Musicians Company announce 2019 John Dankworth and Eddie Harvey Awards winners


The Musicians’ Company is delighted to announce the winners of the 2019 Dankworth and Eddie Harvey Jazz Arranger Awards. 

The winner of the Dankworth Big Band Award is Charles Bates for his work “Eyes Open”. The winner of the Small Band Award is Wilbur Whitta for his composition “Wotjek”. 

The winner of the Eddie Harvey Jazz Arranger Award is Billy Marrows for his arrangement of Leonard Bernstein’s “Lucky to be me”. 

The winning works will be performed in a concert on Sunday 10th March at 6.30pm in the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire when it is hoped the winners will be present to receive their awards. 

Tickets (£15; concessions £12) are on sale on Eventbrite: jazz-orchestra-contemporary-brits-including-the-dankworth-and-eddie-harvey-awards-tick- ets-55271378180 . 

The awards will be presented by members of the Dankworth and Harvey families and each of the three winners will receive a cheque for £1,000. The awards are funded by The Musicians’ Company with generous assistance from The Wavendon Foundation. 

Charlie Bates is a pianist, composer and arranger based in London. He was introduced to jazz in his teens by his grandparents and went on to join the Essex Youth Jazz Orchestra. 
In 2013, Charlie was awarded a place at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire where he stud- ied with John Taylor, Hans Koller, John Turville and Liam Noble. He also held the piano chair with MYJO, with whom he performed live on BBC2 in 2015. He graduated from the Conservatoire in 2017 with first class honours while also winning the Composition Prize (2016), Jazz Performance Prize and Deans’ Award for Exceptional Achievement (2017). Charlie released his debut album for big band, Silhouettes, in 2017. This was received well by the national press and was labelled ‘Impressive and inventive’ by The Guardian’s John 
Fordham. In recent months, Charlie has written arrangements for some of the countries finest vocalists including Claire Martin OBE and Clare Teal (BBC Radio 2). He has also been studying with Grammy nominated composer, Jim McNeely. Charlie currently holds the Com- poser chair with the National Youth Jazz Orchestra. 

Wilbur Whitta is an award winning Australian jazz pianist and composer who recently relo- cated to London. He has performed around Australia, the UK and Europe, appearing as both a composer and performer. Wilbur has worked with some of Australia’s most respected jazz artists, and has appeared at many international festivals, including Redfest Bristol, London Jazz Festival, Manly Jazz Festival, Peats Ridge Music Festival and the Australian Music Week. Wilbur is already making a name for himself on the London jazz scene, and currently focuses on composing for his newly formed piano trio. Still in his early twenties, Wilbur has received numerous honours and awards, including the prestigious Australia Council for the Arts Career Development Award, the Leverhulme Trust Postgraduate Scholarship, the Tait Memorial Trust Award and the Anthony and Sharon Lee Foundation Jazz Scholarship. 

Billy Marrows 
Billy Marrows is a guitarist and multi-award winning composer/arranger. He leads a variety of ensembles and is a member of a number of projects led by rising stars of the London jazz scene. He has toured the UK with the Tom Barford Group and Tom Ridout’s No Excuses band and has performed at venues such as Ronnie Scott’s, the Vortex, Jazz Nursery, the 606, Total Refreshment Centre and UK jazz festivals. He plays in Patchwork Jazz Orchestra, a big band which have recently premiered new music by Billy in the London Jazz Festival and at Giardini La Mortella, Italy. Appearing on several albums, Billy was singled out as ‘one to watch’ in the Jazzwise review of Tom Barford’s album ‘Bloomer’, released on Edition records in 2018. 
Billy frequently writes music for his own projects and various large ensembles and he has won both the small ensemble and big band category of the Dankworth Prize for Jazz Compo- sition in 2016 and 2018 respectively. He wrote a suite for his octet inspired by gamelan for the 2016 Lancaster Youth Jazz Commission and his music has been broadcast on BBC Radio 3. In October 2018, Billy studied with Vince Mendoza at the Metropole Orkest Arrangers Workshop in Holland. His arrangement of Man in the Mirror was performed at the Lantaren Venster Rotterdam by the Metropole Orkest and New York based singer-songwriter Becca Stevens. 
An alumnus of the Royal Academy of Music in London, Billy graduated with a first-class degree in jazz guitar performance in 2017. During this time he studied improvisation and composition with many UK and international jazz luminaries including Mike Walker, Pete Churchill and Barak Schmool. Billy is also involved in a range of music education work. 
Billy is grateful for the support of the Sir John Barbirolli Memorial Foundation Grant and the Richard Turner Fund. 

Musicians Company 
For over 500 years the Worshipful Company of Musicians has supported the music profession in all its forms. 
Every year the Company gives a range of awards, scholarships and medals, which make a real difference to the lives of outstanding young singers, composers and in- strumentalists as they make the transition from study to a professional career in music. 
The John Christie Award is the Company’s most renowned award with a distinguished list of past winners. Other awards range from Classical Music to Jazz, Music Theatre, Popular Music, Brass Bands and the Military Schools of Music. 
In addition to their specific award, our winners are invited to become Yeomen for the next five years. This entitles them to be considered for a range of performance opportunities, which the Company arranges – probably their top priority as they seek to become known. This year our Yeomen will give over 100 performances at venues ranging from the Wigmore Hall, where the Company organises its own concerts every year, to major music festivals across the country. 
Our Yeomen also take part in an extensive Outreach Programme, taking music into primary schools mainly in the more deprived inner London boroughs that have little or no music provision. In 2017, our award winners made 155 visits to 55 schools, reaching over 8,000 children. 

If you would like to learn more about the Company, join us at our events or support our Yeomen, please visit our website, or contact Hugh Lloyd, at