A 17 year old saxophonist has won the first BBC Young Musician Jazz award.
The BBC Young Musician contest was started in 1978 and has always had classical music categories for brass, keyboard, percussion, strings and woodwind. I was really happy last year to see a new Jazz category was to be added.
I have a lot of young guitar students who may never have even heard any jazz music before we work on that style in their lessons. But moving into jazz playing can really let some musicians develop in a completely new way.
Jazz music can allow students a new type of freedom in their learning. Some of them respond to the improvisation elements of the music and I often see an acceleration in those students learning when they begin studying this style in depth.
So those students will be happy to see their music being held up alongside and judged at the same level as that of classical styles.
In this, the first year of the jazz category, saxophonist Alexander Bone was singled out by the judges for his musicality. He beat two other saxophone players, a trumpeter and a double bassist in the final. He was also praised by the judges for his passion and sound.
The final of the jazz competition will be shown on BBC Four on 23 May.