"Jazz North" is Born

The North has a single new jazz agency, with a working title of JAZZ NORTH, replacing Jazz Yorkshire, NWJazzworks and JazzAction, whose funding was withdrawn, it has been announced today. It’s one of those pieces of news about public spending which was embargoed until the local elections were out of the way.

Few other sectors in the arts get the stick to make them shape up –  or in this case actual  death sentences – quite like jazz, but the outcome here does  look like the right decision, and involves the right people. It also feels strategic, since these people are completely networked in the community, and will work to support the broader objectives of ALL those involved in jazz. The new organisation gets a £190,000 per annum grant, or £465,000 spread over two and a half years, starting this October.

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Here’s the full text of the Press Release A consortium with the working title ‘Jazz North’, led by jazz development agency Jazz Yorkshire, has been successful in their bid to set up a new North area jazz agency. Jazz North is a consortium of experienced delivery organisations and individuals which will build a new northern jazz delivery model, based on collective partnerships.

The new agency will support the existing jazz sector across the North and will lead the development of both artform and audiences across the three regions North West, Yorkshire and North East.This new North area model has been commissioned by Arts Council England via an open application process, and will be supported with strategic funding from October 2012 to March 2015. This will ensure that up to £475,000 is invested in jazz development across the North over the next 3 years.

The agency will replace Arts Council England’s previous support for the three northern jazz agencies – Jazz Yorkshire, NWJazzworks and JazzAction – whose funding will cease in September 2012.

The founder members of the consortium are Jazz Yorkshire – lead partner, along with representatives from Manchester Jazz Festival, Creative Arts Promotion (J-Night, Hull Jazz Festival, National Rural Touring Forum) and Live Music Now. The consortium will be working with the Arts Council over the next six months to agree a programme of activity which will start in October 2012.

Nigel Slee of Jazz Yorkshire says

“The consortium offers a new way of working collaboratively with organisations and individuals who share our vision to increase the profile of contemporary jazz artists in the North. Northern jazz musician’s and their creative practice will be at the heart of every project we undertake”.


Notes :
–  Jazz North is a consortium of experienced delivery organisations and individuals which will build a new northern jazz delivery model, based on collective partnerships:

– The initial consortium group is represented by:
Nigel Slee, Development Manager, Jazz Yorkshire (lead organisation)
Steve Mead, Artistic Director, Manchester Jazz Festival and Director, NWJazzworks
David Porter, Director of Creative Arts Promotion, housing offices of J-Night, Hull Jazz Festival and National Rural Touring Forum
Sarah Derbyshire MBE, Executive Director Live Music Now, Chair of North Yorkshire Youth Music Action Zone and Pied Piper Projects
Louise Gibbs, jazz artist, composer, educator

Jazz Yorkshire is the development agency for jazz in Yorkshire and the Humber, a non-profit distributing company limited by guarantee. Its mission to celebrate and develop jazz through a variety of arts development programmes. NWJazzworks is the agency for development of jazz activity in the NW. Currently an ACE RFO, it supports jazz musicians, venues/promoters and the jazz audience, primarily via targeted professional development projects and a comprehensive on-line resource.
Manchester Jazz Festival, founded in 1996, is an NPO, a charity and limited company. mjf champions and develops contemporary, new, original work of artists living and working in the NW, and has made substantial advances in audience development for the sector via free and outdoor events. Creative Arts Promotion, founded in 1992, works with local authorities and national organisations to develop arts programmes in Jazz Development and Rural Touring. CAP is the central office for National Rural Touring Forum, J-Night and Hull Jazz Festival, all NPOs.
Live Music Now (LMN) is a national music outreach and musicians’ development scheme, established by Yehudi Menuhin in 1977. It is inspired by the vision that by embracing the power of music to transform lives, musicians play a central part in a healthy society. LMN works with around 350 emerging professional musicians each year, supporting their professional development.
Louise Gibbs is a freelance musician, composer and educator.

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3 replies »

  1. This actually seems to be an increase in funding. Can hardly believe my eyes! Well done to those involved

    Funding for the organisations this replaces was:
    Jazz Action (£65,623 2011/12)
    Jazz Yorkshire (£54,766 2011/12)
    NW Jazzworks (£31,006 2011/12)

  2. What goes around comes around. The working title and the geographical area are pretty similar to JazzCentre North, a jazz development agency which operated reasonably successfully for several years in the 1980's. History doesn't repeat itself exactly; I'm sure Jazz North will have several differences in objectives and organisation from the old JazzCentre North, and I hope it doesn't suffer from the Arts Council infighting which hampered the earlier organisation and ultimately led to its demise.

    There are many good people involved in the northern jazz scene and I'm sure everyone wishes Jazz North every success.

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