The nominations have today been announced for the 2016 Parliamentary Jazz Awards, now Britain’s premier awards for the jazz loving public and fans in both Houses.

Editor in Chief of Jazzwise Jon Newey returns to compere the ceremony, now in its twelfth year, and which is organised by the All Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group (APPJAG).  Back by popular demand, special guest performances by James Pearson and The Ronnie Scott’s All Stars will also feature at this year’s ceremony.

The nominees feature a broad array of jazz talent from the UK jazz scene including Eska, short-listed for the 2015 Mercury Prize; Welsh-born singer Ian Shaw a consummate performer, pianist and stand-up comedian; the internationally recognised pianist and composer Django Bates; Julian Argüelles’ album of big band arrangements by exiled South African jazz composers, ‘Let It Be Told’; Nikki Iles and The Printmakers; Seven Jazz Leeds; and vying for Newcomer of the Year, Binker and Moses, Scottish drummer Corrie Dick and Theon Cross.

Sponsored by music licensing company PPL, the award categories reflect the ever-increasing scope of talent from within the UK’s jazz scene. They include: Jazz Vocalist of the Year; Jazz Instrumentalist of the Year; Jazz Album of the Year; Jazz Ensemble of the Year; Jazz Newcomer of the Year; Jazz Venue of the Year; Jazz Media Award; Jazz Education Award; and the Services to Jazz Award.

Following an online public vote for the Awards via the JazzUK website, the shortlist was then voted upon by the Selection Panel who represent a broad cross-section of backgrounds united in their love and knowledge of jazz. The winners are chosen by judging members of APPJAG in Parliament and will be announced at the awards ceremony which will take place at the House of Commons, Terrace Pavilion, on Tuesday 10 May.

“We at PPL are delighted to continue our long standing relationship with APPJAG and to be the main sponsor of these Awards.  I would like to extend my personal thanks and appreciation to Jason McCartney MP and to Lord Colwyn for doing such a fantastic job in co-chairing and running APPJAG.   I would also like to thank all of the judges for their time and welcome back Jon Newey as the Awards’ presenter.” said Peter Leathem, CEO, PPL 

Jason McCartney MP, Co-Chair of APPJAG, said:These shortlists demonstrate the wealth of talent and commitment that exists in the British jazz scene. Now in its 12th year, the Parliamentary Jazz Awards honours the best of British jazz. MPs and Peers in the All Party Group are delighted to host another ceremony in the House of Commons and we are extremely grateful to PPL for sponsoring the event.”

The full list of nominees is as follows:

Jazz Vocalist of the Year                

  • Emilia Martensson
  • Eska
  • Ian Shaw


Jazz Instrumentalist of the Year     

  • Alex Hawkins
  • Django Bates
  • Evan Parker
  • Liam Noble


Jazz Album of the Year                     

  • Julian Argüelles ‘Let It Be Told’
  • Liam Noble ‘A Room Somewhere’
  • Liane Carroll ‘Seaside’


Jazz Ensemble of the Year             

  • Empirical
  • Loose Tubes
  • The Printmakers


Jazz Newcomer of the Year            

  • Binker and Moses
  • Corrie Dick
  • Theon Cross


Jazz Venue of the Year                    

  • Jazz Re:freshed Mau Mau’s London
  • Seven Jazz Leeds
  • Watermill Jazz Dorking


Jazz Media Award                              

  • Chris Philips
  • Jazz In London/Mary Greig
  • Jez Nelson/BBC Jazz on 3
  • Richard Williams


Jazz Education Award                     

  •  Dr Tommy Smith
  • Gary Crosby/Tomorrow’s Warriors
  • Jamil Sheriff, Leeds College of Music


Services to Jazz Award                    

  • Evan Parker
  • Mary Greig
  • Michael Janisch


APPJAG currently has over 80 members from the House of Commons and House of Lords across all political parties. Their aim is to encourage wider and deeper enjoyment of jazz, to increase Parliamentarians’ understanding of the jazz industry and issues surrounding it, to promote jazz as a musical form and to raise its profile inside and outside Parliament.  The Group’s officers are Co-Chairs Jason McCartney MP and Lord Colwyn, Secretary, Baroness Coussins, Vice Chairs Kelvin Hopkins MP and Mark Pritchard MP, Treasurer, David Morris MP.