“Where you’re meant to be”

The world of music has been reacting to Ezra Collective‘s 2023 Mercury Prize victory for their album ‘Where I’m Meant To Be’.

The jazz group were declared the overall winner of the prestigious award earlier tonight (September 7) after beating off competition from fellow favourites Jockstap, Loyle Carner and Young Fathers at a live ceremony at the Eventim Apollo in Hammersmith.

Jazz FM were one of the first to congratulate the band as were Rough Trade who wrote: “Where you’re meant to be. Big up @EzraCollective, @MercuryPrize 2023 champions. The ever-eclectic image of what British jazz should be has been nurtured in your capable hands. Can’t wait for what’s next.”

The Mayor Of London’s Culture team also went on to congratulate the collective as did Chair of the BMA Racial & Ethnic Equality Forum, Chaand Nagpaul who wrote: “Delighted @EzraCollective is first ever jazz band to deservedly win Mercury Prize 2023,” before he shared a clip of the band performing live earlier this year.

Many fans also hailed the victory with one writing: “Ezra Collective winning the Mercurys is SUCH a good result. New London jazz scene has needed some recognition for so long.”

Another added: “Yesssss Ezra! Knew you could do it! Congratulations on winning the #Mercuryprize you deserve all the glory for what you do with you music.”

One other fan wrote: “I’m literally speechless this is amazing, a contemporary jazz band winning the Mercury prize, get in!”

Speaking about their victory on the night, the Mercury Prize judging panel also said: “It wasn’t easy to choose an overall winner from such an eclectic and exciting list, but ultimately the judges were unanimous: Ezra Collective, the London five-piece made up of Femi Koleoso on drums, TJ Koleoso on bass, Joe-Armon Jones on keys, James Mollison on saxophone and Ife Ogunjobi on trumpet are a living argument for putting the hours in, achieving musical brilliance, and tapping into a joyous spirit that ensures their album is as fun as it is impressive.

“The British jazz renaissance of the past decade has been one of the most significant developments in modern music. Now, ‘Where I’m Meant To Be’, with its touches of reggae, soul, Latin and Afrobeats, its call and response riffs and rhythmic intensity, is a landmark not only for jazz, but for contemporary music in general.”

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