Jury European Edition
George Benson (chairman of the jury)
10 time Grammy Award winning American artist, guitarist and singer George Benson is the chairman of the 2019 ‘LetterOne Rising Stars Jazz Award’ jury. Benson’s recording career began at the age of twenty-one as a jazz guitarist after which he went on and gained more recognition being a pop, R&B and scat singer as well. His triple-platinum album Breezin’ topped the Billboard 200 in 1976 and in 1996, Benson was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Imogen Tilden is senior arts editor at The Guardian where her role includes writing and commissioning music coverage across jazz, classical, world and folk. In addition she also commissions and edits content about photography, visual art & architecture, theatre and film. Imogen has been at The Guardian for 20 years, previous roles have included Live Reviews editor, Travel editor and Online Arts editor.
Alex Dutilh has made a career as a tv host, author, editor, journalist, photographer, festival director, committee chairman and now has his daily radio show France Musique. Between 1972 and 2007, Alex worked as a journalist and broadcaster for the renowned ‘Jazz Hot’ magazine and ‘France Musique’. In addition, he was the editor for the monthly ‘Jazzman’ magazine in France. In 2017 he won the ‘Victoire du Jazz’ award (French Grammy) for best jazz journalist in France. Alex’s current show on France Musique – OPEN JAZZ d’Alex Dutilh sur France Musique’ – is broadcast daily between 6 and 7 pm.
Mikhail Fridman is an international businessman and philanthropist – and founder of the International Jazz Festival in Lvov, where he was born. Born into a Jewish family, Mikhail loves opera, theatre, literature and music, and especially jazz. It has been a part of his life from a very young age and the Lvov Jazz Festival is a gift to his native city that has a rich tradition of European music and culture. Besides a yearly visit to the Lvov festival Mikhail travels around the world and visits various jazz festivals and venues. In his spare time he also plays piano.
Previous Jury Members
Karen Frivik is a Norwegian jazz journalist. She has followed the jazzscene since the mid 80’s and has presented jazz in the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK) for more than 20 years. She follows musicians and festivals in her country and around the globe, and has interviewed a large number of groundbreaking musicians on this planet. Karen has a wide field of interest in music, also involving rock and classical music. In addition, Karen has produced prize winning documentaries and was asked to be a jury member for Prix Europe – Europe’s largest annual tri-medial festival and competition.
Wulf Mueller is responsible for the revival of theOKeh Records label, for which he now works as A&R. While studying journalism and politics in Berlin, Wulf worked at various jazz festivals and opened a jazz club with his friends, called ‘Miles Smiles’. After having worked for Polygram in Vienna for 9 years, he moved to London to become International Director for Jazz Marketing. When Universal Music Group took over Polygram,
Wulf included classical music in his portfolio and was promoted to V.P. International A&R and Marketing. He then left Universal in 2010 to start his own music consultancy “Wulf Mueller / All In Music Service” where he signed a contract with Sony Classical International to revive the OKeh Records label, signing artists such as Bill Frisell, Sonny Rollins, Dhafer Youssef and Dee Dee Bridgewater.
With nominations for a Grammy, Golden Globe, GQ Man of the Year, Brits and Sony Radio under his belt, Jamie Cullum is a success story around the planet. The release of his breakthrough album ‘Twentysomething’ (Universal) made him the fastest- and best-selling British jazz artist in history. Jamie presents his own award winning weekly radio show for BBC Radio 2 where he interviews and features the world’s best jazz artists.
Sébastien Vidal studied at the American School of Modern Music and Berklee College of Music. He performed with jazz greats such as Clark Terry and Al Casey. Sébastien is now the artistic director of the Nice Jazz Festival, the Django Reinhardt Jazz Festival and programmer of the Duc Des Lombards in Paris. In addition, he is the director of TSF Jazz Radio and organizes the annual TSF Jazz evening ‘You And The Night And The Music’ at L’Olympia.
Brian Bacchus was an A&R man for Verve, Antilles, RCA and Blue Note before moving into production and doing stellar work with Randy Weston, Patricia Barber Jazz Musician and Gregory Porter. “His A&R work with Norah Jones contributed mightily to her debut, one of the biggest selling albums in history” writes Michael Jarrett from PRESSED FOR ALL TIME.
Bacchus was producer for Gregory Porter’s ‘Liquid Spirit’, which was awarded with a Grammy Award for Best Jazz Vocal Album 2013.