The 2020 Jazz Awards Finalists have been announced with plenty of interesting additions among the category’s ‘usual’ names.
The three finalists for the Best Jazz Artist Tui award this year are Alchemy, Dixon Nacey and Michal Martyniuk. Nacey has worked across a wide range of genres and been the MD for Auckland’s Christmas in the Park event since 2016. His album ‘The Edge Of Chaos’ saw him debut as band leader to a raft of talented musicians including Roger Manins, Kevin Field, Olivier Holland, Andy Keegan and Jonathan Leung.
Pianist and composer Michał Martyniuk recorded his album ‘Resonate’ with several accomplished Polish musicians alongside Kiwis Cameron McArthur (bass) and drummer Ron Samsom.
The odd one out here is Alchemy which was created with one goal in mind: the reinvention of iconic Kiwi pop songs as leading-edge jazz. The eponymous album features six of the country’s finest jazz vocalists in Allana Goldsmith, Bex Peterson, Caitlin Smith, Chelsea Prastiti, Lou’ana Whitney and Marjan Nelson – alongside six of our most accomplished jazz instrumentalists – Kevin Field, Roger Manins and Ron Samsom (again) plus Richard Hammond, Stephen Thomas and Michael Howell.
The three finalists for the Best Jazz Composition award are Callum Allardice for Phobos and Deimos, Jake Baxendale for Tui, and Myele Manzanza for his track Mortality. The winners of both awards will be announced on RNZ’s Music 101 show on Saturday June 6.