17 April 2021
Britpop star LIAM GALLAGHER (sic) will be among the performers at a jazz festival in Stuttgart, 10-19 September. Other artists lined up are Imelda May, Ben Howard and “electro swing world star” Parov Stelar.
The jazzopen 2021 festival, describing itself as a “progressive mix of global headline power and fine, zeitgeisty curation”, was founded in 1994 and boasts “a strong focus on cultural diversity by means of bold booking statements.”
Previous bookings at the jazz festival have included Bob Dylan, James Brown, Joss Stone and Kraftwerk as well as some performers associated with jazz, including Herbie Hancock and Quincy Jones.
The event takes inspiration from the sentiments of the song Life’s What You Make It by 80s pop-rock band Talk Talk and sports the slogan “Be Jazz, be Open!”
15 April 2021
An event to mark the 10th annual International Jazz Day, 30 April, is to take place in the UK. The World Heart Beat Music Academy, in partnership with the Julian Joseph Jazz Academy, is to present a concert titled TOGETHER WE GO FORWARD, featuring young jazz musicians from London. The concert will be live streamed on the big day from 7pm.
The organisers promise “wonderful jazz music of the late American composer Chick Corea, American jazz saxophonist and composer Charlie Parker and much more!”
Among those involved in delivering World Heart Beat’s educational programme are pianist Trevor Watkis, saxophonist Tony Kofi and trumpeter Byron Wallen. Julian Joseph’s academy offers players 9-24 the opportunity to develop their skills though “exploring the American roots of jazz”.
International Jazz Day, co-chaired by Herbie Hancock, was declared by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization in 2011 “to highlight jazz and its diplomatic role of uniting people in all corners of the globe.” It comes at the end of Jazz Appreciation Month, introduced by the National Museum of American History in 2001 and in 2021 focusing on “Women’s Impact and Contributions in Jazz”.
Under the title “The future of the London scene” the Jazz Café offers various live events from late May, including the rather impressive, multi-skilled Rosie Frater-Taylor (24th). They say: “With a clear sense of purpose, Rosie blurs the lines between jazz, folk, pop & soul. Think Joni Mitchell meets Pat Metheny, Lewis Taylor teams up with Emily King or a female version of John Mayer.” Her March lockdown session from Ronnie Scott’s suggests at the least a fine update on George Benson’s guitar and scat unisons. Full story on Rosie Frater-Taylor
13 April 2021
Among the the jazz warriors hoping the reopening of British society holds and brave enough to schedule live gigs are JazzLeeds and Ipswich Jazz Festival.
Under the banner JAZZRESET21, JazzLeeds offers a three-month series 20 May to 22 July at Seven Arts, 31 Harrogate Road, Leeds LS73PD. Bookings include Malcolm Strachan, Ian Shaw, Liam Noble, Satori, Byron Wallen, Andrew McCormack, and Sound of 59. JazzLeeds boss Steve Crocker said “We were the only jazz club presenting live music in the UK last summer and have the opportunity to present an even more ambitious programme this year.”
The fifth IPSWICH JAZZ FESTIVAL is set to run 26-27 June 2021 at St Peter’s by the Waterfront Arts Centre, Ipswich and feature nine bands including Tina May, Enrico Tomasso, Chris Ingham, Kansas Smitty’s, Byron Wallen, Derek Nash’s Picante, Alina Bzhezhinska and Xhosa Cole.
In both cases concerts will take place in accordance with pertaining health and safety advice.
SWANAGE JAZZ FESTIVAL, on the other hand, is regretfully postponing until 8 -10 July 2022, citing the need for full houses to maintain viability and the proximity to the festival’s usual July slot of the projected removal of social distancing (21 June). A plan to move to September was shelved because simultaneous Swanage events meant accommodation would be limited and any Swanage jazz gathering would clash with Scarborough jazz festival.
Chair Paul Kelly said “We’re really sorry to have to postpone for another year. But better to do that and last another 10 or more years than to crash and burn in September and be gone for good.”
