Dixon Nacey has been awarded the 2020 Best Jazz Artist Tui for his album ‘The Edge of Chaos’, while Jake Baxendale received the Best Jazz Composition award, coincidentally for his work entitled Tui.
Released in 2019 ‘The Edge of Chaos’ was Dixon Nacey’s debut album as a bandleader, featuring himself on guitar alongside fellow luminaries Roger Manins (saxophone), Kevin Field (piano), Olivier Holland (bass) and Andy Keegan on drums. Nacey has worked with some of the best local and international musicians across a wide range of genres during a 27-year long career that includes teaching at Auckland University and MAINZ, as well as contributing to NZ Musician magazine.
Saxophonist and composer for two ensembles, Antipodes and The Jac, Jake Baxendale has been a finalist in both Jazz Awards categories multiple times. His composition Tui is part of a brand new album, ‘The Gathering’, released by The Jac to coincide with the awards. Tui is a bold, rhythmic work highlighting the collaborative prowess of the 8-piece ensemble (Jake Baxendale – saxophones, Matthew Allison – trombone, Shaun Anderson – drums, Alexis French – trumpet, Nick Tipping – bass, Chris Buckland – saxophones, Daniel Millward – piano, Callum Allardice – guitar).
With the Wellington Jazz Festival postponed to November due to the COVID-19 pandemic the winners were announced live on RNZ’s Music 101 show. Other finalists for the Recorded Music NZ Best Jazz Artist were Alchemy (for ‘Alchemy’) and Michal Martyniuk for ‘Resonate’, while Myele Manzanza and Callum Allardice were the beaten finalists for the APRA Best Jazz Composition award with their respective tracks Mortality and Phobos and Deimos.