayed but for forays out to places such as Gainsborough and Southampton, who hosted the 2012 presentation.

The legendary BBC journalist and author Benny Green summed it up thus at the inaugural Awards: “When the good things in life are passed out Jazz musicians are often overlooked. These awards give us the opportunity to acknowledge their talent and their dogged determination in continuing to play this wonderful music that enriches our lives. The British Jazz Awards is a way of patting them on the back and telling them that we understand and appreciate their efforts.”

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