The final of this year’s BBC Young Jazz Musician competition will be shown on BBC Four TV on Sunday, 22 November, at 7pm. The actual event will take place on 14 November in an audience-free Cadogan Hall, London.
Five finalists, aged between 18 and 22 years, will play a 15-minute set accompanied by Nikki Yeoh’s Infinitum group featuring the Mondesir brothers Michael (b) and Mark (d) in front of a judging panel including Nubya Garcia, Orphy Robinson and Guy Barker. The event will be presented by saxophonist YolanDa Brown.
The competitors – Matt Carmichael (s), Alex Clarke (s), Deschanel Gordon (p), Ralph Porrett (g) and Kielan Sheard (b), four of whom are students or graduates of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Guildhall School of Music and Drama or Trinity Laban, will play music from “the standard jazz repertoire”, composed by Coltrane, Brubeck, Monk, Parricelli and others, all described by the BBC as “legends of the genre”. However, each set will include at least one piece to which the performers have contributed either as composer or arranger.
To reach the final the entrants went through two previous rounds, the semi-final featuring 25 performers judged by Zoe Rahman, Tim Garland and Byron Wallen.
Xhosa Cole, winner of the last BBC Young Jazz Musician competition (in 2018, as the event is biennial), will be on hand during the evening to play in a special set.
The final will also be viewable on the BBC’s on-demand service iPlayer for 12 months after the initial broadcast.
More information on BBC Young Jazz Musician 2020, a collaboration with the EFG London Jazz Festival and supported by the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, is on the BBC’s dedicated page.