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29 October 2021

Tony Bennett and Courtney Pine Amongst Stars Honoured At Jazz FM Awards 2021 with PPL and PRS for Music

The Jazz FM Awards with PPL and PRS for Music took place at Under the Bridge in London this evening with a star-studded ceremony that honoured some of the biggest artists from across the jazz, soul and blues spectrum.

Amongst the evening’s highlights were Tony Bennett performing a specially-recorded version of The Way You Look Tonight from his home in New York in recognition of receiving this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award, Courtney Pine CBE in attendance to collect The Gold Award, and revered UK education and artist development organisation Tomorrow’s Warriors, who celebrated their 30th anniversary this year, picking up The Impact Award.

Tony Bennett:

I listened to jazz musicians to develop my own vocal style. They are such expert craftsmen which allows them to be spontaneous and stay in the moment and always change what they were doing. That really appealed to me and it’s one of the reasons I have gravitated to always having jazz musicians perform and record with me over the years.

I would like to thank all the jazz greats I have worked with over the decades for this honor and thank you to Jazz FM for celebrating this treasured art form.”

Streamed live via Jazz FM’s website, the evening was hosted by UK saxophonist Soweto Kinch and Jazz FM presenter Anne Frankenstein and featured an array of star artists, guests and award-givers including Sir MIchael Parkinson, who gave a heartfelt tribute to his longtime friend Tony Bennett, Nick Hornby, Sadiq Khan, Adil Ray OBE, Danny John-Jules, Robert Elms and Johanna Konta.

Additional winners on the night included US pianist and singer Jon Batiste, who received both the Album Of The Year and Soul Act Of The Year awards, legendary alto saxophonist Gary Bartz, who was presented with International Jazz Act Of The Year and trailblazing trumpeter Emma-Jean Thackray, who picked up UK Jazz Act Of The Year. The EFG London Jazz Festival won the Digital Award for last year’s online festival and received a message of congratulations from London Mayor Sadiq Khan.

Performances came from Breakthrough Act Of The Year Jas Kayser, Vocalist Of The Year Ego Ella May and an all-star Tomorrow’s Warriors band featuring Gary Crosby OBE, Soweto Kinch, Daniel Casimir, Alex Ho, Maddy Coombs and Romarna Campbell.

Jazz FM Content Director Nick Pitts:

We’re extremely proud of this year’s event, which once again highlighted the incredible amount of talent, diversity and community spirit that exists within the global jazz scene. 

This year’s Jazz FM Awards with PPL and PRS for Music was also something incredibly special because every nominee and eventual winner had worked their hearts out to continue to make the music and the art relevant throughout a terrifying pandemic and difficult period for everyone.  Our congratulations go to every single one of them.

I’d also like to thank all of our partners and sponsors who made tonight possible, and of course our listeners for continuing to tune in and make us the UK’s best-loved jazz platform.”

Peter Leathem, Chief Executive Officer, PPL:

“As supporters of the Jazz FM Awards since launch, we are proud once again to help celebrate the genre’s fantastic array of artistic talent, both from the UK and internationally. To take on our new role of co-headline partners with PRS for Music in a year when both Tony Bennett and Courtney Pine are among the winners is a real honour and we congratulate them both for their special awards. It is also great to see recognition for a new generation of artists who are taking jazz in different directions and making the genre their own.”

Andrea Czapary Martin, CEO, PRS for Music:

On behalf of everyone at PRS for Music, I would like to congratulate all of the winners at this year’s Jazz FM Awards. Across every category, the immense talent of the songwriters and composers in the jazz, soul and blues communities shines through for all to see. Despite the challenges of the pandemic their music has undoubtedly left an indelible mark, inspiring listeners and peers alike, and is a testament to the strength of music creators in the UK and around the world.”



Tony Bennett


Courtney Pine CBE


Tomorrow’s Warriors

JAZZ FM AWARDS 2021 with PPL and PRS for Music:


Jon Batiste: WE ARE 


Ruthie Foster


Jas Kayser

THE DIGITAL AWARD sponsored by Raisin UK

Kansas Smitty’s

THE INNOVATION AWARD sponsored by Mishcon de Reya

EFG London Jazz Festival


Daniel Casimir


Gary Bartz

SOUL ACT OF THE YEAR sponsored by

Jon Batiste


Emma-Jean Thackray

VOCALIST OF THE YEAR sponsored by Hampstead Jazz Club Presents

Ego Ella May

The ceremony was followed by a NOLA themed afterparty for the winners and special guests hosted by with a special DJ set by Jazz FM’s Big Easy presenter, DJ Lil’Koko.

The Jazz FM Awards 2021 is made possible with the support of PPL and PRS for Music, Mishcon De Reya, Travelzoo, Raisin UK, Hampstead Jazz Club Presents,, Sky VIP, Denbies, David Arnold Music and Yamaha.

Launched this year on the Jazz FM Premium app is a Jazz FM Awards channel that celebrates the rich history of the Awards with non-stop, ad break free music from winners and nominees. Jazz FM Premium launched earlier this year and offers its subscribers 20 exclusive Jazz FM stations along with a host of additional content. // 0044 7980 803 511 //

For further press information on Jazz FM, please contact:

Cat Martin – Bauer Media Communications Director (Radio)

M: 07932 746 363

Amelia O’Shea – Bauer Media Communications Manager (Radio)

M: 07718 489342

About Jazz FM:

Jazz FM plays the world’s greatest jazz, soul and blues from the world’s greatest artists. Since its launch in 1990, Jazz FM has pioneered a new approach to broadcasting. The music output is truly unique; a colourful mixture of well-known pieces by legends including Ella Fitzgerald, Miles Davis and Nina Simone, alongside emerging artists such as Judi Jackson, Kamasi Washington and Ezra Collective.

As the UK’s only dedicated Jazz broadcaster, Jazz FM is on a mission to entertain, promote and celebrate all that’s great about Jazz. Involvement with national festivals and awards is part of this – setting the bar high for live performance, recognising outstanding talent and strengthening the Jazz community. Jazz FM also offers an even deeper dive to jazz fans with its online Premium service where they can listen without ad-breaks and access exclusive jazz, soul and blues 24/7 radio stations alongside the rich archive of programmes that’s been over 30 years in the making.

But no matter how or where people listen, they always listen in colour.

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