The fourth annual edition of the highly-acclaimed LetterOne 'RISING STARS' Jazz Award announced its winners February 6th, 2021, via an exclusive global live stream broadcast on NPR's WBGO – the No.1 Jazz radio station- in the US. 725 up and coming artists completed submissions this year. L1 is pleased to announce that Itamar Borochov of Jaffa, Israel was awarded the European Award, while Immanuel Wilkins of Philadelphia was awarded the Northern American Award.
The L1 Award, which is designed to find new “young stars” of the future and help the winners fulfil their potential, was especially important this year, as the music industry and performing arts have been hit hard by COVID. Many of the world’s top jazz musicians backed the L1 Award as they recognised the support it gives to young people in the performing arts.
Itamar was raised in the port city of Jaffa, Israel, and started playing trumpet at age eleven. Immersed in jazz and the work of pioneering trumpet players such as Miles Davis and Louis Armstrong, he was influenced by Middle Eastern and North African music which he heard at his local synagogue. Itamar eventually moved to New York to study jazz where he quickly established himself on the local scene. Once back in Europe, he developed into an enthralling band leader and released several albums under his own name, presenting a careful balance between technical playing and storytelling, all the while staying true to his roots and musical upbringing.
Immanuel grew up in the greater Philadelphia-area where he first honed his saxophone skills in church and various educational programs dedicated to teaching jazz music. In 2015 he moved to New York to study at Juilliard School of Music, where he led his first jazz quartet and developed his skills as a composer and arranger. Immanuel impressed the jury with a high level of sophistication and maturity in his playing. He respectfully reflects various musical influences in his performance while charting into new territory with a sense of lyricism in his playing that is reminiscent of the Jazz greats.
The show was hosted by top British jazz star Jamie Cullum and included featured appearances and performances by Dee Dee Bridgewater and Terri Lyne Carrington, who have both won three Grammy Awards; Christian McBride, artistic director of the famous Newport Jazz Festival and winner of six Grammy Awards; and others, including this year's L1 Award winners.