Today we celebrate the winners of the APRA Best Jazz Composition and Recorded Music NZ Te Kaipuoro Tautito Toa | Best Jazz Artist, which were announced today live on Radio New Zealand’s Music 101.
Aotearoa-born, London-based jazz musician Myele Manzanza
has won the Tūī for Recorded Music NZ Te Kaipuoro Tautito Toa | Best Jazz Artist for his album Crisis and Opportunity Vol.1, while Lauren Ellis
won the award for APRA Best Jazz Composition for ‘Papatūānuku’.
Born out of the necessity to direct his creative energy in a productive direction and maintain his growth as an artist during the 2020 Covid 19 lockdown, Myele Manzanza recorded his album Crisis and Opportunity Vol.1 as a reflection of the challenging times.
Since moving to Los Angeles, Lauren Ellis has become an active and busy member of the local music community as educator, performer, and composer after making her mark on the Wellington jazz scene. She has graduated with a Master's degree at University of Southern California's Thornton School of Music in 2021 where she studied under highly regarded drummer and composer, Peter Erskine. You may have seen Lauren leading and playing with various groups including Richter City Rebels, The Presidents of Funk, and Gold Nugget Pawn Shop, and Rodger Fox's New Zealand Jazz Orchestra. She also had the opportunity to perform alongside luminaries such as Joey DeFrancesco, Mike Stern, and James Carter during her tenure as the drummer for New Zealand's premier jazz orchestra.
APRA AMCOS Member Operations Manager Mike Hall says: "A broad range of work with compelling originality and artistry, 2022 finalists in the APRA Best Jazz Composition award once again showed the deep well of talent in Aotearoa. Congratulations to Lauren Ellis for Papatūānuku - a remarkable and inspiring composition"
Recorded Music NZ Kaiwhakahaere o Ngā Tohu Puoro o Aotearoa Sarah Owen congratulates both musicians for their contributions to the jazz scene in Aotearoa and internationally.
“E mihi ana Myele rāua Lauren. Whether at home or abroad creativity knows no bounds, and it’s an honour to recognise you both with these awards.”
Other finalists for the APRA Best Jazz Composition award were Myele Manzana for ‘Brixton Blues’ and Darren Pickering for ‘TA2’ while the finalists for the Recorded Music NZ Te Kaipuoro Tautito Toa | Best Jazz Music Artist were Devil’s Gate Outfit and Jake Baxendale & Jasmine Lovell-Smith.
Finalists for APRA Best Jazz Composition
- Winner: Lauren Ellis - ‘Papatūānuku’
- Myele Manzanza - ‘Brixton Blues’
- Darren Pickering - ‘TA2’
Finalists for Recorded Music NZ Te Kaipuoro Tautito Toa | Best Jazz Music Artist
- Winner: Myele Manzanza - Crisis & Opportunity Vol.1
- Devil’s Gate Outfit - Jazz From The Underground Nightclubs Of Aotearoa Volume 5
- Jake Baxendale & Jasmine Lovell-Smith - Sanctuary