11 April 2021
Record producer BOB PORTER died 10 April, at home in Northvale, N.J., aged 80. He was especially associated from 1968 with new recording for the Prestige label and later oversaw reissues on Atlantic and Savoy. At Prestige he was known for his affiliation with so-called “soul jazz”, producing albums featuring Gene Ammons, Hank Crawford, Sonny Stitt, Pat Martino, Jimmy McGriff, Don Patterson, Charles Earland and more, including such as Don Patterson & Sonny Stitt, Brothers-4, exampled here.
The Discogs website shows Porter involved in the production of 518 albums, many cut at the renowned Van Gelder studios in New Jersey.
In 2016 Porter published his book Soul Jazz: Jazz In The Black Community, 1945-1975, which he said was an attempt to redress the neglect of what he saw as an essentially black American music, played predominantly by and for black audiences. As well as being a history of soul jazz, the book had chapters devoted to Illinois Jacquet, Ammons, Crawford, Grant Green and Grover Washington Jr.
In his preface Porter described soul jazz as “the music of the organ groups, funky piano trios, and tenor sax men of the fifties, sixties, and early 1970s.” Saxophonist Houston Person, whom he recorded, noted that Porter was devoted to keeping alive the R&B element of jazz.
From its foundation in 1979, Porter also presented shows on the New Jersey jazz station WBGO/Newark Public Radio, which – quite reasonably, many will say – declares that it broadcasts from “the jazz capital of the world.”
Linda Porter said her husband died from complications due to esophageal cancer.
9 April 2021
A new book sets out to shed light on the “artists who have engineered the cultural transformation of British jazz over the past four decades.” Among those it posits in this respect are Gail Thompson, Cleveland Watkiss, Claude Deppa, Arun Ghosh, Mark Kavuma and KT Reeder.
The book, by Irish writer David Burke, is titled GIANT STEPS: DIVERSE JOURNEYS IN BRITISH JAZZ and consists of 25 interviews with British jazz musicians, some of whom appeared in the 1980s, others more recently. Burke says “many of those figures who evolved the genre in the 1980s haven’t been accorded due recognition for their pioneering work.”
Burke, who says “the historical narrative around British jazz has tended to be predominantly mono-cultural,” has previously written on rockers Bruce Springsteen and Van Morrison and folk singer Maddy Prior.
The full list of interviewees is: Courtney Pine, Gary Crosby, Gail Thompson, Julian Joseph, Orphy Robinson, Cleveland Watkiss, Dennis Rollins, Claude Deppa, Denys Baptiste, Mark Mondesir, Tony Kofi, Soweto Kinch, Arun Ghosh, Rod Youngs, Zoe Rahman, Peter Edwards, Zara McFarlane, Camilla George, Mark Kavuma, Theon Cross, Shabaka Hutchings, Ashley Henry, Shirley Tetteh, Yazz Ahmed and KT Reeder.
7 April 2021
QUINCY JONES made his name in jazz as trumpeter, arranger and leader and few would say he doesn’t come out of jazz, those credentials even evinced in the ingenious, sophisticated arrangements for his mega-hit as producer, Michael Jackson’s Thriller. He even cites jazz giant Duke Ellington’s famous bromide “good music is good music” in explaining that Qwest TV, the channel he launched in 2017 under the banner “Jazz and Beyond”, is expanding the “beyond” bit of its catalogue.
It’s still categorised (as “beyond” something) and the genres still named, despite Q’s vision of the future of music as “a multicultural melting pot, where categories needn’t exist at all”. The extended categories include hip-hop, electronic, pop, folk, rock, indie, classical and dance. There’s still an enormous focus on the channel on what we might call “jazz”, as detailed here.
Qwest TV is a Subscription Video on Demand (SVOD) service, but available for free on Samsung TV Plus in France, Germany, UK, Italy, Austria, Spain, Switzerland, Brazil, Mexico and Australia.
