Shetland Jazz Club Secretary Jeff Merryfield has been nominated as "Jazz Promoter of the Year" in the Scottish Jazz Awards 2011, presented by the Scottish Jazz Federation and Jazz International.

Information on the awards can be found on the following website, where you can also vote online (Please note that online voting closes at midnight on Tuesday 7th June).

Shetland Jazz Club have gone from strength to strength over the past two years during a Jazz Development project administered by Shetland Arts and with financial assistance from Creative Scotland.

Jeff said of the nomination, "This is not about me, it is about the spirit that has allowed us to bring well-known jazz musicians to these islands"

"All the musicians we have brought here in the last couple of years have gone back home and raved about the experience of playing in Shetland, their reception at gigs, the hospitality and the warmth of the people"

Bryan Peterson, Shetland Arts Music Development Officer said, "Interest in jazz has seen a real resurgence recently, in no small part due to the tuition provided in schools by brass instructors including Roy Hughson and Jane Morton."

"Over the course of the two-year jazz development project, the Shetland Jazz Club membership has risen from only a handful in 2009 to over 30 at present, with concerts attendances regularly into the hundreds. It's great to see the hard work and enthusiasm of Jeff being recognised through the award nomination."

Several of the other award nominees have a Shetland connection - The Nova Scotia Jazz Band (Early Jazz - Band of the Year 2011 category) played in Shetland in May 2011, Havana Swing (also in the Early Jazz - Band of the Year 2011 category) played at the Peerie Willie Guitar Festival in 2009, Martin Taylor (Mainstream Jazz - Band of the Year 2011) has played in Shetland many times over the years.

Other notable acts who have visited Shetland over the course of the project have included leading lights such as drummer Alyn Cosker, saxophonist Derek Nash, guitarist John Etheridge and the Kirkwall Grammar School Big Band. Each visiting act has played concerts in Lerwick, rural venues and schools, and led a range of educational activities for local musicians and school children.

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