MOBOs And All That Jazz

The high-profile protest that accompanied the Music Of Black Origin organizers’ decision to cut jazz from last year’s awards has paid dividends as the category has been restored this year.

It may not be the end of the protests as Chris Wells, editor of black music magazine Echoes, is complaining that there’s never been a MOBO Award for soul music.

Soul singer/songwriter Beverley Knight is expected to lead the Echoes protest outside The O2 arena in London on awards night.

Last year, trumpeter and vocalist Abram Wilson got Metropolitan Police permission to stage a peaceful demonstration outside the main entrance to the Royal Albert Hall and headed up a nine-piece band to provide some musical entertainment for the protesters.

It led to the highest-profile MOBO Awards on record, as the BBC radio network covered the story in its hourly bulletins throughout the day of the ceremony and BBC TV ran a piece during its main evening broadcasts.

This year’s September 19 ceremony will be its first at London’s O2 arena, having spent several years at the city’s Royal Albert Hall.