Lewis Wright wins Worshipful Co. Young Musician Award

Lewis Wright

The finalists on the 2011 Worshippful Company of Musicians Young Jazz Musician competiton, held on Septeber 25th at Pizza Express Dean Street were: Josh Arcoleo (saxophone), Freddie Gavita (trumpet), Dave Hamblett (drums), Adam King (bass), Matt Robinson (piano) and competiton winner Lewis Wright (vibraphone).

The six musicians, according to a possibly unique competition format, play the gig as a band, working collaboratively together, and the audience votes for a “Man of the Match.” All six contestants distinguished themselves for blending, listening, and musicianly virtues which have nothing to do with competition. I sensed  quite a bit of support in the room for Freddie Gavita and Adam King as well as for Lewis Wright, and certainly one of the high-points of the night was a Freddie Gavita composition Night Watchman.

The first ever winner of the competion Tina May sang an opening short set with Nikki Iles, and also joined the band for a couple of numbers. The over-riding impression was of music of high quality being delivered with great care. The whole occasion – inevitably perhaps –  has a respectful, buttoned vibe. I look forward to occasions when any of these six fine craftsmen – as I am sure they all can…- will take the opportunity to obey Mingus’ exhortation to “act crazy. That said, the standards of musicianship rise every year, and this was a band without a weak link.

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