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You’ve got ten days left to make your nominations for this year’s Parliamentary Jazz Awards.

Various people have been putting forward their own suggestions:

  • Bill Kyle is asking folk to nominate The Jazz Bar in Edinburgh (2010 Best Venue winner) again, and also suggests nominating Rob Adams in the jazz journalist category.
  • Tommy Smith is urging folk to put forward the SNJO as best band, and Karma as best album.
  • Newcastle-based writer Lance Liddle is looking for nominations for his Bebop Spoken Here blog (which is always worth a read if you want to know what’s happening on the jazz scene in the Tyneside area).

All of these are fine ideas, to which I’d like to add one of my own: The Dumfries Youth Jazz Group in the Jazz Education category.

Formed in 1998, the group has a fine record in producing musicians who’ve gone on to make careers in jazz, notably saxophonists Leah Gough-Cooper and Ben Bryden, both of whom are now based in the States. Other ex-members include drummer John Lowrie and sax player Scott Murphy, who are currently studying with Tommy Smith on the RCS jazz degree course.

It’s also worth pointing out that, despite jazz’s reputation as a predominantly male music, a lot of the musicians in the DYJG are female.

The Group has worked with a number of leading Scottish jazz musicians and educators, including Konrad Wiszniewski, Richard Michael, Allon Beauvoisin, Laura Macdonald and Bobby Wishart.

As well as helping develop young jazz musicians’ skills, the Dumfries Youth Jazz Group’s various ensembles gig throughout the surrounding area, and have played at several jazz festivals. Most notably, an octet from the DYJG won the under-17 category at the Yamaha Jazz Experience competition at the 2010 Cheltenham Jazz Festival.

Not bad for a town of around 30,000 inhabitants.

Here’s part of the Dumfries Youth Jazz Group‘s winning performance at the Cheltenham Jazz Festival in 2010. Remember, no-one in this group is over 17, and some of them lookas if they are a lot younger than that.

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