WMN Playlist: ten women in jazz inspired by the upcoming Jazz FM Awards

With the Jazz FM Awards coming up on 30 April, Anusha looks at some of the nominees for the awards, and her ones to watch.

Nubya Garcia

Nubya Garcia is a saxophonist and composer with an electric twist. Her use of live technology would make you think you were listening to a whole band. She’s nominated for the Breakthrough Act of the Year Award.

Cleo Laine

A veteran of the UK Jazz scene, Cleo Laine is due to receive the PPL Lifetime Achievement Award. With an impressive range and soft tone, she effortlessly encapsulates the beauty of any song.

Yazz Ahmed

Yazz Ahmed is a groovy jazz artist who has been seen with a variety of wind instruments. Whether she’s with a trio, a quartet or solo, her passion in her songs doesn’t waver and it’s evident. She’s nominated for Instrumentalist of the Year.

Zara McFarlane

Zara McFalane’s beautiful and deep vocals easily fill a room, whether she’s performing at London’s Boiler Room or live on Jools Holland. She’s nominated for Vocalist of the Year.

Alice Zawadski

Alice Zawadski’s voice is haunting but mesmerising. This performance shows her skills as a violinist and jazz vocalist. She is also nominated for Vocalist of the Year.

Liane Caroll

Liane Caroll’s vocals have more of a traditional sound. The hushed tones within Seaside make it sound like a lullaby. She is also nominated for Vocalist of the Year.

Anusha’s ones to watch – inspired by Jazz FM


The first line of this track is Pretty, pretty, pretty for a black girl. Tawiah’s lyrical content challenges some of society’s most ingrained constructs. (I almost wanted to start clicking along whilst writing this).

Polly Gibbons

Nominated for Vocalist of the Year, Polly Gibbons has an impressive voice. She has been a part of the jazz scene for the last decade and has performed at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club, where she sung with the All-Stars, led by pianist and house musical director James Pearson.

Sheila Maurice Grey

Sheila is a jazz trumpeter and a band leader for the band Kokoroko. Recently graduating from the Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, she’s a force to be reckoned with. Her ability to mix afrobeat type sounds with smooth jazz and soul is exciting.

Yazmin Lacey

Yazmin Lacey’s voice is very laid back and easy-breezy, but her lyrics carry a certain depth that sends chills down your spine. This song is taken off her EP, Black Moon, that was released in 2017.



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