Ezra Collective win Mercury Prize for ‘Where I’m Meant To Be’

Ezra Collective have won the Mercury Prize for their album Where I’m Meant To Be, becoming the first jazz act to win the prestigious award.

Ezra Collective

The British quintet is comprised of drummer Femi Koleoso, bassist TJ Koleoso, keyboardist Joe Armon-Jones, trumpeter Ife Ogunjobi, and saxophonist James Mollison.

It’s fair to say the band saw off some stiff competition, beating the likes of Arctic Monkeys’ The Car, Loyle Carner’s Hugo and Olivia Dean’s Messy to the prestigious prize, which celebrates the best British or Irish album over the course of the last 12 months. 

In doing so, they’ve also been awarded the not insignificant sum of £25,000 prize money.

Ezra Collective Mercury Prize

Photo: Jeff Spicer

In his acceptance speech for the band, drummer and bandleader Femi Koleoso recalled how the group “represents something very special because we met in a youth club.”

He added: “This moment that we’re celebrating right here is testament to good, special people putting time and effort into young people to play music.

“This is not just a result for Ezra Collective, or for UK jazz, but this is a special moment for every single organisation across the country, ploughing efforts and time into young people playing music.”

The award was announced by DJ Jamz Supernova during the ceremony at Hammersmith’s Apollo.

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