On 12 January, the Jazz Academy awarded three prizes to Stéphane Guillaume and Laurent Cugny, two jazzmen supported by the BNP Paribas Foundation.
The composer and saxophonist Stéphane Guillaume, who the BNP Paribas Foundation has been supporting over the last two years, won two prizes. He won the Django Reinhardt Prize – a prestigious award recognising the French musician of the year. He also won the French Recording Prize for "Windmills Chronicles", the album that appeared last autumn, recorded with 11 musicians.
Concerning Laurent Cugny, for whom the BNP Paribas Foundation has been supporting the proposal for a jazz opera "The tectonics of clouds", he received the Jazz Book Prize for "Analysing jazz" – published by Outre-Mesure, 600 pages. Composer, pianist and teacher at the Sorbonne, Laurent Cugny has already published several works, including books on Gil Evans and Miles Davis.
Founded in 1954 by several enthusiasts under the watchful eye of Jean Cocteau, the Jazz Academy now has about 60 members (specialised journalists, writers, musicologists, photographers, etc.). Since its inception, its members have always been the supporters and representatives of a form of music that exemplifies respect for creative freedom and direct expression.
One of the rare patrons of the arts to support jazz musicians, the BNP Paribas Foundation has been supporting their careers for more than 15 years: this has included assistance with recording and support for promotion and broadcasting, particularly during tours, which has helped them to develop their projects. Beyond this support, the BNP Paribas Foundation endeavours to promote these artists and enlarge their audiences.
> Last October, six jazz artists currently supported by the BNP Paribas Foundation presented their new albums, including Stéphane Guillaume with "Windmills Chronicles": read the article.