On a warm September afternoon at Trinity College Greenwich, the first Spike Robinson Scholarship award was auditioned for, voted upon and awarded to Jon Hassell, a young saxophone student who is from New Zealand. This was the first award following the very sad loss of the wonderful tenor saxophonist Spike Robinson in 2001. The award itself meant one thousand pounds towards tuition fees, plus a year’s subscription to the MU and future concerts including the Bulls Head at Barnes Tribute weekend.
In 2004 the winner was picked to attend the Conference on World Affairs in Boulder, Colorado (Spike’s home town and where many of his family still live) and performed alongside such Stateside giants as Dave Grusin, Don Grusin, Nelson Rangell, George Masso and Lillian Boutte.
All of this is only possible due to the Herculean efforts of Susan May-Robinson, Spike’s widow. She is fundraising all year and is dedicated to honouring Spike’s wishes that his Jazz legacy should be handed down from generation to generation.
We are honored to have been granted the use of Spikes name and that Spikes Jazz Academy can now become a part of the Legacy of helping younger players progress in the jazz world.
The impact on the Jazz world of the support and dedication from Spike, the Foundation, and particulary Susan May, cannot be over estimated, below are some thoughts from those who have been helped on their way…….
Derek Nash – Sax
I was honoured to work alongside Spike in “Young Lions – Old Tigers”, the band that won a British Jazz Award for it’s Cd in 2002. He used his stature to introduce the band to the mainstream jazz circuit, allowing us all to open doors to the audiences and clubs that held him so dearly throughout the UK. I learnt from a master and was given such opportunities by playing alongside him. I’ll always be grateful for those gigs and the fun and joy we had playing together.
Robert Rickenberg – Bass.