Jazz Yorkshire 2012 Awards

Tony Faulkner
Photo credit: Porl Medlock/ Jazz Yorkshire

The Jazz Yorkshire Awards 2012 took place at Dean Clough Mills in Halifax last night. The Lifetime Achievement Award went to TONY FAULKNER (above). Other notable winners are Band of the Year for Dennis Rollins’ Velocity Trio, Album of the Year for Matthew Bourne, and Young Musician of the Year for Leeds-based Canadian drummer Katie Patterson.

I wouldn’t want to spoil what sounds like a great party (the indefatigable Victor Allen of Dean Clough got his Press Relase out at 3 14 am!!) but the Press Release does also say:

The Jazz Yorkshire awards took place against a backdrop of concern about the recent series of Arts Council cuts which have axed the three Northern Jazz Agencies (of which Jazz Yorkshire is one). A number of consortiums have submitted bids to form replacement agencies across the North of England and a decision by Arts Council England is expected on April 2nd.

Here is the complete list of winners and citations:


Tony Faulkner
(Awarded by Jeremy Hall, Dean Clough)

Still possessing (as you see for yourself) endless energy and creativity for the art of jazz, Tony Faulkner is quite simply a legend! A drummer, bandleader, composer and arranger (having worked with Johnny Dankworth and Kenny Wheeler amongst others) Though hailing from the other side of the Pennines, Tony Faulkner has lived in Leeds for over 40 years, and was one of the founding tutors that long ago of the Light Music Course – which eventually became the first jazz degree in the UK – at the Leeds College of Music. He has inspired and influenced generations of European jazz musicians and their teachers (directly or indirectly all the musical award winners mentioned so far). He is an international authority on the music of Duke Ellington and kept the tradition alive through the Repertory Jazz Orchestra he led at LCM. Most recently, he has founded the Yorkshire Jazz Orchestra. Faulkner continues to see his role as stewarding experienced and fledgling players and composers to write and perform original and contemporary jazz at the highest level, and to keep them living and working in the region. He continues to compose and arrange and believes his best music’s yet to come!


Jean Watson

(Awarded by John Quail, Marsden Jazz Festival)
Jean organises the Seven Jazz Leeds raffles, produces Seven Jazz T Shirts and pens, and raises a huge amount of money through CD sales. She’s a charity fundraiser par excellence that would make any jazz club prosperous! This is all on top of a busy day job as a businesswoman running the Chapel Allerton holistic centre!


Pooles, The Music Centre, Grimsby

(Awarded by John Quail, Marsden Jazz Festival)
Pooles Music Centre has supported the Grimsby Jazz Brochure since its first print in 2004 paying for a small advert twice yearly, helping to make its printing possible. Pooles have funded Grimsby Jazz to the tune of £1200 and always display Grimsby Jazz and Cleethorpes Jazz Festival publicity through their shop and website. What is most valuable about their support for jazz is that it’s consistent and reliable.


Graham Shaw

(Awarded by Gill Wilde, Grimsby Jazz)
Most audience members see to be tribal – supporting their one or two favourite clubs, Graham Shaw, Mike Young, Tom Gallagher, roam far and wide. The award probably should go to all of them! You couldn’t get more knowledgeable and enthusiastic supporters. Recently sighted at Wakefield Jazz, JATP Bradford, The Victoria Leeds, Head of Steam, Huddersfield, Seven Jazz, Marsden Jazz Festival and tonight – Dean Clough…


Ron Burnett

(Awarded by Rob Adams, Jazz UK)
Ron Burnett writes a weekly ‘Jazz notes’ column in the York Press every week, and has done so for many years. This includes news of local events and musicians, reviews of new CDs, and if we are lucky, a piece about a particular “bee” that may be in his “bonnet” that week! Ron has his own entertaining style, which is always humorous and informative, and as well as commanding enormous respect as a musician and performer. He is a great supporter and promoter of Northern artists.



(Awarded by Rob Adams, Jazz UK)
As one nomination summarised: (this is…) “A vibrant, classy website, very easy to use and lots of up to date information”. Here is an superb example of a website that’s clear and easy to navigate, fully connected to social networks, and which projects Nicki Allan’s image as a busy and fully-engaged vocal artist.


Leeds Youth Jazz Rock Orchestra

(Awarded by Martin Coultas, Jazz Yorkshire)
Brendan Duffy has directed this brilliant youth band for the past 11 years. We applaud the opportunities the band provides for young players to play exciting music together and gain performing experience. LYJRO are very enterprising and get out and about as their exchange with a high school in Durban in South Africa shows. After their trip LYJRO set about raising funds for instruments for their South African partners.


