Jazzer James is winner of prestigious music prize

PUBLISHED: 13:22 13 February 2009 | UPDATED: 21:41 31 May 2010

James Beckwith   Picture: SUBMITTED

James Beckwith Picture: SUBMITTED

A FORMER Saffron Walden pupil has won a prestigious international music prize. James Beckwith, formerly of Friends Junior School and County High School, has won the Dankworth Prize for Jazz Composition 2009 in the Big Band category for his composition Da

A FORMER Saffron Walden pupil has won a prestigious international music prize.

James Beckwith, formerly of Friends Junior School and County High School, has won the Dankworth Prize for Jazz Composition 2009 in the Big Band category for his composition 'Date on Sunday'.

The prize was open to composers under the age of 28 and James, a first year Leeds College of Music student, scooped £500 which was presented to him at Ronnie Scotts Jazz Club in London.

His composition was also played by the Trinity College Big Band in front of a packed audience including Sir John Dankworth himself.

On winning the competition, 19-year-old James said: "The main reason I entered the competition was to have the chance to showcase my compositions. Having my piece played at Ronnie Scotts was a real opportunity and the £500 prize wasn't bad either.

"It is really the start of my jazz career.

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