Tom Ibarra, a 18-year-old French guitarist and composer, has beaten tough competition to become the RISING STARS Jazz Award winner. With a distinctive voice in Jazz, Funk and Fusion, Tom competed against over 270 artists from over Europe for the title.
Entries were judged by a panel including US record producer Brian Bacchus; England´s jazz superstar Jamie Cullum; and French festival and radio producer Sebastien Vidal.
As winner of this year’s RISING STARS Jazz Award, Tom will embark on a 2018 tour of seven of the major jazz festivals in Europe. These include the Nice Jazz Festival in France; JazzOpen in Stuttgart, Germany; Heineken Jazzaldia in San Sebastian, Spain; the Kongsberg Jazz Festival in Norway; the Cheltenham Jazz Festival in the UK; the North Sea Jazz Festival in The Netherlands; and the Leopolis Jazz Festival in Lvov, Ukraine. In addition, he will receive PR and marketing support.
Commenting on the award, Jamie Cullum said: “It is encouraging to see that there are so many unbelievably talented musicians out there. Tom is only 18 years of age, but plays with the feel of a veteran and has a tool kit of musical abilities that allows him to step up at any given moment to put his stamp on the music”.
Born in October 1999, Tom began playing guitar at the age of 6 and was influenced by artists including Miles Davis, Pat Metheny, Weather Report and Wes Montgomery. He released his debut album 15 in 2015, 4 years after starting to compose original songs. Over the years, Tom’s talent has been recognized by jazz greats including Marcus Miller, Richard Bona, Didier Lockwood and Sylvain Luc, who have all invited him to share the stage with them on various occasions.
See Tom perform live: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XQJJyXY0dpo