Two leading players, CHUCHO VALDES and BILLY COBHAM, are offering online tuition. The Chucho Valdés Academy opened 15 March, offering piano and improvisation courses as well as lectures on Cuban music and Afro-Cuban jazz. Billy Cobham’s Guide to Stress-Free Drumming is a series of nine three-hour monthly workshops starting 11 April via Zoom in which Cobham and a group of hand-picked guests – Dennis Chambers, Gary Husband, Will Calhoun and Dom Famularo – undertake to teach the art of playing “simply but effectively.”
BERTRAND TAVERNIER, director of the 1986 jazz fiction Round Midnight (surely ripe for a BBC Four showing), died 25 March in Sainte-Maxime, France. Round Midnight, portraying the Paris jazz world of the 1950s, had a score by Herbie Hancock, Dexter Gordon in the lead role, and appearances by Wayne Shorter, Bobby Hutcherson, Billy Higgins, John McLaughlin, Pierre Michelot, Ron Carter, Palle Mikkelborg, Mads Vinding, Tony Williams, Freddie Hubbard and Cedar Walton.
6 April 2021
RONNIE SCOTT’S JAZZ CLUB has announced a new tranche of livestreams through to mid-May, all available free on YouTube and Facebook, every Monday, Thursday and Sunday at 8pm.
Following the principle that the sessions must be free for as long as possible, the club is funding the #lockdownsessions entirely through donation. The club asks audiences to make a donation via ko-fi.com by “buying a Ronnie’s Scotch” for the musicians and thus help sustain the future of live music.
Ronnie’s live sessions
Thursday 8th April – W3 Funk Sessions
Sunday 11th April – NYJO Presents… Roella Oloro
Monday 12th April – The Scientists
Thursday 15th April – Doug Sides and Daniel Cano – music and interview pre-record
Saturday 17th April – Matt Ford sings ‘Intimate Sinatra’
Sunday 18th April – NYJO Presents… Karen Shiraishi
Monday 19th April – Rachael Cohen presents Dynamic Duo: the musical partnership of Lee Morgan and Jackie McLean
Thursday 22nd April – Ife Ogunjobi
Sunday 25th April – Anthony Kerr The Art of The Vibes – 20th Century Jazz from the Vibraphone Viewpoint
Monday 26th April – Dominic Canning presents Doom Cannon (TBC)
Thursday 29th April – Julian Siegel’s The Partisans
Sunday 2nd May – Empirical
Monday 3rd May – Jas Kayser
Thursday 6th May – Luke Smith
Sunday 9th May – Bukky Leo and Black Egypt
Monday 10th May – Sam Leak
Thursday 13th May – Nishla Smith
Sunday 16th May – NYJO Presents… Asha Parkinson
Monday 17th May – Dinosaur
Visit https://www.ronniescotts.co.uk to find out more about the #lockdownsessions and get updates on the programme as further acts are announced.
Donation link: https://ko-fi.com/ronniescotts
LIVE MUSIC NOW, a charity that “uses the power of live music to improve the health and wellbeing of vulnerable and disadvantaged groups”, has received a grant of £168,653 from the government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund. The organisation says it reaches over 85,000 people annually. Its CEO Janet Fischer said “As one of the UK’s largest employers of freelance musicians, we are delighted to be returning to live performance with our musicians who have had an exceedingly difficult year.”
2 April 2021
The latest arts hardship grants are in, and one of the first beneficiaries to announce their good fortune is the BIRMINGHAM, SANDWELL & WESTSIDE JAZZ FESTIVAL, which has received £25,033 as part of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund.
Culture secretary Oliver Dowden, whose fervour for national unity was underlined by the launch last week of the government’s flag-flying initiative, said the fund was assisting organisations “across the country” and helping “our cultural gems” reopen and thrive.
Since it began in 1985, the festival has welcomed such luminaries as Miles Davis and the Count Basie Orchestra. Last year there was only a summer virtual event and a scaled-down live festival in October. Now the event will be able to get on with organising its 37th edition for 16-25 July 2021.
The Birmingham funding is from a £400 million pot awarded by Arts Council England, as well as Historic England, the National Lottery Heritage Fund and the British Film Institute. Art Council England chair Sir Nicholas Serota thanked the government for “recognising the paramount importance of culture to our sense of belonging and identity as individuals and as a society.”
