Press Release

Press Release

Nominations announced for the All Party Parliamentary Jazz Awards 2021
 
The nominations have today been announced for the 2021 Parliamentary Jazz Awards. The Awards, organised by the All Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group (APPJAG) with the support of PizzaExpress Live. The recipients of the 2021 Parliamentary Jazz Awards will be announced online on Monday 26th July 2021. The Parliamentary Awards celebrate and recognise the vibrancy, diversity, talent and breadth of the jazz scene throughout the United Kingdom.
 
The award categories reflect the ever-increasing scope of talent from within the UK’s jazz scene: Jazz Vocalist of the Year; Jazz Instrumentalist of the Year; Jazz Album of the Year; Jazz Ensemble of the Year; Jazz Newcomer of the Year; Jazz Venue of the Year; Jazz Media Award; Jazz Education Award; and the Services to Jazz Award.
 
Following the online public vote for the Awards, the shortlist was then voted upon by a selection panel, that represent a broad cross-section of backgrounds united in their passion and knowledge of jazz. The winners, chosen by judging members of the All Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group (APPJAG), will be announced on Monday 26th July 2021.
 
John Spellar MP, Co-Chair of APPJAG, said: “These awards are a great opportunity to celebrate the talents and energies of the great musicians, educators, promoters, record labels, jazz organisations, blogs, jazz magazines and journalists who kept jazz flourishing, in spite of the challenges they faced in 2020.  In a year of hardship, unparalleled in the last 76 years, these shortlists demonstrate the wealth of talent and commitment that exists in the British jazz scene. Now in its 16th year, the Parliamentary Jazz Awards honour the best of British jazz. MPs and Peers in the All Party Group are grateful to PizzaExpress Live for supporting the event.”
 
The full list of nominees is as follows:
 
Jazz Vocalist of the Year
Claire Martin
Brigitte Beraha 
Georgia Mancio
 
Jazz Instrumentalist of the Year
Tony Kofi
Adrian Cox
Nubya Garcia
 
Jazz Album of the Year
Byron Wallen ‘PORTRAIT: Reflections on Belonging’  
Callum Au & Claire Martin ‘Songs and Stories
Nubya Garcia ‘Source’   
 
Jazz Ensemble of the Year
Kansas Smitty’s House Band 
Nigel Price Organ Trio/Quartet 
Kokoroko
 
Jazz Newcomer of the Year
Jas Kayser   
Rosie Frater-Taylor 
Deschanel Gordon   
Alex Clarke
 
Jazz Venue of the Year
Colchester Arts Centre Jazz Club
606 Club
Kansas Smitty’s  
Peggy’s Skylight –  – Live jazz and kitchen Nottingham   
 
Jazz Media Award
Jazzwise Magazine
Women In Jazz Media
London Jazz News
 
Jazz Education Award
The Original UK Jazz Summer School
Nikki Yeoh
Pete Churchill 
 
Services to Jazz Award
Steve Rubie
Norma Winstone
Digby Fairweather
 
Lockdown Innovation Award
Liam Noble  – Saturday Lockdown Live Sessions 
Joe Stilgoe’s ‘Stilgoe in the Shed’ 100 shows 
Adrian Cox’s Sunday Service 
The Globe Newcastle upon Tyne
 
Extension of deadline to midnight on 1st August 2021 for completion of questionnaire for the All Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group  Review Of Jazz In England
 Following an enforced delay due to the global pandemic and a year of unprecedented change, challenges, and specific hardships for working musicians, promoters,venues, jazz organisations, studios, technical staff, media and the jazz constituency at large, the All Party Jazz Appreciation Group (APPJAG) commissioned a Review of Jazz in England that was launched on Friday 28th May. The Review is being undertaken by APPJAG’s Secretary, Chris Hodgkins, and an expert advisory panel, chaired by musician and jazz educator Dr Kathy Dyson and supported by Teesside University Business School.
Full details and briefing papers – ‘Cold Comfort and Home Truths’ – Terms of reference, composition of the Advisory Panel, and the five questionnaires dealing with promoters and venues, musicians, jazz festivals, audiences plus individuals and organisations are available at: Review of Jazz in England

The closing date for the questionnaires is midnight, Sunday 1st August 2021.
Ends
For further information please contact:
Chris Hodgkins
Tel: 0208 840 4643
Email: chris.hodgkins3@googlemail.com
 

Press Release

Extension of deadline to midnight on 1st August 2021 for the completion of questionnaires for the All Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group  Review Of Jazz In England

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is APPG.jpg

 Following an enforced delay due to the global pandemic and a year of unprecedented change, challenges, and specific hardships for working musicians, promoters,venues, jazz organisations, studios, technical staff, media and the jazz constituency at large, the All Party Jazz Appreciation Group (APPJAG) commissioned a Review of Jazz in England that was launched on Friday 28th May. The Review is being undertaken by APPJAG’s Secretary, Chris Hodgkins, and an expert advisory panel, chaired by musician and jazz educator Dr Kathy Dyson and supported by Teesside University Business School.

Full details and briefing papers – ‘Cold Comfort and Home Truths’ – Terms of reference, composition of the Advisory Panel, and the five questionnaires dealing with promoters and venues, musicians, jazz festivals, audiences plus individuals and organisations are available at: Review of Jazz in England      

The closing date for the questionnaires is midnight, Sunday 1st August 2021.

