The North of England, that is. The Northern Jazz Promoters Network (Norvol Jazz) in partnership with Apollo Jazz Network has been awarded over £32,000 by Arts Council England to establish a touring network for live jazz.
Three tours featuring international musicians are planned, with the first being Canadian trumpeter and one-time featured soloist with the Maria Schneider Jazz Orchestra, Ingrid Jensen. She will tour in May 2016.
This is encouraging news indeed and shows what can be achieved by a region in the UK getting organised in a network and putting in a well-researched and well-argued application for funding.
Project Director Kim Macari said:
I am delighted to receive this support from Arts Council England. It has been over a year of development and discussion for a project which is ambitious and large-scale and it’s fantastic that we are now able to roll it out.
The project is going to benefit audiences, promoters and musicians in a direct way. We’ll have three featured artists from the USA collaborating with UK musicians to create new work and then touring it across the region, leading workshops and masterclasses along the way. We’re also going to be live- streaming gigs, allowing as many people as possible the opportunity to be involved. Getting a chance to see groups like this perform in more intimate venues is going to be extraordinary.
This focus on collaboration – artistic collaboration as well as partnering with organisations – is what Apollo Jazz Network has always been about.
Steve Crocker, of Norvol Jazz, said:
We’re really pleased at this news. It is a vindication of what the 30 Northern jazz clubs and festival promoters in the network have been aiming to do. The international touring programme will enable volunteer run jazz clubs – the backbone of the jazz scene in the North – to show off some of the best jazz artists in the world to their audiences.