Meskerem Mees wins the Montreux Jazz Talent Award 2021


Beautifully composed tunes, a magnetic presence and a distinct velvet voice: Meskereem Mees was a true revelation, impressing all three juries. The 21-year-old Flemish musician says she is inspired by artists such as Joni Mitchell, Nina Simone and Courtney Barnett. After releasing a handful of singles including the stunning “Joe”, Meskerem Mees is set to release her highly anticipated debut album, Julius, on November 12, 2021.

The Montreux Jazz Talent Award 2021 has been awarded to the Belgian singer
and composer Meskerem Mees. The 21-year-old artist performed at the Montreux
Jazz Festival alongside eight other emerging talents selected by the Montreux
Jazz Artists Foundation. Meskerem Mees was elected unanimously by a jury that
comprised both professional judges and members of the public, as well as an Artists Committee, including Yaron Herman, Anne Paceo, Shabaka Hutchings and
Michael League.

Meskerem sets off on a nice string of summer gigs, and showcases her touch of genius  playing brilliant and often unrecognizable cover versions of famous songs in Studio Brussel’s morning show.

“I feel very honored to be the winner of a talent award competition hosted by a festival as renowned as
the Montreux Jazz Festival. I’m looking forward to learn from some of the world’s best musicians at the
Montreux Jazz Academy. Thank you all, once again, for this amazing opportunity.”
– Meskerem Mees

The Montreux Jazz Artists Foundation (MJAF) invited eight artists to perform at the Montreux Jazz Talent Awards, between the 2nd and 17th of July 2021. Each candidate was carefully selected by the booking team for their diverse interpretations of jazz and soul-inspired music.
The eight artists performed during the 55th edition of the Montreux Jazz Festival in front of a jury of professional judges and members of the public. Four musicians, who work closely with the MJAF, also participated in the vote: Yaron Herman, Anne Paceo, Shabaka Hutchings (Sons of Kemet) and Michael League (Snarky Puppy).