The Tommy Evans Orchestra
(Awarded by Martin Coultas, Jazz Yorkshire)

Here in the one band led by the composer and drummer, Tommy Evans, is a collection of hugely talented musicians, arguably the crême of the north of England’s young crop, and making a name for themselves on the national and international scene with Tommy’s The Green Seagull suite. They are: Si Kaylor, Jamil Sheriff, Dave Kane, Kris Wright, Ruby Wood, Anna Stott, Kari Bleivik, Simon Beddoe – all, incidentally, graduates of Leeds College of Music, and each and all contributing to the creative and innovative scene in Yorkshire.
Tommy Evans’ music has already been recognised when he won the British Academy of Songwriters and Composers (BASCA) ‘Jazz Composition’ Award in London in November 2011. Here, clearly, is the band of the year – and maybe not just in Yorkshire.

Tommy on tour with Sub Motion Orchestra CUE VIDEO


Dennis Rollins Velocity Trio
(Awarded by Martin Powell, JATP Bradford)

Dennis is a national treasure but home sweet home is Doncaster. He is a virtuoso trombone player, an educator, the leader of this important and innovative band, the Velocity Trio, and a world-class funkster touring with the Maceo Parker band.

Dennis can not be with us tonight but he was sent us a message – CUE VIDEO

Matthew Bourne – Montauk Variations (Leaf )
(Awarded by Martin Powell, JATP Bradford)

With so many fine contenders on the shortlist this was not a straightforward decision. But the music, from a consistently outstanding and innovative musician, is “beautiful and totally captivating”. The album marks a change from the ‘bad and mad’ boy of jazz into a new artistic maturity which lays bare his love and commitment to his instrument and to pursuing a strong individual musical vision. Matt is a graduate from Leeds College of Music.

Dennis can not be with us tonight… CUE VIDEO


Richard Ormrod
(Awarded by Martin Powell, JATP Bradford)

“Richard is a tireless innovator across on both on the free music scene (Swinepipe), in calypso bands (Pan Jumbi), in unusual settings (Home of the Brave, A Dread Supreme) conventional jazz settings (playing Mingus Music) and as an educator (the Dales Jam, Ram Jam, Music4People)”.

Richard was a founding member of LIMA and an influential figure during time at Leeds College of Music. He is someone who ploughs his own furrow, and is finally getting the recognition he deserves.

Richard cannot be he tonight as right now he is in Skipton leading the Dales Jam – imagine thirty musicians of all ages and abilities raising the roof with a full-on version of a Hermeto Pascoal number.

Richard can not be with us tonight… – CUE VIDEO


Katie Patterson
(Awarded by Martin Powell, JATP Bradford)

A first class jazz graduate from Leeds College of Music this exceptionally talented young drummer has chosen to live and work in the Yorkshire region. She has contributed to the Leeds scene as a band and big band leader, composer, sidewoman and she’s also a dedicated community musician and workshop leader so we’re delighted to present her with this award.


Kari Bleivik
(Awarded by Brendan Duffy, Leeds Youth Jazz Rock Orchestra)

Kari is another international musician who has elected to live and work in Yorkshire. She’s a writer, composer with her vocal ensemble, Royst, bandleader and a founder member of LIMA. She brings an utterly distinctive voice and personal style to vocal jazz and is an influential teacher and workshop leader and now one of the team who has set up and promote the new FUSE BOX night at the Fox and Newt in Leeds.


Paul Baxter
(Awarded by Ron Burnett, York Evening Press)

Paul has composed and recorded two albums of his original music with trio Eyes Shut Tight, who were featured on Jazz in 3 early this month. His writing and playing earned an invitation to compete at the 2012 European Jazz Competition held in Italy where the were runners up and Paul was awarded the best improvisor award. In addition he has transcribed complex Horace Silver music for his 5 Pieces of Silver and is currently arranging the music for a 5 Pieces of Silver Big Band which will be appearing at the Marsden, Hull and Burton Agnes festivals this year.

Paul cannot be with us tonight as he is at a rehearsal in London for a project with musicians from Trinity College where he is undertaking a Masters in Jazz

Paul has sent a message – CUE VIDEO?


Pave, Hull
(Awarded by Ron Burnett, York Evening Press)

Pave has provided a consistently welcoming arena for musicians from all over the country and the Yorkshire and Humber region to perform. Owner Steve Shaw and J-Night’s David Porter promote music out of a real passion and open their venue to all manner of outfits and styles of jazz. Their regular Sunday jazz jam session has been a central focus for jazz in Hull for many years.


Cafe Lento, Leeds
(Awarded by Ros Rigby, Sage Gateshead)
This is jazz at it’s most intimate. Imagine a space not much bigger than your living room where you get to sit (almost) in the laps of the performers. The atmosphere is relaxed and warm, with Richard Lindley, the most welcoming, enthusiastic and generous promoter-venue owner – he cooks the band delicious food every gig, and serves the audience snacks with their drinks. Most importantly, he books great musicians and organises a wonderfully appreciative and friendly audience.


