Sandy Brown Jazz



The All Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group (APPJAG) was set up by interested Members of Parliament in the UK to promote the use and enjoyment of jazz as a music form. The Group has over one hundred members from both the House of Commons and the House of Lords, and is jointly chaired by Michael Connarty, MP for Linlithgow and Falkirk East and Lord Tony Colwyn, himself a very fine trumpeter and band leader. Administrative services are provided by Jazz Services.

Photo of the Houses of ParliamentMichael Connarty recalls: 'The great innovation that started with APPJAG was the introduction of 'live' jazz music in the House of Commons. This started with 'Jazz In The House' which after six years is still held each November in co-operation with Serious and Radio 3 to celebrate the London Jazz Festival. It brings together those working in the industry as promoters and artists and jazz-supporting MPs and Lords, to talk about the ongoing state of the jazz scene, and has live music in the Terrace Pavilion of the House of Commons'.

APPJAG has teamed up with Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL), the body responsible for collecting royalties for the playing of auditory recordings, and who sponsor three other events with live music in the commons each year.

Each January, there is a 'Youth Band' event and to date, the event has featured Tomorrow's Warriors with Guy Barker; the Wigan Youth Jazz Orchestra Octet with Georgie Fame; the TS Scottish Youth Jazz Orchestra Octet with Tommy Smith, the Doncaster Youth Jazz Orchestra Octet with Dennis Rollins and 'Hot House' (formerly the East Midlands Youth Jazz Orchestra - EMYJO) withsaxophonist Alan Barnes.

The 2014 event featured the North East's youth jazz ensemble, Jambone, from The Sage, Gateshead who had worked Bradley Johnstonwith their musical director, Skye-based trombonist, composer and arranger Rick Taylor to present a new suite of music that paid homage to the whole span of big band music from Ellington and Basie to the West Coast and to Charlie Haden.

Bradley Johnston
Photograph courtesy of Hayley Madden / PPL

Particularly impressive was not just the professional competence of the young musicians whose ages ranged from 14 to 19, but the way the eleven-piece band (plus Rick) were able to absorb and portray the different jazz styles involved.

Rick Taylor explained that just eighteen hours had been spent with the band Philip Harperfor them to learn and perform the music. Rick Taylor and the musicians all deserve credit for what they achieved.

Philip Harper
Photograph courtesy of Hayley Madden / PPL

The solos were all excellent with particularly impressive performances from Bradley Johnson (guitar), Jack Kinrade (piano) and fourteen year old Philip Harper on alto saxophone.

The band comprised Sam Steemson (drums), Jack Kinrade (piano), Bradley Johnston (guitar), Xan Gill (bass), Evan Abell (baritone sax), Nicholas Caughey (tenor sax), Philip Harper (alto sax), Jonathan Robson (trombone), Jack Courtney (trumpet), Adam Wood (trumpet) and Alexandra Davies (trumpet). Credit is also due to PPL and APPJAG for supporting such a valuable Youth Jazz project.


In July the Group holds a Summer Jazz Gig where Yamaha sponsors the 'Yamaha Jazz Scholarships'. These Scholarships are awarded annually to final year jazz graduates nominated by the six conservatoires of music in the UK that offer a full-time degree course in jazz. They are prestigious awards for the musicians and a chance for us to take note of exciting and talented young people who we are likely to hear more from in the future.

The scholars each receive a voucher for £1000 to put towards instruments and equipment at Yamaha Music London,Arun Ghosh band plus a chance to record their music at Astar studios for a sampler CD that is included with the December/January issue of Jazzwise magazine. The recording gives the scholars a 'calling card' they can use in their personal publicity. The CD is launched later in the year at London's 606 Club in Chelsea. In July 2014 the awards were presented by Peter Ross from Yamaha and keyboard player and jazz educator Darius Brubeck.

Arun Ghosh Quintet
Picture courtesy of Tim Charles / PPL

The event also featured a set by the award winning clarinettist Arun Ghosh pictured here with a front line of Yazz Ahmed (trumpet) and Chris Williams (saxophone).

Yamaha Jazz Scholars 2014

The 2014 award winners, and names to look out for in the future, are:

Ashley Henry - (piano) - Leeds College of Music
Mark Lewandowski - (double bass) - Guildhall School of Music and Drama
Ed Haine - (tenor saxophone) - Birmingham Conservatiore
Dan Smith - (alto saxophone) - Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama
Tom Dennis - (trumpet) - Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance
Scott Chapman - (drums) - Royal Academy of Music
Utsav Lal (piano) - Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Picture courtesy of Tim Charles / PPL


The third main live event is the Annual All Parliamentary Jazz Awards. Michael Connarty says: 'These were a joint inspiration by APPJAG and PPL with the aim of trying to recognise people and categories that were not always on the roster of the Music Industry, like Jazz Education; Jazz Venue; Contribution to Jazz; Newcomer to Watch; Jazz Publication, etc.'

'We ask for nominations from the public through jazz mags; jazz radio, and a wide listening panel draw up a short list from those nominations. Our committee listens in advance, MPs visit venues, and then APPJAG meets and chooses the winners from the shortlists. The event normally takes place in May each year with live music, and a very professional schedule overseen by Moira Stewart (and before her, Paul Gambaccini) whose regular attendance has been funded by PPL.'

