Irish Vocalist and Composer Lauren Kinsella Awarded Kenny Wheeler Jazz Prize

Lauren Kinsella

Irish Vocalist and Composer Lauren Kinsella Awarded Kenny Wheeler Jazz Prize

Edition Records and the Royal Academy of Music in London have announced that the 2013 winner of the Kenny Wheeler Jazz Prize is the Irish vocalist and composer Lauren Kinsella.

The Kenny Wheeler Jazz Prize is awarded each year to a young artist who demonstrates excellence in both performance and composition, selected from all graduating jazz musicians at the Royal Academy of Music. The prize includes release of the artist’s proposed recording on the Edition record label: Kinsella, the third recipient of this award after saxophonist Josh Arcoleo in 2011 and trumpeter Reuben Fowler in 2012, will release her album in 2014.

The judging panel – Edition Records boss Dave Stapleton; the Academy’s Head of Jazz, Nick Smart; and Evan Parker, saxophonist and lifelong collaborator of Wheeler – met on 25 June to decide the winner. Kenny Wheeler personally contacted Lauren Kinsella to pass on his congratulations. 

Evan Parker said:

Lauren’s concert impressed with both its range and depth of expression. In a year of many strong contenders, her approach stood out for its committed approach to both the freely improvised and the notation based material, for the clear group empathy and the ingenious exploitation of the group’s instrumental and creative resources.

Edition Records boss Dave Stapleton also commented:

Once again, in this third year of the Kenny Wheeler Music Prize, all the Academy’s musicians demonstrated an exceptional ability and skill confirming that British Jazz is in an exciting era of music making that can compete with what else is happening on the continent. With such a high degree of talent it was once again a very difficult decision but we all felt that Lauren stood out as a composer and musician of exceptional ability, maturity and vision and we are looking forward to working with her on her new album.

Kinsella studied in Ireland, Sweden and Switzerland before moving to London in 2010. She has performed in venues across the UK, Hungary, Ireland, France, Switzerland, Germany, Portugal, Norway and India with groups such as Thought-Fox, Blue-Eyed Hawk and her duo with Swiss percussionist Alex Huber. Her music is broadcast on BBC Radio 3, Jazz FM, RTÉ Lyric FM and BBC Radio Scotland. Performance credits include work with Yves Robert, Mark Lockheart, Mark Sanders, Hans Hassler, Chaos Orchestra and Gareth Lockrane. She has released albums on WideEar Records and Diatribe and has performed at 12 Points!, Cork Jazz Festival, Songlines Encounters Festival and European Jazz Nights. Upcoming performances include The BBC Proms at the Albert Hall, The London Jazz Festival and an Irish tour supported by Music Network with saxophonist Julian Siegel.

Listen below to Kinsella and Thought-Fox perform ‘A Worm of Thought’.

Published on 16 July 2013

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