30 March 2021
Trinity Laban Conservatoire in London has instituted a new award, the FELA ANIKULAPO-KUTI SCHOLARSHIP, to be given to a talented musician from African or of African heritage. It honours the late Afrobeat musician and political activist Fela Kuti, who studied composition and trumpet performance at Trinity from 1958.
The first awardee is Alex Polack from Birmingham, a first-year trumpet student on Trinity’s BMus Jazz degree. The award is funded by Partisan Records, who control Fela Kuti’s catalogue, and supported by his estate.
The scholarship announcement comes after a commemorative plaque was installed at the conservatoire’s Faculty of Music in Greenwich in November 2020 as part of the Black Plaque Project, which aims to get more black people on to blue plaques in London.
Trinity has also embraced Black Lives in Music, a campaign aiming to combat what it sees as systemic racism within the music industry.
29 March 2021
After 33⅓ years SLAM Productions is to release its last CD in May this year. The catalogue has included many recordings which otherwise would probably never have been made available – recordings by little-known musicians alongside those of established artists and including some of the biggest names – Max Roach, Mal Waldron and Steve Lacy, among others.
Having released over 250 CDs since it was founded by George Haslam in 1989, SLAM has been essentially a musicians’ label where the artists have had full control over the production.
SLAM’s motto has always been “freedom of music”. It has released mainstream, modern, Latin, big band and swing jazz but is mostly known for the improvised and free-jazz section of its catalogue. In deciding whether a recording should be released on SLAM there has never been any attempt to judge the “quality” of the music; where music has been declined it has been because SLAM was not felt to be the most suitable place and the recording would benefit more on a different label.
A number of factors have contributed to the decision to wrap up the label, including the reduced demand for CDs, more opportunities for self-release and the frustration of dealing with EU countries following Brexit. In addition George, now in his 80s, feels it’s time to pursue ventures new – in addition to his continued work on baritone sax and tarogato.
The catalogue of SLAM CDs will remain available through the usual outlets including the SLAM website, slamproductions.net. The label goes out on a strong note with that final release, Coxhill 85, a live solo concert by Lol Coxhill recorded in 1985. George says “It’s a very special recording and a fitting end to the SLAM story.”
26 March 2021
The ABERDEEN JAZZ FESTIVAL 2021, this year online, began last night and runs to 28 March. Tonight at 7.30pm it offers a concert by the Mike Stern Band with Leni Stern, recorded live in New York for the festival. Then it presents three concerts from the city’s Blue Lamp club: Tommy Smith & Pete Johnstone playing Chick Corea (27), Ali Affleck, Brian Kellock and Enrico Tommaso (28) and Aku! (28). Tickets are £10 per concert, but a full festival pass is only £20.
Twenty-fourth March Boris Johnson told a committee of MPs he was working “flat out” to remove the barriers to European touring introduced by BREXIT. Johnson said that challenges to touring and cultural exports “must get ironed out” as part of “a two-way street” with the EU. The Musicians’ Union says 2% of musicians think Brexit will have a positive effect on their work. Deborah Annett, chief executive of The Incorporated Society of Musicians, said “We urgently need the Prime Minister to deliver on these commitments and sort this mess out.” Horace Trubridge, MU general secretary, said “Now that the PM has spoken, we will be looking to hold the Government to deliver on his promise.”
The CHELTENHAM JAZZ FESTIVAL returns this year with a free-to-view, two-day digital event drawing on “talent from across the jazz, pop and soul spectrum” over the May Bank Holiday weekend, 1-2 May. Among the attractions are Gregory Porter, Stevie Winwood, Soweto Kinch, Cleveland Watkiss, Zoe & Idris Rahman and Chris Montague. A physical follow-up programme is planned for July, its lineup to be announced in May. The festival is also working at giving “equity” to female jazz musicians.
