The Royal Academy of Music and Edition Records are jointly announcing that the fifth recipient of the Kenny Wheeler Prize, which is for an exceptional jazz student at the Academy “who demonstrates excellence in both performance and composition”, has been won by vibraphonist/ composer / bandleader RALPH WYLD (website). He also recently won a Dankworth Prize for Composition. One of the regular panel members, Evan Parker writes in his citation:
‘This year has special significance, being the first since dear Kenny’s passing last September. The standard was as high as ever, but we were pleased to reach agreement that the scope and ambition of Ralph’s music was the one. The range of colours that he achieved with just a sextet demonstrated his clear understanding of instrumentation and band-leading. Ralph has an outstanding ensemble here and the scope of his musical vision was impressively clear for such a young musician. It will be exciting to see where this leads.’
The first four winners were Josh Arcoleo (2011), Reuben Fowler (2012), Lauren Kinsella (2013) and Misha Mullov- Abbado(2014). The prize is a recording made by and released on Edition Records.