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Last Updated: Wednesday, 30 July, 2003, 07:43 GMT 08:43 UK
Jazz winners span generations
Best vocalist Claire Martin with rising star winner Jamie Cullum
Best vocalist Claire Martin with rising star winner Jamie Cullum
Jazz stars from across the ages - from young pianist Jamie Cullum to 84-year-old George Shearing - were honoured at the BBC Jazz Awards on Tuesday.

Cullum, in his early 20s, is one of the jazz sensations of the year and signed a 1m record deal in April.

He was presented with his rising star award by broadcaster Michael Parkinson, who has championed him on the airwaves.

Shearing, who led one of the most popular jazz bands of the 1950s and 60s, received a lifetime achievement honour.

Mixing easy listening, Latin and jazz, he enjoyed huge commercial success.

The awards, now in their third year, were co-hosted by Courtney Pine and Humphrey Lyttelton.

Among the other winners was former Mercury Prize nominee Guy Barker, whose septet was named best band.

Barker has played with Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr and Quincy Jones and has been described as "one of the great joys of jazz in the new millennium".

The prestigious prize for best CD went to Gilad Atzmon - one of Ian Dury's Blockheads - for his latest album, Exile.

He said he is trying to "tell the story of Palestine" with his album, and worked with Palestinian, Israeli, Italian, Romanian and British musicians.

South London singer Claire Martin - who also presents BBC Radio 3's Jazz Line Up - won best vocalist.

Swedish group the Esbjorn Svensson Trio were named the best international artists of the year and were presented with their prize by compatriot Ulrika Jonsson.

Mersey veterans

The heritage award went to Liverpool veterans The Merseysippi Jazz Band - four members of whom have been in the group since the late 1940s.

Scottish pianist Brian Kellock was named best instrumentalist after winning best CD last year, while adventurous Northern Irish composer and conductor Brian Irvine won best new work.

Young trumpeter Byron Wallen - who plays sea shells like wind instruments - won the jazz innovation award.

And Tony Dudley-Evans, director of the Cheltenham Jazz Festival and Birmingham Jazz, was honoured for services to the scene.

The awards will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on 2 August and on BBC Radio 2 two days later.

BBC Jazz Awards winners

  • Best band - Guy Barker's International Septet
  • International artist - Esbjorn Svensson Trio
  • Lifetime achievement - George Shearing
  • Best CD - Exile by Gilad Atzmon's Orient House Ensemble for Exile
  • Best vocalist - Claire Martin
  • Rising star - Jamie Cullum
  • Jazz heritage award - The Merseysippi Jazz Band
  • Best instrumentalist - Brian Kellock
  • Best new work - Interrupting Cutler by Brian Irvine
  • Jazz innovation - Byron Wallen
  • Services to jazz - Tony Dudley-Evans

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