NEWS: ‘Made in the UK 2018’ concert series now open for applications

Gwilym Simcock, one of the 2017 Made in the UK Artist, at the Montreal Festival
Photo Credit: Frederique Menard-Aubin / MIJF

Gail Tasker writes:

Applications for the 2018 ‘Made in the UK’ concert series at Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival are now being considered. The ‘Made in the UK’ initiative, which was started in 2008 by John Ellson and has been run since his untimely death by Sue Edwards, sponsors a British-themed showcase for American industry representatives and audiences, providing exposure for British jazz as well as covering accommodation and various expenses – full details below.

The XRIJF festival takes place in upstate New York from June 22-30, and is one of the biggest music festivals in the US, attracting up to 200,000 visitors. John Nugent, the festival’s artistic director and producer and a big fan of UK jazz, marks it as ‘among the most sponsored festivals in the US.’ Participants of the scheme are often also given opportunities in the Canadian jazz festival circuit, including the Montreal Jazz Festival and Toronto Jazz Festival.

Applications must be from established bands who are ready to break into international markets.

Past successful bands include Phronesis, Binker & Moses, Gwilym Simcock, and Laura Jurd’s Dinosaur.



Musicians/bands who would like to be considered for the 2018 ‘Made in the UK’ concert series at Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival should read the information below.


‘Made in the UK’ is an annual showcase of British jazz at Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival (XRIJF), which takes place in late June each year. The series was founded by John Ellson (ESIP) & John Nugent (XRIJF) in 2008.

The series aims to:

Present a varied nine-night programme representing the highest quality jazz (& related genres) from the UK to North American industry representatives and audiences, at one of the largest jazz festivals in the USA

Provide a high profile platform in North America for UK bands to be able to introduce themselves and further their careers in this challenging market. Bands chosen to perform at XRIJF will also all be proposed in November 2017 to the programmers of the Canadian Summer jazz festival circuit for possible inclusion in their 2018 programmes. Although there is no guarantee that groups will be offered dates in Canada, over the past 10 years many Made in the UK groups have succeeded in putting together North America tours around their XRIJF performances. In the 2017 series, six of the nine bands completed an additional 22 performance dates between them. ​


Groups must be export-ready to begin or further their career in North America.

If you do not already have a valid USA ‘P’ or ‘0’ category performance visa you will need to be able to provide the following (amongst other information) to XRIJF by November 2017 in order for the festival to apply for a visa on your behalf. ​

1. Proof of a sustained career: If you’re an ensemble, we need some DATED documentation that is more than 12 months old, that shows that the group (with exactly the same line-up) has existed for more than a year. This can be a CD release or press reviews (from established sources) naming all band members. ​

2. Press: Press from the UK and from abroad. We need to prove that you are an “international artist/group,” so we also need press that is not from your home country. It need not be in English, but if it is not, we may need you to secure official translations of some or all of your press. We need old and new press as we have to prove that you are an artist/group with sustained international success. To do this we need a mixture of press from throughout your career – ideally six good reviews, features, or interviews from the UK, and five pieces from other countries (ideally five different countries). ​

3. Awards and Prizes: Any documentation you can give us that shows that you have won significant awards or prizes. ​

Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond the completion of your proposed trip to the USA. If your passport expires sooner than that, you must renew your passport before XRIJF can apply for a visa on your behalf. ​ ​


Currently this project is not publicly funded, but groups who fulfil the PRS Foundation’s International Showcase Fund criteria will be able to apply for funding support: ​

“PRS Foundation’s International Showcase Fund offers vital support for music creators based in England and Scotland who have been invited to play an international showcasing festival or conference. If you are invited to play at the Made in the UK showcase in North America, the International Showcase Fund offers support of up to £5,000 as a contribution towards travel, accommodation, visa and per diem costs.” – DETAILS


​ XRIJF will provide accommodation in Rochester for up to two nights, ground transport, backline (subject to approval), catering on concert evenings & a contribution towards expenses (please note: XRIJF do NOT cover flight expenses).​

XRIJF will apply and pay for US work visas for the chosen bands (value $2,000 each) if required. These visas will generally be for one week’s duration. Please see visa information above to check that you are able to fulfil the visa petition criteria. ​


Groups must be prepared to fund their own flights, US visa embassy costs in the UK (approx. £130pp) and any additional expenses themselves, or by applying for funding from the PRSF or other sources. ​ ​​


Please ensure that you understand the visa and funding information outlined above and are available from 22-30 June 2018. Send an email to madeintheukjazz@gmail.com expressing your interest in being part of the 2018 series including a short statement as to why you would like to be considered for the series and how you would make the most of this opportunity. Please include links to website, biography & recent press, plus videos & streaming links of the exact project/line-up you are proposing by September 8th 2017. ​

The final Made in the UK 2018 programme will be chosen by the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival Artistic Director by early November 2017.

Press Release Ends

LINKS: The press release at the Made in UK website
The 2017 Made in UK cohort
Remembering John Ellson

Categories: miscellaneous

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