Estonian biggest telecommunications and IT company Elion, Estonian Jazz Union and Jazzkaar handed out the first Estonian jazz awards – Elion Jazz Award was given to guitarist Jaak Sooäär, Young Jazz Talent Award to guitarist Erki Pärnoja.
In this April – or Month of Jazz – Estonian biggest telecommunications and IT company Elion, Estonian Jazz Union and Jazzkaar handed out the first Estonian jazz awards. Laureates were announced and awards were given on April 27th at Russian Cultural Center just before the concert of world famous saxophonist Archie Shepp.
This-years Elion Jazz Award was given to Jaak Sooäär for the accomplishments made during the last three years. The purpose of the award is recognizing the active and original jazz musicians in Estonia and introducing them to wider audiences.
Since 2004 is Jaak Sooäär the chairman of the board of Estonian Jazz Union. In the last years he has had about 70 public appearances per year. His most known international bands are The Dynamite Vikings, Erdmann/Sooäär Dessert Time and Innanen-Sooäär-Bennink. Sooäär has also composed and arranged a lot of music to the well-known Estonian folk band Eesti Keeled. He is also the chairman and a docent of the Jazz department at the Estonian Music and Theatre Academy. The Award jury consisted of jazz and concert organizers as well as music critics.
Young Jazz Talent Award went to Erki Pärnoja. The Awards goal is primarily aimed at assessing the initiative and good level of young musicians and encouraging their undertakings. The jury mostly consisting of music pedagogues appreciated most of all Pärnojas conspicuously open mind and professional attitude from the nine nominated candidates. Highly evaluated was also the laureates’ goal to bring fresh new ideas and artists to Estonian stages and festivals in order to inspire young people who have not yet had the chance to go study abroad. Noted was also Pärnojas’ high musical level and creativity.
Besides recognition Elion Jazz Award also contains of 50 000 kroons scholarship, a thematic sculpture made on special request by the prestigious Estonian sculptor Tiiu Kirsipuu and a recording possibility at Estonian Radio and Estonian Television.
Young Jazz Talent Award was handed over by member of the jury and organizer of Jazzkaar Anne Erm. The winner of the award gets a souvenir from Elion, a recording possibility at Estonian Radio, PR consultation with a photo session and the chance of performing at a Jazzkaar concert within a year.
Elion Jazz Award and Young Jazz Talent Award are both going to be a yearly tradition that will take place every April when Estonia and 20 other countries celebrate the Jazz Appreciation Month (Jazzikuu in Estonian). Next winners will be announced already next spring.