24 January 2020

LetterOne and Air Artist Agency are proud to announce the winner of the: “LetterOne ‘RISING STARS’ Jazz Award” North American Edition 2019: Giveton Gelin

Giveton Gelin knows that pursuing jazz can be a challenge, especially in the Bahamas. From the early age of 10, Giveton taught himself to play the trumpet simply by emulating his favourite records. After years of self-tutelage, Adrian D’Aguilar, bass player, began to mentor him; thereby providing him the tools to play jazz. Later on, the Nassau-born trumpeter would study with Dr. Eddie Henderson at the Oberlin Conservatory. The same year, he received recognition at the Young Arts Foundation and Betty Carter Jazz Ahead Program. Thereafter, he continued his studies at the Juilliard School where is still studying now. The fact that after only a year in New York, Giveton has played with pioneers of the NY jazz scene such as Curtis Lundy, Harold Mabern, Winard Harper, Sullivan Fortner, Ben Wolfe, and Jon Batiste is testament to his extraordinary talent. Additionally, he has received tutelage from some of the world’s greatest including Wynton Marsalis, Nicholas Payton, Ralph Peterson, and the late Roy Hargrove. His artistic vision is to pay tribute to his ancestors as well as unify others by incorporating universal human experiences into sound. Through his quintet, Gelin brings forth a new narrative to jazz music. 

During a star studded award ceremony in London, Giveton was announced as the winner of the North American edition of the LetterOne Rising Stars Jazz Award. The event was hosted by none other than pianist, singer, band leader and tv presenter Jools Holland, included performances from China Moses and Sarah McKenzie and a special surprise performance by Jamie Cullum. As winner of the “LetterOne ‘RISING STARS’ Jazz Award” Giveton will embark on a tour along 10 major jazz festivals in North America: Blue Note Jazz Festival NYC, DC Jazz Fest in Washington, SF Jazz in San Francisco, Monterey Jazz Festival, Coastal Jazz & Blues Society, TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival, Festival International de Jazz de Montreal, the TD Ottawa Jazz Festival, Earshot Jazzfestival Seattle and the CGI Rochester International Jazz Festival. In addition, he will receive a full year of PR and marketing support through Air Artist Agency.

Chairman of the 2019/20 jury is legendary ten-time Grammy award winning artist George Benson. Accompanying him on jury duty were journalist and writer Michelle Mercer, record producer and A&R Brian Bacchus and Mikhail Fridman as representative for LetterOne. Previous jury members include Grammy award winning vocalist Dee Dee Bridgewater, UK Jazz superstar Jamie Cullum and former festival director André Menard among others. Commenting on Giveton Gelin, the jury said: ‘Once again we were presented with an interesting mix of talented musicians – it’s fascinating to see how the level seems to rise every year! Nevertheless, it almost instantly became clear that Giveton Gelin is the North American ‘Rising Star’. His tone, phrasing and general way of playing remind us of many greats before him. This combined with his determination to make it from the fringes of jazz into the very heart of Jazz, New York, convinced us that he has a bright future ahead!’ 

From 1st of August until 26th of October 2019, Jazz artists could enter their submissions via a dedicated website (www.l1risingstarsjazzaward.com) to be considered for the “LetterOne ‘RISING STARS’ Jazz Award” US Edition 2019. Over 380 artists submitted their entries! A first round of voting was done by the participating ten  festivals, who found the 25 best contenders. The final vote was done by a professional jury. 

Producing the Award is the award-winning Air Artist Agency, whose director Burkhard Hopper has a long-standing experience in introducing new artists. For 9 years Burkhard Hopper ran the Rising Stars concert series in Europe which – among others – introduced artists such as Diana Krall, Brad Mehldau, Benny Green, Jane Monheit, David Sanchez and Esbjörn Svensson to the European audiences. 

The “LetterOne ‘RISING STARS’ Jazz Award” is a significant event in the international jazz calendar that benefits from the sponsorship and backing of Mikhail Fridman, an international businessman, philanthropist and most importantly a huge jazz fan. Besides being a frequent visitor of Jazz festivals around the world, Fridman is also the founder of the Leopolis Jazz Festival (formerly known as Alfa Jazz) in Lviv (UA).

For press inquiries and bookings please contact Air Artist Agency:

Dennis Meentz / dennis@airartistagency.com / +447459208198

Ben Buckley / ben@airartistagency.com / +442073861611