Growing up with an assured passion for music and the industry that surrounds it, a younger me had maintained a naive sentiment that any popular artist I was hearing got to where they were due to some form of luck or personal connections - the concept of hard work ever really came into it. Although the aforementioned notions maintain key ingredients for success, age and experience have helped quell this notion and fill a blank space in my understanding... you know the one that sits between an artist rehearsing in their bedroom and signing a major record deal. Being part of the industry has taught me that often when a label signs an artist it is due to the fact that their own relentless gigging, investment and talent has caused them to make a dent within a relevant market which, with a sizeable record company's funding and expertise, can be developed (or exploited). Although this 'Major record deal' concept is very much a commercial medium the same principles can be applied to jazz; when a name starts cropping up in national media and accumulating swathes of plaudits for their work it becomes evident that the musician is surpassing said transitional phase and emerging as a real force within the genre. The name that is currently frequenting my twitter feed / gig listings / choice media outlets... Laura Jurd.
The most prominent accolade for this London based trumpeter, in terms of national recognition, comes in the form of Guardian critic John Fordham's 4 star review of her debut 'Landing Ground' released on the 'Chaos Collective' label last year, but this is merely the high point of an imposing wave of praise that the 22 year old Trinity undergraduate has already received for her compositional and improvisational prowess. With a list of nominations longer than it would be sensible for me to recall, this talented young musician is one to check out if you're not already familiar with her work. I personally still have a lot of catching up to do!
Laura will be performing at my local Herts Jazz Club on the 20th January so expect a live feature for Jazz Shaped around then as I head down to see one of the UK's brightest prospects for myself!