The first jazz recipient was Gwilym Simcock, the second Tom Arthurs. The scheme is one of the means by which BBC Radio 3 fulfils its commitment to a quota of home-produced live music broadcasting. It has been run since inception in 1999 by senior BBC producer Adam Gatehouse. The artists work with BBC ensembles, with other New Generation Artists, and often at festivals such as Cheltenham and City of London.
Shabaka is a thoroughly deserving recipient. A recent review by Mike Hobart in the Financial Times, which amounts to a brief profile, dwells on his adaptibility to many musical contexts. “He is equally at home delivering a highlight moment on Guy Barker’s Big Band Britannia as he is with the decidedly left-field London Improvisers Orchestra.”