The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow has announced the winners of its 2020 Jazz Awards, writes Rob Adams:
Prizes of £300 each are awarded every year to students excelling in three of the main strands of jazz studies and this year’s winners are:
- Saxophonist Matt Carmichael (Fog Arts Prize in Jazz Improvisation)
- Drummer Richard Glassby (George Duncan Prize for Jazz Composition)
- Guitarist James Mackay (Joe Temperley Prize for Jazz Arranging*).
Matt Carmichael, who has just finished his third-year at the RCS, has already made an impression on the UK scene, having been cited as One to Watch in 2019 by Jazzwise and having made festival and concert appearances including gigs at Ronnie Scott’s. Earlier this year he recorded his debut, which is due for release soon.
Aberdeenshire-born Richard Glassby was studying classical percussion at Aberdeen University when he began to take an interest in jazz. Originally a pianist, he joined the student big band on drums, changed his degree in third year to Music Education and having won both third- and fourth-year performance and education prizes, he graduated with a First-Class Honours degree. He is currently taking his Masters degree at the RCS.
James Mackay, who has won the Joe Temperley Prize for Jazz Arranging (*), has been playing guitar since the age of seven. Having drawn on a range of influences including rock, classical and traditional Scottish music, he is now focusing on jazz and has been tipped by leading Scottish guitarist Kevin Mackenzie as having a promising future.
Saxophonist Tommy Smith OBE, who is Head of Jazz at the RCS, congratulated the three winners, whose predecessors include bassist-arranger Mark Hendry, guitarist Ben MacDonald and pianist Fergus McCreadie.
“Every year it is a great challenge to choose the winners of our three distinguished RCS Jazz Awards,” said Smith. “The awards really underline the high level of accomplishment reached by our students. I’d also like to thank our sponsors of the jazz awards, without whom there would be no prizes.”
More information on studying Jazz at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland is available at the RCS WEBSITE
(*)The Joe Temperley Prize for Jazz Arranging is sponsored by LJN contributor Mark McKergow,