On Friday 1 June, NYJO’s Executive Chairman Nigel Tully MBE was invested by the Queen at Buckingham Palace before joining family and industry friends at Ronnie Scott’s for an afternoon celebration. The party awaited Nigel’s return from the palace (aided by free-flowing food and wine), while being entertained by a top-drawer house band, MD’d from the piano by Nikki Iles: NYJO musicians Alexandra Ridout (trumpet), Chelsea Carmichael (bari sax) and Nick Fitch (guitar) performed alongside Alex Garnett (alto sax), Tim Garland (tenor sax), Adam King (bass), and Shane Forbes (drums).
After their set, Nigel made a heartfelt speech thanking everyone in the room for their support, and dedicated the award to the good of British Jazz. Nigel is also leader of his own band The Dark Blues, so could not resist singing a solo on the celebrated Ronnie’s stage, accompanied by Nikki on piano and Tim on tenor.
Guests at the party, including NYJO musicians, friends and family of Nigel, Nigel’s fellow band members from The Dark Blues, and past associates from the Worshipful Company of Musicians, chatted and mingled together in the main bar at Ronnie’s (some being somewhat disorientated by being in the club so early in the afternoon..!).
The jam then got underway, hosted by the illustrious Alex Garnett. A line-up of some of the best jazz musicians in the industry took it in turns to wow the room with their legendary skills, including Norma Winstone MBE, Martin Taylor MBE, Guy Barker MBE, Tina May, Frank Griffith, Simon Woolf, Annabel Williams, alongside our very own NYJO musicians including Joe Hill, Harry Evans and Chris Valentine.
Congratulations Nigel, and congratulations British Jazz!
(photography at Ronnie Scott’s: Carl Hyde)
(Official photograph: British Ceremonial Arts Limited © The Crown)