Ezra Collective have won the 2023 Mercury Prize, making them the first jazz act ever to receive the award. The UK quintet was nominated for their November 2022 album Where I’m Meant To Be, a jazz record that also incorporated sounds from genres such as salsa and grime.
Accepting the award, drummer Femi Koleoso said: “This is not just a result for Ezra Collective, or for UK jazz, but this is a special moment for every single organization across the country, ploughing efforts and time into young people playing music.”
The 2023 Mercury Prize ceremony was held at the Hammersmith Apollo in London, on Thursday evening (September 7). Ezra Collective were selected from a shortlist of twelve nominees, including the Arctic Monkeys, Fred Again.., J Hus, Shygirl, Jockstrap, Jessie Ware, Raye, and more. Last year’s Mercury Prize went to the rapper Little Simz for her album Sometimes I Might Be Introvert.