A CLACKS jazz pianist who developed a passion for music as he grew up in Dollar has won a coveted national award.

Fergus McCreadie and his trio scooped the prestigious Scottish Album of the Year (SAY) Award with his third release Forest Floor.

Not only that, the musician also won the Instrumentalist of the Year category at the 2022 JazzFM Awards, held on the very same night.

Scottish folk influences are central to the 25-year-old's unique jazz sound, inspired by the landscape and reflecting on the changing seasons.

Indeed, the album opens with the piece Law Hill, named after the landmark in the Ochils, reflecting on how hill walking has become the pianist and composer's release during the lockdown months.

Fergus, who went on to hone his skills at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow and has been shortlisted for a SAY award for the third time, was "honoured and thrilled" after receiving the accolade.

He said: "I'm really proud of how the trio comes across on the record and it's such a privilege for us to have that recognised by the SAY Award panel.

"I'm also so excited by what this can do for Scottish Jazz – we're the first jazz act to win the prize and I really hope we won't be the last.

"Scottish jazz is full of incredible musicians and bands that I respect so much, and I really hope this will be only one step of an incredible journey for a scene which truly punches above its weight."

Part of a trio, Fergus has been playing with David Bowden on double bass and Stephen Henderson behind the drums.

Fergus added: "All that to say, thanks so much to the SAY Award and the panel, to David and Stephen for their incredible musicianship and friendship, to all my fellow musicians in Glasgow for their support and to you, the audience, who make it happen for us.

"I will always be grateful to make and play music."

At the awards ceremony, held for the first time in Stirling at the Albert Halls on October 20, Forest Floor beat off stiff competition from the likes of Constant Follower and their album Neither Is, Nor Ever Was, Hamish Hawk's Heavy Elevator and more.

Robert Kilpatrick, creative director of the Scottish Music Industry Association (SMIA) and The SAY Award, said: "Fergus McCreadie is not only at the forefront of Scotland's jazz scene, but he's a shining example of someone who's making some of the most exciting and innovative jazz music worldwide.

"With a Mercury Prize nomination and a SAY Award win now under his belt, 2022's been a phenomenal year for one of Scotland's most exciting talents, and firmly places Forest Floor as one of the defining records of this year.

"A huge congratulations also to Berta Kennedy on winning this year's Sound of Young Scotland Award, and to Heaven or Las Vegas by Cocteau Twins for winning the Modern Scottish Classic Award for one of the most magical Scottish records of all time.

"On behalf of the SMIA, I'd like to thank all involved who make The SAY Award happen.

"As our industry continues to navigate challenging times, prizes like SAY and the financial and promotional support they offer are more vital than ever."