Reuben Fowler wins 2012 Kenny Wheeler Jazz Prize

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Reuben Fowler wins 2012 Kenny Wheeler Jazz PrizeOutstanding trumpeter, composer and NYJO alumnus Reuben Fowler has been announced as the 2012 winner of the Kenny Wheeler Jazz Prize, awarded annually by The Royal Academy of Music in association with Edition Records.

The Kenny Wheeler Jazz Prize goes to a young artist who is able to demonstrate excellence in both performance and composition, chosen from all graduating jazz musicians at the Royal Academy of Music, while the Edition record label will release the debut recording of the winner. Reuben Fowler (right) is the second recipient of this exciting award and will release his debut album in summer 2013.

The judging panel consisted of the Academy’s Head of Jazz Nick Smart, Edition Records boss Dave Stapleton and lifelong collaborator of Wheeler’s, saxophonist Evan Parker. The official announcement will be made at the Academy’s graduation ceremony on June 29th and Kenny Wheeler has already personally contacted Reuben to pass on his congratulations.

Evan Parker said: “It was a pleasure to be involved again in this prestigious and important prize, though the decisions are not getting any easier! Reuben has that extraordinary combination of abilities that are entirely appropriate for this prize in Kenny’s name: great composer, masterful orchestration, commanding soloist and an overall vision for a most ambitious project.”

Edition Records boss Dave Stapleton also commented: “The Kenny Wheeler Prize is an incredible opportunity for a young musician to kick start their career and release an album on the international stage – it is a huge privilege for Edition to be involved in such a prestigious prize.

“In this year’s selection process, Reuben stood out as a young musician who not only had great command of his instrument but also demonstrated a maturity in his composing and imaginative orchestration. To put forward a big band project in this current climate is ambitious but clearly shows that Reuben has great drive and determination and I, for one, am looking forward to hearing the results”.

Reuben began playing jazz at 15 with the Doncaster Jazz Association, with whom he toured New York and played at the Royal Albert Hall as a featured soloist. During his teens he commuted regularly to London to take a chair with the National Youth Jazz Orchestra. With NYJO he played at various venues and festivals throughout the UK, including Ronnie Scott’s. In 2008 he gained a place on the jazz course at the Royal Academy of Music. As well as writing for and playing in his own projects – including a group featuring world renowned guests Stan Sulzmann and Jim Hart – Reuben has played as part of various ensembles including the Gareth Lockrane Big Band and the Andy Panayi Big Band in many of London’s most prestigious venues.

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