Kurt Elling: International Jazz Artist of the Year 2013, first Jazz FM Awards (UK)


At the first-ever Jazz FM Awards ceremony in London on Thursday, January 31, Kurt Elling was named International Jazz Artist of the Year for 2013!

Other nominees for the international honor were Sonny Rollins and Brad Mehldau.

The Jazz FM Awards also honored fellow Chicagoan Ramsey Lewis, who received the Gold Award for Outstanding Contribution to Jazz, and Ahmad Jamal, who received the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Richard Wheatly, chief executive of Jazz FM said, “We are delighted to announce the Jazz FM Awards, and are thrilled that Klipsch is sponsoring them. The awards celebrate everything that is great about jazz – past, present and future – something we are hugely positive about. This annual event will help bring the music to a new audience and will create a focal point for the jazz community.”

Ahmad Jamal brought the inaugural Jazz FM Awards to an exultant close at the former church, One Marylebone, in central London with a brief set featuring “Blue Moon,” on which he was joined by singer Jamie Cullum, who added his distinctive vocals to the standard.

Hosted by singer Ian Shaw who also performed, the awards evening included music by The London Youth Gospel Choir, Cerys Matthews, Ramsey Lewis, Carleen Anderson, Nathaniel Facey, Ahmad Jamal and Jamie Cullum. Presenters included Jazz FM's Helen Mayhew and David Freeman, Courtney Pine CBE, and Suggs of the band Madness.

Jazz FM is the most listened to jazz station in the world. The new Jazz FM Awards have received widespread support from both inside the jazz community and from farther afield, since the BBC discontinued their annual awards.

The full list of winners is here.

Congratulations to all the winners and nominees, and especially to Kurt!