Young Jazz Musician 2017: Will Barry

The winner of the Jazz Young Musician Award 2017 is pianist Will Barry. The Master of The Musicians’ Company, Sir Roger Gifford, presented Will with his award at the Pizza Express Jazz Club on 22 October. Will Barry performed alongside finalists James Copus trumpet, David Dyson drums, Lluis Mather saxophone, Shirley Tetteh guitar and Tim Thornton bass at the Club, and won the award following a close audience vote.

Will joins a distinguished list of past winners including singer Tina May, saxophonists Andy Panayi and Tim Garland, and singer and BBC Radio 3 presenter Emma Smith.

Will is a 25-year-old pianist, drummer and percussionist from London who recently graduated from the Royal Academy of Music. He has performed as part of numerous projects internationally, most prominently with Phronesis bassist Jasper Høiby’s group ‘Fellow Creatures’ in Istanbul, Germany, Denmark, Holland and also extensively in the UK. Whilst living in Spain, Will appeared alongside Mario Rossy, Madison McFerrin and Perico Sambeat as well as Cuban musicians Julio Montalvo, Yoel Paez and Issac Delgado Jr, performing in Barcelona, Alicante and Madrid and recording for students at Berklee College of Music in Valencia. Chucho Valdés (Irakere) described his playing as sensitive and fluid – a beautiful sound.

Photo: Melody McLaren