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Thursday, July 05, 2012


(L-R): 2012 Jazz Scholars – Huw Williams, Chris Maddock, Matt Robinson, Ben Mallinder, Jonathan Davies and Alec Harper.
The hugely successful, high-powered and influential partnership between Yamaha in association with Jazzwise, PPL and the All Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group celebrated the sixth year of its jazz scholarship programme at the All Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group's annual Summer Jazz event in association with Jazzwise and PPL in the Atlee Suite, Portcullis House, House of Commons on Tuesday 3rd July. Following an inspired performance by Yamaha artist, the double Mobo award-winning saxophonist YolanDa Brown, six winners representing the cream of young British jazz talent put in an exceptional performance, after being nominated for special consideration by the heads of jazz at six of the UKs leading conservatoires.
Award winning Jazz FM presenter Helen Mayhew and Yamaha Music Managing Director Mike Ketleypresented scholarships to Jonathan Davies, a drummer studying Leeds College of Music; pianist Matt Robinson, a student at the Royal Academy of Music; Chris Maddock who studies alto saxophone at Birmingham Conservatoire; Huw Williams, a student from the Royal Welsh College of Music& Drama and tenor saxophone students Alec Harper from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and Ben Mallinder from Trinity Laban Conservatoire.
All six scholarship winners who are about to leave college each received £1000 to help set themselves up as they embark on their new musical careers. More importantly the unique platform of a performance at the Palace of Westminster provided the opportunity to showcase their talent not only to Members of Parliament from both Houses who are interested in jazz, but also prominent invitees from the jazz community, including press, venue operators and record company executives.
In addition to the £1000 scholarship, all six scholarship award winners will have the opportunity to feature alongside some of Yamaha’s most highly respected and established jazz artists on ‘The Yamaha New Jazz Sessions 2012’ promotional CD, sponsored by Yamaha Music Europe GmbH (UK), to be recorded and cover-mounted on Jazzwise magazine’s Xmas and New Year double issue, with the chance to perform live at the CD launch at London’s internationally renowned ‘606’ Jazz Club on 5th December. Previous years' highly acclaimed ‘Yamaha New Jazz Sessions’ CDs produced by Andy Ross at Astar Studios have included tracks by Yamaha artists Liane Carroll, Nigel Hitchcock, Julian Joseph, Gwilym Simcock, Jason Rebello, Ryan Quigley, YolanDa Brown, Georgina Jackson, Mica Paris,Arun Ghosh and Anders Astrand. The CD series is expected to top 80,000 copies circulated since its debut release in 2008, amounting to one of the most significant and eagerly awaited jazz albums of the year.
Many former Yamaha jazz scholars are now enjoying professional success and include Calum Gourlay(Double Bass) and Kit Downes (Piano), who along with drummer James Maddren received a prestigious Mercury Prize nomination for the debut Kit Downes Trio album ‘Golden’.
The annual scheme jointly sponsored by Yamaha Music Europe GmbH (UK) in association withJazzwise, Appjag, PPL and 606 Club is designed to support young emerging jazz musicians by providing valuable funding and important marketing support through performance and recording opportunities.
Yamaha managing director Mike Ketley commented, “These innovative scholarships have further extended our relationship with Jazzwise, PPL and the All Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group. We are committed to the promotion of jazz performance and these scholarships complement our many other music education and student support initiatives. What better way to support the studies and showcase the talent of the UK’s finest upcoming young jazz musicians than through financial assistance, live performance and the recording opportunity that features them alongside major artists in the jazz world on the cover of the UK’s biggest selling jazz magazine.”
PPL Managing Director Peter Leathem stated, “Once again we heard the extraordinary talent of the young musicians now entering the profession and joining what is such a rich musical scene. We have had a long association with the All Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group as their main sponsor and they have done a great job in bringing politicians face to face with the music. We are pleased now to be working with Yamaha to encourage and support young artists as they launch their careers and create the music of the future."

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