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.
Michael 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, and the Doncaster Youth Jazz Orchestra Octet with Dennis Rollins.
The band 'Hot House' (formerly the East Midlands Youth Jazz Orchestra - EMYJO) played for the 2009 event and were joined by saxophonist Alan Barnes:
L-R: Naomi Tansey, Andy Allen, Jon Eno (Hot House Director), James Kelsall, Fran Nevrakla MP, Lord Colwyn, Michael Connarty MP, Jeremy Smith, Ed Richardson, Ben Annable and Alan Barnes.
Photograph courtesy of PPLUK
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 20122 Scholarships were awarded in July at an event at Westminster hosted by the All Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group and funded by Yamaha, PPL, Jazzwise and the 606 Club. The winning scholars each receive £1,000 and an opportunity to record an album that is issued later in the year with Jazzwise magazine and launched at the 606 Club in December.
The event saw a pre-award set played by British saxophonist YolanDa Brown and her band and after the awards, the winners also played a set together as a group.
Photograph courtesy of Hayley Madden / PPL
The 2012 Scholarship Awards were made to:
Jonathan Davies (drums ), Leeds College of Music
Matt Robinson (piano), Royal Academy of Music
Chris Maddock (alto saxophone), Birmingham Conservatoire of Music
Huw Williams (bass), Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama
Alec Harper (tenor saxophone), Guildhall School of Music & Drama
Ben Mallinder (tenor saxophone) Trinity Laban College
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 Paul Gambaccini whose regular attendance has been funded by PPL.'
2011 - Coleridge Goode receives his Award for Services to Jazz from Dave Brubeck's son, Darius (left), at a ceremony hosted by Paul Gambaccini (right)
© Photograph Hayley Madden PPLUK
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.
© Ian Maund 2008-2012
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: jazzreloaded.com
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.