Tenor saxophonist, flautist and composer Tori Freestone won the The Ivors Composer Award for Jazz Ensemble for her composition “Birds of Paradise”. The piece features Freestone on flute/triangle, vocals by Brigitte Beraha, and piano by Alcyona Mick, and was premiered at the Royal Albert Hall’s Elgar Room as part of the 2021 EFG London Jazz Festival.
Quoting the press release “Freestone was inspired by birdsong during the pandemic when writing the work, saying that “having the melodies and rhythms combined with the play and interaction the birds created whilst our own forms of musical interaction were being restricted was uplifting.”
The Ivors Academy’s jury noted that the work is “a unique composition, full of life and joy” whilst also stating that “it’s rhythmically alluring, energetic and brilliantly performed”. (Quote ends)
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Following the announcement, Freestone wrote on Facebook: “I still can’t believe I got one of these last night for jazz ensemble composition! Wow! I always think of myself as a runner up type of person (I think it’s ever since I passed my driving test on the second go haha), so this was a real shock, and especially to be receiving an Ivor Novello award and the accolade that gives. (…) Wow what an honour! It feels extra special, as writing this and the other tracks for a follow up album for the duo I co lead with the amazing pianist/composer Alcyona Mick really helped me get through lockdown, so this piece ‘Birds of Paradise’ has a special meaning for me. Thanks too to Brigitte Beraha for singing on the track and being a great hang at the awards last night, to Help Musicians for their DID fund which supported us to record the album at the amazing Artesuono studios and to Stefano Amerio for his expertise in recording, mixing and mastering our music as ever.”
Also nominated in the category was Dan Mar-Molinero for his work for jazz orchestra, Tomos Williams for his “Riot! Suite”, David de la Haye for “Plant Based Patterns”, and Alex Hitchcock for “To Love Itself”.
Other winners include Talvin Singh for innovation, George Benjamin for outstanding works collection, Thomas Adès in the stage works category, and academy fellowship for Judith Weir.
LINKS: Full list of award winners