Kris Davis winner of the Paul Acket Award 2022

Kris Davis is the winner of the Paul Acket Award 2022. This prize is granted annually by the festival and presented to an artist deserving wider recognition for their extraordinary musicianship.

Kris Davis (1980), raised in the Canadian city of Calgary, started playing the piano when she was just out of kindergarten. Nowadays, she has 19 albums to her name as (co-)leader. She was named Rising Star Pianist in 2017 as well as Rising Star Artist in 2018 by Downbeat magazine. When Davis got into her high school jazz band, a whole new world opened up for her. It was her first introduction to improvisation, which created a love that only grew over the years.

Jury member Nate Chinen wrote the following about Davis: “Over the last 20 years, Kris Davis has distinguished herself as a pianist of exacting touch and fearless instinct, a composer of visionary ambitions, and a bandleader and organizer with a strong sense of community. The greater conversation around jazz is greatly served by her example.”

With the Paul Acket Award, named after the founder of North Sea Jazz, the festival aims to bring attention to talented jazz musicians who, in their opinion, deserve wider recognition and a larger audience. Previous winners of the award include Julian Lage (2019), Kaja Draksler (2018), Donny McCaslin (2017), Cécile McLorin Salvant (2016), and Tigran Hamasyan (2015).

Kris Davis will receive her prize at the festival where she will perform on Saturday 9 July.