Seven Jazz, Leeds
(Awarded by Ros Rigby, Sage Gateshead)

Seven Jazz is now the most active jazz club (106 separate events) in Yorkshire with the largest audience numbers supporting the most bands and using the highest number of jazz musicians of any club in Yorkshire. The club do far more than showcase highest quality regional bands and a stunning roster of international jazz artists across the gamut of jazz styles. They run a popular Saturday afternoon jazz instrumental workshop, a Friday night improvisation group, quarterly jazz café jam sessions, organise the Chapel Allerton festival jazz day and arrange jazz gigs in the local community, and have commissioned new creative projects and compositions. The club is supported by a friendly and enthusiastic band of volunteers led by the indefatigable Steve Crocker.

Scarborough Jazz Festival
(Awarded by Steve Mead, Manchester Jazz Festival)

To quote from a nomination card… “Year on year the greatest Yorkshire Jazz Festival held in a terrific venue”. “We have attended Scarborough Jazz Festival several times, and have always found it very entertaining, varied and well organised. The jazz is of a high quality, and the event is highly useful to jazz promoters who can see such a good range of jazz groups over one weekend. It’s also very good value! Lovely setting at The Spa, overlooking the sea. Mike Gordon and his team definitely deserve the recognition of this award for all their hard work over the years putting on this excellent festival”.

Listed in The Guardians top 5 UK Jazz Festivals


Gill Wilde
(Awarded by Steve Mead, Manchester Jazz Festival)

“Gill works tirelessly to keep the flag flying for jazz in North East Lincolnshire. She organises fine innovative gigs at the Stanford club in Cleethorpes. In addition she now promotes. the annual Jazz Festival each summer in Cleethorpes. It is particularly well run with a host of top flight performers. North East Lincolnshire jazz lovers are lucky to have her looking after our interests.
Her latest project is to start youth jazz workshops with a grant from Youth Music and match funding from money raised from a benefit event for fellow Grimsby Jazz organiser Geoff Doncaster who passed away in 2011


Pete Lyons and Sheffield Jazz Workshops
(Awarded by Matt Freeman, James Baxter and Jo Foxall)

Pete Lyons is one of the driving forces behind the outstandingly successful Sheffield Jazz Workshops with around 90 participants every Saturday ranging from in age from 8 – 80. The workshops provide a way into playing and appreciating jazz for many people who would have no other route (other than individual lessons or Band in a Box!). Participants feed into the local jazz clubs (The Lescar and Millennium Centre) creating a holy circle. Much appreciated (as the nominations show) as a patient and inspiring teacher, Pete Lyons leads a team of tutors: Chris Walker, Piero Tucci, Seth Bennett and Nick Fletcher.

(All awarded by Nigel Slee, Jazz Yorkshire)

Ken Butler
Ken keeps bringing in new talent and mixes it up with experienced performers. There are scores of young singers and musicians who have learnt and developed their performance skills because bass play and promoter, Ken Butler, has given them a chance in small venues like Gildesome Lodge, Elmwood Hotel and the Undercliffe Cricket Club. For over 20 years he has run gigs and developed jazz audiences. His regular and lively e-mailed updates keep the audience in touch with what’s on and continue to promote the understanding of jazz.

John Ellis
John Ellis has given his life to jazz in Yorkshire for 38 years ago, John Ellis decided to keep open his classroom on wednesday nights for any kids who wanted to come and learn to play jazz and blues. In the middle of a small, poverty stricken South Yorkshire village, it was an unlikely project. But these wednesdays nights went on to transform thousands of peoples’ lives, and create successive generations of the best UK musicians. In an area of high unemployment and, often, a lack of hope, Doncaster youth Jazz Association stands as an example of what’s possible, and how much talent is normally allowed to go to waste.

Mike Gordon
Mike Gordon has promoted music at ScarboroughJazz for 28 years and the Scarborough Jazz Festival is now in it’s 10th year. He is a long-standing member of Jazz Services Jazz Education Committee, a board member of ‘Create’ a hugely influential and successful Arts organisation (part of Coastival). In all these roles Mike has of course enjoyed himself enormously but much more significantly done his upmost to promote jazz to an increasingly wide audience

Dave Hatfield
Over 25 years, Leeds Jazz led by Dave presented many of the biggest and best jazz acts ever to perform in Leeds, with a bold programme of remarkably high quality. His organisation is sadly missed but still worth remembering and drawing inspiration from.

Jude Sacker
Jude Sacker from Sheffield instead– she has kept the Sheffield club afloat for the last 20+ years and is stepping down this year as organiser to hand over to Paul Thomas. Her leadership saved Sheffield Jazz from going bust on a number or occasions.

Wilson Hebblestone
Throughout Ryedale Jazz Club’s eleven years, Wilson has helped promote jazz in the area. He has helped young musicians by teaching and promoting the music. At times the club had problems with venues, but Wilson found other places often at short notice. He puts together a newsletter for the club that includes details of other clubs. With a wealth of telephone numbers for deputy players, he works tirelessly for RJC.

Categories: miscellaneous

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