Deschanel Gordon Wins BBC Young Jazz Musician 2020

Deschanel Gordon

Deschanel Gordon Wins BBC Young Jazz Musician 2020

Twenty-two-year-old pianist performed music by Kenny Garrett, Thelonious Monk and his own composition.

London pianist Deschanel Gordon has been announced as the winner of the BBC Young Jazz Musician 2020. The final took place on 14 November and the result was announced on BBC Four on 22 November. 

Gordon graduated from the Trinity Laban music and dance conservatoire in London in 2020 with first class honours and has previously collaborated with Mercury Prize-nominated SEED ensemble and Mark Kavuma’s The Banger Factory as well as performing with his own trio.

Gordon has also performed at Ronnie Scott’s, Jazz Café and the Vortex Jazz Club in London, as well as at the Love Supreme jazz festival in England and the Winter Jazzfest in New York. 

Gordon performed his own arrangement of Kenny Garrett’s Haynes Here, a solo piano rendition of Thelonious Monk’s Round Midnight, and his own reggae-inspired composition Awaiting. 

Commenting on his win, Gordon said:

I had an amazing time playing and hearing the other musicians in the finals. Especially in a year where live music has been stifled, any opportunity to play is very special to me. Being able to share the stage with Nikki Yeoh’s band Infinitum was definitely a highlight.

The final of the BBC Young Jazz Musician 2020 was held in Cadogan Hall in London, with no audience in attendance, as part of the EFG London Jazz Festival. The five finalists performed on stage with pianist Nikki Yeoh’s ensemble Infinitum, presenting a fifteen-minute set including their own renditions of music from the standard jazz repertoire, and at least one piece of their own arrangement or composition.

Saxophonist Xhosa Cole was awarded BBC Young Jazz Musician in 2018 and went on to win Breakthrough Act of the Year at the 2020 Jazz FM Awards and Jazz Newcomer of the Year in the 2019 Parliamentary Jazz Awards. 

For more information on the BBC Young Jazz Musician 2020, visit

Published on 25 November 2020

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