Five musicians made it through to the final at Mitchell Theatre in Glasgow; David Bowden, Stephen Henderson, Fergus McCreadie, Conor Murray and Joe Williamson. Each finalist played two pieces of their own choice showcasing their talents as improvisers and band leaders, supported by the house band of Euan Burton (bass), Doug Hough (drums) and Steve Hamilton (piano).
The event was produced by Jazz From Scotland as part of a 6 month programme of work funded by Creative Scotland.
Chair of the judging panel and Jazz From Scotland Chair Kim Macari says:
“All of the judges (and indeed the audience) were blown away by the high standard of musicianship on show by all five finalists last night. It is testament to the strength of the jazz education provision in Scotland that we had such a difficult choice to make in selecting a winner. I’m confident that all of our finalists will go on to make significant contributions to jazz and improvised music in the coming years.”
The panel were impressed by Bowden’s versatility, sincerity and ability to connect to his audience through music. They described him as a ‘well-rounded musician with a strong and unique musical voice.’
Run as part of this year’s Celtic Connections festival, the performances were recorded by BBC Radio Scotland and will be broadcast on Wednesday 8th February on The Jazz House.
More about David Bowden:
Originally from London, David came to Glasgow to study jazz at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland where he was awarded a 1st and a Yamaha Jazz Scholarship. He is a co-founder of award winning quartet Square One and a member of the Fergus McCreadie Trio. Recent performance highlights have included jazz festivals across the UK as well as performances in Poland, the Czech Republic, France, Belgium, Holland and Zambia. David is also active as an educator, having worked with SYJO, RCS Musicworks, Fife Council and Sistema Scotland and as a 2016 National Youth Jazz Collective Ambassador.
Thanks to Hands Up For Trad for funding a photographer to capture all of the semi-finalists playing live as well as providing portrait shots for everyone to use for promotion!