The MARSDEN JAZZ FESTIVAL has declared in favour of the Black Lives in Music campaign. It plans to work with BLiM to improve opportunity for black musicians and “celebrate the history and achievements of black jazz musicians throughout the UK.” As well as presenting jazz since 1992, the festival says it has “brought a black art form to the heart of a predominantly white, rural community in West Yorkshire.” It expressed the view that “systematic black underrepresentation in the UK jazz sector can no longer be ignored.” The festival has also pledged to achieve a 50/50 gender balance in its programme.
22 March 2021
We might think that in jazz we have had an evolving, living music, passed from player to player and transmuted as it goes, noted for its individual variation and its location in a community where feedback among players and audience is the norm. But according to musicologist Michael Spitzer we could be honking up the wrong tree.
Speaking on BBC Radio Four’s Today programme (08:39, 22 March 2021) about his new book THE MUSICAL HUMAN, Spitzer said that in the West we are passive consumers of a fixed, unchanging music. For him “the West went wrong about a thousand years ago” with the arrival of the dots. Before that, everyone played or sang, but when notation arrived and music was no longer passed on orally performers became specialists, the music became static and the audience became a detached, passive entity.
He told Mishal Husain, who in typical mainstream BBC style when it comes to music offered no resistance: “We treat music as an object, not as an activity. And if you look at other parts of the world, like India and the great traditions of Hindustani music in the north or Karnatic music in the south, it’s much more improvisatory and active. It’s more natural to have what’s called an oral tradition where you hand music down across generations and that gives you a tremendous freedom in how to interpret it. In contrast to that, the West freezes music on paper in music notation or objects such as recordings or indeed streamed tracks.”
Aside from thus casting the massive creative advances in composed and arranged music of the late 19th and 20th centuries as mistakes, Spitzer, a professor at the University of Liverpool, made no mention of jazz – still, when I last looked, going on today. Nor was there any recognition for rock, blues, folk or any other music that is improvisatory, active and transmitted aurally (or orally). According to Spitzer’s logic the oral transmission of folk music ceased in the British Isles with the advent of notation around 1021. Yet awkwardly, the Copper Family of East Sussex were still doing it in the late 20th century. How many generations of jazz and rock players have learned and continue to learn through jamming, personal exchange and the lifting and dropping of needles on vinyl or its contemporary equivalents to get that last drop of inflection from a favourite player? The approach doesn’t differ except in medium from the Indian method.
Spitzer leads at Liverpool on classical music and is said to be an authority on Beethoven. Although it’s hard to imagine at this date and given modern communications, he may, given his immersion in 19th century classical, be oblivious to popular musical practice – in the West – of the 20th century and beyond. He might understandably be keen to escape the dry confines of the 200-year-old notated music that perhaps fills his day. But his escape seems to be into the Eden of the past and non-Western folk music, as if jazz and the rest never happened.
He also thinks “Covid has reminded us how much we miss music and we’ve tried to fill this music-shaped hole by using the internet to share music on TikTok or YouTube. What’s happened now is a restoration of this participatory democratic ethos.” YouTube was actually famous as a platform for grass-roots music-making, sharing and development long before the pandemic.
If the curious naivety of the discourse needs any more confirmation, Spitzer’s closing remark will do: “You don’t need to read music to get a technique in playing an instrument.” Indeed. Erroll, Django and Wes (and possibly Chet) showed most of us that over half a century ago.
The Musical Human by Michael Spitzer is published by Bloomsbury, 13 April 2021 and is BBC Radio Four book of the week beginning 5 April.
21 March 2021
The high incidence of black Americans in jazz, the relative rarity of white performers in R&B, soul and hip-hop and the low numbers of black, Asian and minority ethnic performers in British classical orchestras are a few examples of how musical activity has tended to divide along social, racial and geographical lines.
A new organisation based in London, BLACK LIVES IN MUSIC (BLiM), has been formed to address one aspect of this diversified picture, namely black under-representation in the British music industry. Its Black Lives in Music survey (which it urges all black British people working in music to fill) will gather data on problems faced by black musicians in the UK in areas including “racial discrimination, mental health, well-being and economic disparity”.