Notes to the Editor

The All Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group (APPJAG) aims to encourage wider and deeper enjoyment of jazz, to increase Parliamentarians’ understanding of the jazz industry and issues surrounding it, to promote jazz as a musical form and to raise its profile inside and outside Parliament. APPJAG currently has over 116 members from the House of Commons and House of Lords across all political parties.   The Group’s officers, as at the Annual General Meeting of 22nd March 2021, are Co-Chairs:, John Spellar MP and Lord Mann, Secretary, Sir Greg Knight MP, Vice Chairs, Alison Thewless MP and Chi Onwurah MP. Treasurer is Ian Paisley MP. Officers are Lord Colwyn and Sarah Champion MP.

The Secretariat is Chris Hodgkins with the assistance of Louis Flood. The contact address is: appjag1@gmail.com the web address is:https://appjag.wordpress.com/

Mixtapes Are the Original Playlists, All Thanks to Lou Ottens

Jeffrey Lee Puckett posted March 15, 2021

Lou Ottens enjoyed a life that saw him turn a short temper into a major cultural milestone.

Ottens was the Dutch engineer who spearheaded the 1963 invention of the cassette tape and the introduction of a portable cassette recorder/player. The moment of creation came when he got angry at his reel-to-reel recorder for shooting tape everywhere. He wanted to give tape a roof over its head, and since he was head of new product development at Phillips, he and his staff made it happen, giving us a way to finally make our music collections truly portable. Ottens — the Father of the Mixtape — passed away in early March at age 94.

Cassettes were a game-changer from an audio engineering standpoint, but the cultural impact was even more mind-blowing. We could slip entire albums into our back pockets.

Reel-to-reel had a lot going for it but it was cumbersome and not portable in any useful sense. Sure, you could make a compilation tape but then it had to wind up with someone who also had a reel-to-reel player.

Early cassette technology was lo-fi and no one cared, because suddenly we could sit a tape recorder in front of a speaker and record our 45s and LPs — and then take the music with us anywhere! We could tape 60 minutes of prime radio — and then take the music with us! It didn’t matter a bit that it sounded like Marc Bolan was yelling from the basement next door because we finally had a personal, portable soundtrack, and that was empowering.

Cassettes were a revolution and they only got better.

Quality grew rapidly and tape decks quickly got more sophisticated and then more affordable. Bootlegging grew into a subculture. Musicians were reveling in the freedom of recording spontaneously to cassette, often capturing something they could never completely reproduce (see: Bruce Springsteen’s straight-to-cassette Nebraska and subsequent band versions of the same songs).

cassettes mixtapes labels

Photo by Idin Ebrahimi

More importantly for us normal people, as the technology evolved, we could make excellent recordings directly from our turntables, with perfectly-matched levels and Dolby noise reduction. The only thing missing was hormones and then — BOOM! — there they were, boy, and that meant kissing and kissing begat mixtapes and mixtapes begat more kissing, because there was no better way to start a make-out session than giving someone a personalized mixtape of very, very, very special songs.

And that is also how a bunch of kids invented the modern digital playlist, which has far exceeded the analog mixtape in popularity. Hell, we don’t even have to make our own playlists anymore because the algorithms do it for us. Ottens retired in 1986 and the things he made possible continued to impact the world for many years to come.

Granted, a playlist is extremely handy but nothing can beat an old-school mixtape, and that’s not blind nostalgia talking. Mixtapes aren’t easy to make and a truly good one can take hours. You know what else isn’t easy? Love, and that’s why a playlist doesn’t stand a chance against a mixtape, because the more you love someone, the harder you’ll work on that mixtape. It’s the perfect blend of technology and humanity.

That’s why mixtapes became a symbol of love and friendship, and remain so. When Ottens gave us his compact cassette, he was also opening a door that often led to romance, heartache, healing, friendship, and keggers.

I have very specific memories of certain mixtapes, made for myself and others. There was the one made for the wedding of friends, which traced the paths of two friendships. Or the one after I discovered what was then called alternative rock; it was 90 minutes of R.E.M., Big Star, and various Mitch Easter projects. The one I made for my second girlfriend, so desperate to please and impress her, actually worked.

These weren’t cassettes. They were my life.

According to his New York Times obituary, Ottens was a pragmatist who saw the cassette primarily as a problem successfully solved. There was no romance. This was irrevocably proven when he instigated the development of the compact disc, which subsequently nearly wiped out both the cassette and the LP.

While you eventually could make a CD version of a mixtape, it was never the same. Scrolling through iTunes, making a list of songs, and then clicking on “Burn Disc” doesn’t remotely compare to the ritual of recording vinyl to cassette. The selection, the cleaning, the juggling of tracks based on impact and time remaining, the endless math, that feeling of elation when the last track fades and only seconds later the tape runs out.

Nearly three hours of work, 90 minutes of tape, and a piece of your heart. That’s Ottens’ ultimate legacy and it’ll never go away. Somewhere, someone has just now figured out what to call the latest mix for their crush and are meticulously writing it on the tape’s impossibly small insert. Or they’ve perfected a Maiden mix for their vintage Walkmen.

Some heroes don’t wear capes but do magical things with capstans, and that was Ottens. He leaves the world better off than when he arrived.

Original feature image by Gregory Wong Woong Ming.