Julian Lage winner of the Paul Acket Award 2019

Julian Lage is the winner of the Paul Acket Award 2019. This prize is granted annually by the festival and presented to an artist deserving wider recognition for their extraordinary musicianship.

At a very young age Julian Lage performed with renowned guitarists and received recognition from, among others, Carlos Santana and Pat Metheny. He was taken under the wing of Jim Hall, one of the most influential masters of the jazz guitar. Nowadays Julian Lage is seen as a leading guitarist himself, with a unique sound. Last year he was awarded the title ‘Rising Star Jazz Artist’ in the famous Downbeat Critics Poll.

Member of the jury Bartho van Straaten of Paradox:  “Julian Lage is a guitarist who has it all. A phenomenal technique, a beautiful tone and he plays the most beautiful compositions on various guitars with great ease. Despite his young age (31), he has already made the tradition his own and translated it into a unique sound of his own.” Other members of the jury were Carlo Pagnotta (Umbria Jazz, Italy), Martyna Markowska (Katowice JazzArt Festival, Poland), Mijke Loeven (Bimhuis, NL) and Spike Wilner (Smalls, US). They nominated 22 musicians, after which international jazz critics and programmers cast their votes.

Previous winners of the award, named after the founder of North Sea Jazz,  include Kaja Draksler (2018), Donny McCaslin (2017), Cécile McLorin Salvant (2016), and Tigran Hamasyan (2015).

Julian Lage will receive his prize at the festival where he will perform with John Zorn presents Bagatelles Marathon on Friday 12 July, and in duo with Ben Wendel and Kris Davis on Saturday.