BLiM will use the data to argue for more black involvement in the making and management of music. CEO Charisse Beaumont said her organisation was excited to be driving “positive and lasting change”.
One early adopter of BLiM’s mission is Trinity Laban Conservatoire in Greenwich, London, which has undertaken to diversify and “decolonise” its curriculum and increase the visibility of black students and personnel.
The bassist Chi-chi Nwanoku, speaking in support of BLiM, pointed to music’s universal appeal. Calling for the dissolution of racial barriers that impede access to music, she said “Music takes on many forms from jazz to classical and speaks to us all no matter who you are or where you come from.”
However, the influence of cultural conditioning on musical preference together with the famous factional rivalries in jazz suggest that musical identity is complex and individualism of taste and style not easily subsumed into a homogenous unity.
18 March 2021
SPOTIFY, one of the music streaming services recently accused of not distributing revenue fairly to musicians, has launched a new site, Loud & Clear, which sets out to show how it disposes of income from streaming. It includes resources that allow players to see how its royalty system works.
The Musicians’ Union and the Ivors Academy are among British bodies that have campaigned for greater transparency and both today welcomed the initiative from Spotify, with qualifications. Horace Trubridge of the MU noted that while streaming is generating huge dividends most of the benefit goes to rights owners and not to the artists and performers on whom the service relies. He says they remain “at best the poor relations”.
17 March 2021
Singular, possibly paradigm-shifting guitar stylist WAYNE KRANTZ releases a previously unissued, recently rediscovered recording, Music Room 1985, on Abstract Logix, 19 March. The high-quality recording, on which he plays all instruments, predates his seminal Long To Be Loose of 1993 by eight years. A preview of the opening track, Cowboy, is on YouTube.
The recording was done in a garage studio in 1985 before Krantz had any label contract and he retained no copy of it. Last year he was reminded of the six-track session and managed to track down a copy in an “obsolete media format” from which a clean, high-resolution version has been extracted.
The signature Krantz harmonic approach, tone and technique are in evidence even if several structures bear more relation to mid-80s pop than the more individual style he developed by the early 90s. The primary sound – what appears to be the crisp quack of a Stratocaster in the in-between pickup notch – arguably had recent antecedents indeed in pop, such as the playing of Mark Knopfler. But in any event the mature Krantz style, suggested here, proved a new jazz-guitar style and new offshoot of so-called jazz fusion was still possible even as Western culture began the fall into the retrospection that has since held sway.
Krantz, perhaps speaking in a jazz context, said “It wasn’t based on anything happening at the time. I was already on a contrary path and Music Room 1985 was my version of ‘alternative’: jazz/instrumental music that worked more like pop, melody-centric with verses, bridges, hooks and few solos.” A later manifestation of the style in development is on YouTube, with the Leni Stern group in 1990.
The Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz and jazzahead!, the German jazz-trade fair, are to cooperate on UNESCO INTERNATIONAL JAZZ DAY 2021. jazzahead! this year takes place under the banner “Close Together From Afar” and runs Thursday 29 April to Sunday 2 May 2021. The two organisations plan to mark International Jazz Day together on Friday 30 April.
International Jazz Day, run by the Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz, was launched in 2012, say jazzahead!, “with the aim of raising awareness in the international community of the virtues of jazz as a force for peace, unity, dialogue and enhanced cooperation among people, as well as an educational tool”. Year by year small events have occurred in various countries to mark the day.
15 March 2021
The BBC reports the 2021 GRAMMYS made history – but it wasn’t for voting a jazz record album of the year. Nor, indeed, does any jazz nomination feature in the BBC’s winners and nominees roundup, which doesn’t consider jazz a “key category”. Among genres recognised as key are rap and country. Seems not much has changed in the mainstream – or musical appreciation – since Buddy Rich took the latter genre to task.
