Sir Ringo Starr has paid tribute to the president of one of the US’ most prestigious jazz labels during an event celebrating the genre in London.
The former Beatle handed Don Was the lifetime achievement gong for his work as president of Blue Note Records at the Jazz FM Awards at Shoreditch Town Hall in east London.
The historic label has released music by John Coltrane, Herbie Hancock, Art Blakey and Thelonious Monk since its inception in 1939.
Was, who has produced for stars including the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan and Sir Elton John, has been the label’s president since 2012.
Sir Ringo, whose 1992 solo album Time Takes Time was produced by Was, said the award was much deserved, preaching “peace and love” to attendees.
He said: “Good evening everybody, just wanted to say a few words on behalf of Don Was for the Jazz FM Awards.
“Congratulations, I’m sure you’ve all having a great night. Peace and love – you deserve it, love you Don.”
The annual celebration of jazz, soul and blues featured a roll call of music industry stars including Beverley Knight, Jacob Collier and Quincy Jones.After scooping breakthrough act of the year in 2018, saxophonist Nubya Garcia earned the prize for best UK jazz act, which is determined by a public vote.
A video message from record producer Jones was shown after Grammy Award-winning multi-instrumentalist Collier, who Jones manages, won the PRS For Music Gold Award.
Jones, 86, said: “My dear brother Jacob Collier, it is such an honour to have you as a member of our QJP (Quincy Jones Productions) family, and I couldn’t be prouder of all that you’ve accomplished at your age, brother.
“I have socks older than you! It has been an absolutely beautiful journey to witness your growth over the past few years, and the only direction you can go from here is up.”
Sons of Kemet won album of the year for the critically-acclaimed Your Queen Is A Reptile after being snubbed at the Mercury Prize Awards.
Composer and saxophonist Cassie Kinoshi was named breakthrough act, jazz collective Steam Down were awarded the innovation prize and south Londoner Poppy Ajudha clinched soul act of the year.