25th Oct, 2016

Solihull pianist in finals of BBC Young Musician Jazz Award

Solihull Editorial 15th Feb, 2016 Updated: 21st Oct, 2016

A SOLIHULL pianist who has being tickling the ivories since he was little boy is a finalist in the BBC Young Musician Jazz Award.

Elliott Sansom, from Birmingham Conservatoire, has made it through the extensive audition process and will now go head to head with four others in the last round, on March 12, which will be broadcasted on BBC Four.

The competitors will be accompanied by the Gwilym Simcock Trio, who will once again be working with and mentoring the finalists as they rehearse.

Elliott grew up in a musical family, in the borough, and from a young age was exposed to different types of music, particularly blues. He became especially intrigued by the music of Ray Charles.

There was always a piano in the household and from when he was five years old so Elliott began experimenting with the instrument, after showing a keen interest when hearing his mother and grandma playing.

In 2012, Elliott gained a place studying jazz with the junior conservatoire at the Birmingham music academy, which provides specialist musical tuition for talented young musicians.

A year later, he began studying on the conservatoire’s undergraduate jazz course and is now in his final year.

In his third year, Elliott was offered a placement semester studying at the Prestigious Paris Conservatoire, where he played many concerts and sessions around the French capital. He also went to Germany to study piano with a renowned pianist Pablo Held.

Elliott said he was thrilled to be selected.

“I’m really looking forward to playing with the Gwilym Simcock trio and having fun performing the music that I love,” he added.

“I have had lots of support and help at this stage of my development from both my family, friends, and also the Birmingham Conservatoire, where I have been given many great opportunities.”

Jeremy Price, head of jazz at Birmingham Conservatoire, added Elliot was a great success story for the jazz scene in Birmingham.

“He will surely be taking a major place on the professional music scene any time soon,” he added.

“Elliot Sansom is a major jazz talent in the UK today. His improvising is always incredibly engaging, warm and interactive and he always displays a fantastic panoply of musical ideas.”