Emerging Scottish saxophonist/bandleader Helena Kay has been announced as the winner of the prestigious Peter Whittingham Jazz Award 2017 of £5,000.
Presented by Help Musicians UK (HMUK), the UK’s biggest independent music charity, three further musicians were also awarded development funds: pianist Olly Chalk, saxophonist/clarinettist Faye MacCalman and saxophonist Jasmine Whalley.
Hailing from Perth, Scotland, and already winner of the 2015 Young Scottish Jazz Musician Of The Year, Kay commented on her win: “Recording, releasing and promoting my debut album is a daunting and expensive prospect, but the support and guidance that this award provides will be a massive help in making it possible. It means a lot to have been selected for this prestigious award, given the reputation of the panel and previous winners; I’m very grateful and excited to get started.”
Previous recipients of the Peter Whittingham Award include Errollyn Wallen MBE, Andrea Vicari, Empirical, Phil Meadows and several Mercury Prize nominees including Soweto Kinch, Gwilym Simcock, Led Bib, and Roller Trio. This year’s independent judging panel included chaired by Peter Whittingham’s son-in-law Clive Shelton, alongside leading jazz musicians Zoe Rahman, Geoff Gascoyne, Issie Barratt and Noel Langley.
The HMUK charity will also celebrate Women in Jazz at a specially curated gig featuring Helena Kay’s KIM Trio and Jasmine Whalley’s Tȇtes De Pois, alongside leading young UK trumpeter Laura Jurd, all of whom appear at London’s iconic 100 Club on Sunday 4 February.