After a somewhat restrained ceremony that took place last year online from Ronnie Scott’s, the Jazz FM Awards returned for 2021 with a show filled with live music, inspirational speeches and bold outfits.
Under the Bridge in Fulham hosted the 28 October event – organised by UK radio station Jazz FM – welcoming around 500 guests both seated and standing.
Throughout the evening, there were live performances by Ego Ella May, Jas Kayser, and the Tomorrow’s Warriors Collective featuring Soweto Kinch. Kinch also hosted the evening, alongside Jazz FM DJ Anne Frankenstein.
All the performers received warm applause, their spots a cunning way of breaking up the typical awards ceremony, which can be a slow process. To add some glitz there was a selection of guests to present the awards including tennis player Johanna Konta, actor and presenter Adil Ray OBE, Red Dwarf’s Danny John-Jules and radio presenters Yolanda Brown and that old-school master of cool, Robert Elms.
The ceremony was streamed live via Jazz FM’s website as well as their Facebook page. The evening was capped off with Sir Michael Parkinson presenting Tony Bennett with the Lifetime Achievement Award – virtually, of course. The audience were then treated to a pre-recorded performance of The Way You Look Tonight by the 95-year-old crooner.
Below is the full list of winners at this year’s Jazz FM Awards (which were sponsored by PPL And PRS for Music):
Lifetime Achievement Award: Tony Bennett
Gold Award: Courtney Pine CBE
Impact Award: Tomorrow’s Warriors
Album Of The Year: Jon Batiste – We Are
Blues Act Of The Year: Ruthie Foster
Breakthrough Act Of The Year: Jas Kayser
The Digital Award (Sponsored by Raisin UK): Kansas Smitty’s
The Innovation Award (Sponsored By Mishcon De Reya): EFG London Jazz Festival
Instrumentalist Of The Year: Daniel Casimir
International Jazz Act Of The Year (Sponsored By Travelzoo): Gary Bartz
Soul Act Of The Year (Sponsored By louisianatravel.com): Jon Batiste
UK Jazz Act Of The Year: Emma-Jean Thackray
Vocalist Of The Year (Sponsored by Hampstead Jazz Club Presents): Ego Ella May