In 1992, Tina May was the first winner of the Musicians’ Company Award for Young Jazz Musician of the Year. She was so passionate about supporting the company that she became a costume performer and an enthusiastic member of the Jazz Committee of which I was chairing at the time.

With extensive experience in both playing and teaching, she made an enormous contribution, helping to select the finalists for the annual competition and often joining them on stage for a few while they performed. As she said, “All jazz musicians should know how to accompany a singer.”

When we started our Company Nights series at Crazy Coq’s in Soho, she offered to lead the first, with a band made up of other award winners, delivering great music with a witty introduction.

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