|First ever winner of BBC Young Musician of the Year in 1978 Mike Hext|
The competition for BBC Young Musician of the Year, which gets broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and BBC4 Television is to include a competiton for young jazz musicians for the first time. The competition will reach its climax at Usher Hall in Edinburgh on May 18th 2014.
Jan Younghusband, Commissioning Editor, Music & Events at the BBC writes: “This year we are delighted to introduce a new Jazz Award, further extending the reach of the competition and look forward to showcasing another group of exceptional young people when BBC Young Musician reaches its broadcast stage early next year.”
Mike Hext, the first ever winner of the competition back in 1978 , is a jazz activist, and last featured on LondonJazz HERE.
UPDATE 1: We’ve had clarification as to how it will work: “It is a separate award with its own heats and final on 8 March 2014 and judging panel yet to be announced. Entry forms for the Jazz Award will be available from 1 August 2013 with a closing date of 18 October 2013.”
UPDATE 2: We asked if there was a chance that the jazz contest might be televised. “It’s too early to confirm the full broadcast schedule for BBC Young Musician 2014 as we are only at the call for entrants stage. The broadcast details of the finals will be announced in due course.[..] As soon as we know more so will you.”
Clever move. It allows in and gives exposure to young musicians who play in jazz and/or jazz-related areas who might otherwise have difficulty in gaining recognition. It means that the many musicians who are active in new music but recognise jazz as one of various genres that they refer back to and participate in have a louder voice. It's breaking down the exclusivity tag without competing with the existing BBC YMOTY. Good news.
I hope it is broadcast….it would bring a lot of attention to the under-reported and undervalued jazz musicians in the UK.