Let’s get more British bands to Jazz Ahead!

jazz ahead 2016On BBC Radio 3’s Jazz On 3 programme of some highlights from this year’s trade fair and festival Jazz Ahead!, held as always in Bremen, Germany, host Jez Nelson observed that British jazz was under-represented.

And it’s true. I know there are loads of reasons for this, not least the inferior jazz infrastructure and lack of establishment support for the music in this country, but nevertheless British jazz needs to be a little less insular because, ironically, it just might be that by acquiring more stature and recognition abroad, it might acquire the same things back at home.

So with that in mind, let me alert you to the fact that applications are now open for Jazz Ahead! 2016. It’s not quite as simple as just applying – it needs the band/musician to be registered as an exhibitor or proposed by an exhibitor or, new for this year, by a professional participant at Jazz Ahead!.

I’m not sure if Jazz Services and/or the Jazz Promotion Network have plans in this regard. Or maybe one of the jazz educational institutions in this country would like to get involved? Time for talking to one another and getting organised, instead of the usual bemoaning our sorry lot, I reckon.

  • The application deadline is 10 November and the details are here.


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4 replies

  1. Various interested parties have met twice to formulate a plan for Jazzahead 2016 and 2017. Jazz Services is coordinating this, and JPN, the Musicians Unions, PRSF, Serious and other promoting organisations are part of this.

  2. Jazzahead also select a partner country each year for a showcase evening. Has this ever been the UK?

  3. No, the UK has never been a featured country. It takes major investment to be a partner country. For example: The French were featured country at Jazzahead! in 2015 and they invested around £140K (which unusually included paying their musicians a fee to showcase) to be featured in the weeks prior to the trade fair as well as during the showcase event itself.

  4. As Tony has mentioned, Jazz Services (JazzUK) is leading a consortium with JPN, MU, PRSF, Serious and many others to put together a pan British Isles jazz stand for 2016. Upon launching the new JazzUK website this Friday 25th September, we shall be linking details of next year’s event, and how to apply for showcases. This will be promoted through all our partners’ websites. We have already booked a stand, and so the platform will be available for bands to apply, as, as Peter correctly points out, they have to be associated with a stand.

    We are working on a 2/3 year plan, with a core aim of being able to present a British Isles showcase ‘venue’, and indeed, being a partner would also be a goal. To date, we have not been a partner country.

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