UWTSD Professor Jen Wilson, founder of Jazz Heritage Wales, is named as finalist in St David Awards 2017


University of Wales Trinity Saint David is delighted to announce that Professor Jen Wilson, the founder of Jazz Heritage Wales, has been named as a finalist in the Culture Category in the St David Awards 2017. 

jen wilson

The St David Awards annually recognise and celebrate the exceptional achievements of people in Wales. The Awards reflect and promote the aspirations of Wales and its citizens to be a modern, vibrant country, with a growing reputation as a confident and clever nation valuing innovation, community spirit, and above all its people. There are nine St David Awards, each of which is given in a specific category of activity and achievement, decided upon by the First Minister of the Welsh Government and his advisers.

Announcing the finalists, First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones said: “The Awards are about celebrating people who have gone the extra mile, overcome adversity or achieved something inspirational. Every single finalist is a credit to Wales, it is going to be tough to choose the winners.”

Jen Wilson was made a Professor of Practice at UWTSD during the University’s Swansea graduation ceremonies in June.

The title of ‘Honorary Professor of Practice’ is bestowed upon an individual to honour and recognise that person for having attained academic and/or professional distinction in those disciplines which are aligned with the strategic intentions of the University.

Professor Wilson said: “It is such an honour to be nominated and what an extraordinary morning it has been. We are so pleased to be recognised in Wales for the work that we do at Jazz Heritage Wales. It is a very proud moment for us all. We have the only multi-media heritage collection in Britain, detailing how jazz was formed, and this nomination helps to further recognise that.”

Professor Wilson, a jazz pianist and historian, and retired auxiliary nurse and university lecturer, started Jazz Heritage Wales in 1986. Through her passion and enthusiasm the charity has grown into a valuable historic and educational resource chronicling the role women have played in the development of jazz music across decades. The archive has now been incorporated into UWTSD Swansea with Dame Cleo Laine as Patron.

Professor Wilson has always been interested in jazz music and performs regularly in the clubs and pubs of Wales as a jazz pianist. In 2015 she was awarded a Point of Light for her work archiving the history of jazz in Wales. The project chronicles the role women have played in the development of jazz music across the decades 

She also founded the all women Allstars Swing Band, Swansea’s only all-female big band since the Second World War. The band, with a pool of 25 members, performs at events across Wales creating inspirational female role models for young female jazz musicians to admire.

Jazz Heritage Wales is dedicated to four areas of activity: performance, archive, research and education. The Women in Jazz Allstars swing band is linked to the group and regularly performs at events in Swansea and further afield.

The St David Awards Ceremony takes place at the Senedd on March 23.

Further Information

For further information, please email: press@uwtsd.ac.uk