Every year, North Sea Jazz hands out the Paul Acket Award to an artist deserving wider recognition for their extraordinary musicianship. The winner of the Paul Acket Award 2013 is the Israeli musician Anat Cohen. An honorable mention is given this year to the New York pianist Kris Davis and the Dutch pianist Wolfert Brederode. Both were also highly appreciated for their musical talent by the international group of jazz critics and programmers.
Anat Cohen is an Israeli clarinettist, saxophonist and band leader who mixes jazz with different styles of ethnic music. She plays with her own group, Anat Cohen Quartet. Besides that, she often collaborates with her two brothers Avishai (trumpet) and Yuval (alto and soprano sax), both in their trio 3Cohens and in the Cohanim Sextuplet, a tribute to Louis Armstrong. Recently she released the well-received album Claroscuro. Cohen was awarded Clarinettist of the Year by the Jazz Journalist Association seven consecutive times.
Jury member Danny Melnick of the Newport Jazz Festival calls Anat Cohen “one of the most expressive and joyful musicians in the world. She is an important part of today's New York and global jazz scene.”
“Having found her instrument in the clarinet, she is the embodiment of a group of musicians playing in a so-called new tradition.”, according to director Gent Jazz Festival Bertrand Flamang. “With much feeling and respect for the history of ‘her’ style, she brings a personal, fresh and enthousiastic approach. Also, she knows how to keep her music accessible to the listener.”
The Paul Acket award is supported by the Foundation BNP Paribas since 2011. Jean Jacques Goron, Managing Director of the Foundation: “A longstanding partner of jazz music, the BNP Paribas Foundation has been helping numerous musicians to forge their career. This is why, as a main partner of the Paul Acket Award, we wish to congratulate Anat Cohen. With her charismatic stage presence, Anat Cohen is fluent in a global set of styles, from Brazilian choro to blues to standards like La Vie en Rose, all performed with sheer joie de vivre. Her sound is as powerful as it sensual, hitting a captivating groove with interpretations that express a profound tenderness. This artist is clearly destined to become a leading lady in jazz. We wish her all the best.”
Anat Cohen will receive her prize at the festival where she will perform on Friday July 12.
Paul Acket Award
With this award, the North Sea Jazz organisation wants to highlight talented jazz musicians at the beginning of their career. These artists are already known within the jazz scene, but not yet recognized by a wider audience. Besides a trophy, the winner of the Paul Acket Awards also receives a cheque of 5000 euro, meant to push his career even further. Former winners of this award are amongst others Craig Taborn (2012), Arve Hendriksen (2011), Christian Scott (2010), Stefano Bollani (2009), Adam Rogers (2008), Gianluca Petrella (2007), Conrad Herwig (2006) and Ben Allison (2005).