Barbara Thompson received the ‘Special Award’ at last night’s Parliamentary Jazz Awards for a lifetime of service to Jazz.
Her daughter, singer Ana Gracey collected the award last night on her behalf.
My mum was very moved to hear about this award from her sick bed when I told her but was sadly too unwell to pass on any message.
In my acceptance speech, however, I read out some of her words from an interview she gave in 2021:
“I’ve never looked at myself as a female saxophonist – I am simply a musician and was never afraid to put myself on the line. It makes me very pleased and grateful to think that so many people have appreciated my music and loyally followed me throughout the years. My fans told me the reason they so enjoyed coming to see Paraphernalia was because you never knew what was coming next… much like life!”
And when asked about how she dealt with her diagnosis of Parkinson‘s at such a young age and what she would say to other creatives dealing with similar situations, she said: “I want to encourage people not to give up. You might have to present yourself in a different way according to your physical disabilities but don’t ever give up!”
Mum – you were lauded and appreciated for your remarkable legacy last night. Don’t give up quite yet.