The jazz winners in the 63rd edition of the US awards, held Los Angeles, 14 March, were:
31. Best Improvised Jazz Solo: Chick Corea, All Blues, from Trilogy 2
32. Best Jazz Vocal Album: Kurt Elling Featuring Danilo Pérez: Secrets Are The Best Stories
33. Best Jazz Instrumental Album: Chick Corea, Christian McBride & Brian Blade: Trilogy 2
34. Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album: Maria Schneider Orchestra: Data Lords
35. Best Latin Jazz Album: Arturo O’Farrill & The Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra: Four Questions
Jazz was accidentally recognised elsewhere, though. Three artists at least nominally related to jazz were among contenders for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album: Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah (Axiom), Grégoire Maret, Romain Collin & Bill Frisell (Americana) and Snarky Puppy, whose Live At The Royal Albert Hall won the category.
Maria Schneider, Arturo Farill and Christian Sands were nominated in Composing/Arranging and John Beasley in Best Arrangement, Instrumental or A Cappella. Alan Broadbent & Pat Metheny and Jacob Collier appeared in Best Arrangement, Instruments and Vocals, Collier winning the category. It’s usually when musical craft is required that jazz players make other categories.
Jazz did not appear in the Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance, despite frequent critical comparisons between that classical format and jazz small groups styled after Bill Evans. Linda Ronstadt, who appeared on the cover of jazz magazine Downbeat in July 1985, won Best Music Film.
JAZZ NORTH says it’s delighted to announce the awardees of its open bursary, described as “a recent one-off initiative to respond to the ongoing challenging situation for the jazz industry in the north”. There were 81 applications, and 14 bursaries totalling £6381 were awarded to artists, promoters and educators. Details of how the money was allocated and what for are at Jazz North.
14 March 2021
The 18th SCARBOROUGH JAZZ FESTIVAL, originally rearranged to take place in February 2021, will now take place over its usual weekend of 24-26 September 2021 at Scarborough Spa. It will include pianist Fergus McCreadie, violinist John Pearce (with Dave Newton), vibist Johnny Mansfield’s 11-piece Elftet, gypsy jazz from Djanco, Nikki Iles’ 19-piece orchestra, Hans Koller and Julian Joseph.
John Billet is putting on a summer season at THE CRAZY COQS, Brasserie Zedel, 20 Sherwood Street, London W1F 7ED, 24 June – 7 July, featuring Clare Teal & Jason Rebello, Lizzie Ball, Trudy Kerr and Ruby Gascoyne doing Judy Garland and Liza Minnelli, Chris Ingham doing Rodgers and Hart, Noel McCalla & The Derek Nash Band doing Stevie Wonder, and Elaine Delmar singing The Great American Songbook.
13 March 2021
The Musicians’ Union is keeping up pressure on government to save touring in Europe by tackling the bureaucratic obstacles created by BREXIT. General Secretary Horace Trubridge said: “We are now close to three months since the UK left the EU with no agreement to ensure the frictionless mobility of musicians as was repeatedly promised by this government.” The MU is urging negotiation of a bespoke visa-waiver agreement with the EU for the creative sector and bilateral discussions with key member states to sort out work permit rules.
Professor Eugene Marlow is editing a feature-length documentary about the hundred-year history of JAZZ IN CHINA based on his 2018 book Jazz In China, which tells the 100-year story of how jazz, for some symbolising freedom, has thrived in the centralised, authoritarian state. Marlow is looking for funding to get the work finished in time for International Jazz Day, 30 April 2021.
TUBBY HAYES – THE LIFE BEHIND THE TENOR comes out in paperback from Tangerine Press on 12 March 2021. Like the hardback reviewed in September it will be a limited edition of 100 copies, each numbered and signed by Mark Baxter, who compiled the book. The price is £39.95 which includes signed for delivery to the UK. To order, write Mono Media.
The JAZZ CAFÉ, London says it will be open, for now only as a fully seated venue, from 17 May. Its last live show was in autumn 2020. Not many jazz shows so far (a lot of soul, folk, gospel, pop, songwriters etc) but there’s Camilla George (2 June) and Zara McFarlane (5) and 12 September a tribute from Vince Vella All Stars and Rene Alvarez Portuondo to NY salsa legend Héctor Lavoe.