Vocalist Monica Akihary winner Boy Edgar Prize 2023

23 June 2023

The jury of the Boy Edgar Prize 2023 has unanimously declared Monica Akihary the winner of the most important prize in Dutch jazz and improvised music. The Performing Arts Fund NL announced this news on 23 June during the closing part of the inJazz conference in Rotterdam.

The jury on Monica Akihary

“Monica Akihary is a musician who has been steadily building an exciting oeuvre for years and works with many musical partners. She actively seeks adventure in these – often daring – collaborations and does not stop there where it chafes. With her own course that she keeps changing, she surprises musicians and audiences. She can not only be seen on the most important Dutch jazz venues and festivals, but she also knows how to profile herself internationally. During live performances she makes a deep impression as an improviser and storyteller.”

About the winner

Monica Akihary is a vocalist and lyricist who is at home in musical traditions from all over the world. In her work she actively seeks collaborations with diverse (young) musicians and poets, sometimes singing in English, sometimes in Haruku, the language of the Moluccan island where her father was born. Monica Akihary has been forming a duo under the name Boi Akih with guitarist-composer Niels Brouwer for more than twenty-five years and has performed worldwide. This year, Monica Akihary has been invited by the NN North Sea Jazz festival as curator and recently released the tenth studio album ‘From and to Infinity’.

Award ceremony

The award will be presented in a festive manner on 6 December in the BIMHUIS in Amsterdam. Akihary will be rewarded with prize money of € 25,000 and the bronze interchangeable sculpture ‘John Coltrane’ by Jan Wolkers.