Elaine Delmar


Elaine Delmar receives her Special Award from
Michael Connarty MP, co-chair of APPJAG.

© Photograph Hayley Madden PPLUK



The Parliamentary Jazz Award Winners of 2014

Arum GhoshJazz Vocalist of the Year  - Christine Tobin      
Jazz Instrumentalist of the Year - Arun Ghosh

Arun Ghosh
Photograph by Hayley Madden courtesy of PPL

Jazz Album of the Year - Troykestra ‘Live At Cheltenham 13 Jazz Festival’
Jazz Ensemble of the Year - Beats & Pieces Big Band
Jazz Newcomer of the Year - Phil Meadows
Jazz Venue of the Year  - EFG London Jazz Festival     
Jazz Media Award - The Jamie Cullum Show
Jazz Education Award  - Issie Barratt, National Youth Jazz Collective
Services to Jazz Award - David Redfern
Special Award - Chris Barber Cleo Laine



Dame Cleo Laine at the 2011 Parliamentary Jazz Awards

© Photograph Hayley Madden PPLUK


But the Group is involved in more than arranging the events described above. Michael Connarty explains:

'APPJAG has been engaged in the serious business of contributing to government policy, and even European Union policy on matters as diverse as the changes in the Licensing Laws; the funding for Jazz as a music genre; the need for more allocation of time on radio for jazz music, and the campaign to extend the payment time for auditory copyright from its present 50 years to at least 95 years.'

'Apart from meetings with organisations who wish to put their case to APPJAG members, APPJAG members have also undertaken meetings where we have had 'full and frank dialogue' with organisations such as OFCOM on radio licence allocations and the poor coverage of jazz music. Meetings have been held with ministers to which people from the music industry have put the case from the performers' point of view. Meetings have even been held in Brussels with Members of the EU Commission on copyright extension and publicity, and lobby meetings have been held to publicise the justice of the extension campaign in the UK parliament.'

It is possible that many people are unaware of the valuable work being done by APPJAG on behalf of jazz in the UK, and it is reassuring to know that the Group is active and working in support both of the music and of young musicians.

© Sandy Brown Jazz 2008-2014


The Parliamentary Jazz Award Winners of 2013

Jazz Musician of the Year - Guy Barker
Jazz Album of the Year - John Surman 'Saltash Bells' (ECM) [Click here to sample]
Jazz Ensemble of the Year - Impossible Gentlemen
Live Jazz Award - The Vortex, London
Jazz Journalist of the Year - Rob Adams
Jazz Broadcaster of the Year - Mike Chadwick
Jazz Publication of the Year - Catherine Tackley
- 'Benny Goodman's Famous 1938 Carnegie Hall Jazz Concert'
Jazz Education Award - Nick Smart (Head of Jazz at Royal Academy of Music)
Services to Jazz Award - Stan Tracey O.B.E.
APPJAG Special Award - Elaine Delmar


The Parliamentary Jazz Award Winners of 2011

Jazz Musician of the Year: Brian Kellock.
Jazz Album of the Year: John Turville 'Midas' .
Jazz Ensemble of the Year: Brass Jaw
Jazz Promoter/Venue of the Year: The Hideaway (Streatham, London)
Jazz Journalist of the Year: John Fordham
Jazz Broadcaster of the Year: Paul Barnes
Jazz Publication of the Year: 'Goin' Home: The Uncompromising Life and Music of Ken Colyer' by Mike Pointon, Ray Smith, Martin Colyer.
Jazz Education Award: Dr Ian Darrington MBE
Services to Jazz Award: Coleridge Goode
A Special Award was made this year to Dame Cleo Laine.

The Parliamentary Jazz Award Winners of 2010

Jazz Musician: Mark Lockheart
Jazz CD: 'No Messin' by the Gareth Lockrane Septet
Jazz Ensemble: the Nigel Price Organ Trio
Jazz Venue: the Jazz Bar, Edinburgh
Jazz Journalist: Mike Flynn
Jazz Broadcaster: Alyn Shipton
Jazz Publication: Jazzwise
Jazz Educator: Dr Kathy Dyson
Services to Jazz: Brian Blane

The Parliamentary Jazz Award Winners of 2009:

Jazz Musician of the Year: Phil Robson
Jazz CD of the Year: The Sam Crockatt Quartet 'Howeird'.
Jazz Ensemble of the Year: The Ryan Quigley Sextet
Jazz Venue of the Year: Fleece Jazz (South East England)
Jazz Journalist of the Year: Kevin LeGendre
Jazz Broadcaster of the Year: Sarah Ward
Jazz Publication of the Year:
Jazz Education Award: Richard Michael
Services to Jazz Award: Val Wilmer
50 Years Anniversary Award: Ronnie Scott's Club.

The Parliamentary Jazz Award Winners of 2008:

Jazz Musician of the Year: Liane Carroll
Jazz Broadcaster: Helen Mayhew
Jazz Venue: Tithe Barn, Needham, Norfolk
Jazz Educator: Dennis Rollins
Jazz Publication: Jazz UK
Jazz Journalist: John Fordham
Services to Jazz: Paul Pace (of Ray's Jazz)
Jazz CD: The Amadeus Project - Guy Barker
Jazz Ensemble - Empirical

For more about the awards click here.

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