Jazz and the BBC meeting – a match report

Last night BBC Radio 3 Controller Roger Wright and Radio 2 Head of Programmes Lewis Carnie spoke at a Musictank meeting where a report from Jazz Services highly critical of the BBC’s jazz policy was presented.

Lewis Carnie – I had had a nudge and a wink that he would- was there with a couple of interesting new programme initiatives up his sleeve.

Roger Wright gave a commitment to help encourage better links between the jazz community and local radio, and also to look for ways to make “navigation” of the BBC’s often very dispersed jazz output easier.

If I was doing a match report I would say that I saw the ball getting hoofed right out of the stadium far too often; that I saw no red card offences (on that point Keith Harris was a good ref) ….

I’ll be writing more on this later. But for the time being, at the end of the day, jazz was the winner.

Categories: miscellaneous

10 replies »

  1. Looking forward to reading more of your thoughts later. A fascinating evening, though agree with your balls out of the stadium reference. A pity those attending didn't get a copy of the report to read in full in advance. Would have given them more ammo in the discussion from the floor, and kept them on track. There was a reference to the elephant in the room but I think I spotted one dinosaur: surely the “that's not jazz” argument should be declared extinct by now?

  2. Mm, looking forward to hearing more about this… good to hear that they're going to be broadcasting more jazz in some shape or form. Would be great if the Beeb coordinated their jazz output better – sometimes there's a great show on BBCFour that I miss because the trails aren't linked up… and I bet I'm not the only one!

  3. We need a champion within the bureaucracy for jazz on the Beeb, a consistent 'home' on the airwaves and an intelligent voice on the radio. Anyone want to join the “Seb Scotney is the new Humph” campaign?

  4. It seems to me that the best route forward is for the various “minority” musics to get together on this. I can assure you that the worlds of folk music, world music, blues and electronica all feel much the same as the jazz world.
    Between them the audience numbers are even more impressive, and the amount of funding still a drop in the ocean compared to Opera etc.
    I can assure you that I hear this same debate in these other forums.
    Maybe its time that companies like Proper and Serious that straddle these artforms got involved, and I have thought for a while that Jazz services needs to get together with the EFDSS and Womad and others. And maybe we need a “Campaign for Real Music” that covers all these forms!

  5. I like Peter's philosophy and suggestion.A number of us, ranging across styles, ran the event ultimately called Modal at the end of the 90s to do exactly as you suggest. Unfortunately, as so many of the people involved in these sectors are just small operations, it was difficult to get the time (and money) to get the event to happen. I am sure that it is no easier today. I also worry about the sneering that sometimes takes place across music forms – folk complaining about money to jazz, or electronica etc.
    And the place that might offer the resources is probably the Arts Council. Which makes it all a bit self-defeating.
    Unless we could find a hedge fund sugar daddy like the guy now supporting the drugs advisory panel?
    Any offers?

  6. John Fordham, who wrote the forward to the Jazz Services report, has done a write-up of Tuesday's meeting for the Guardian



    When Radio 3 claims it's doing the best it can, this has to be considered in the context of a playing field that is skewed from the start. The same applies to the reporting of jazz in the mainstream media. Where the most routine performances by an orchestra, or the most mundane gigs by fading pop stars will usually grab the space from innovative jazz artists who may well be shaping the future of music, there's a very long way to go.

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