On Saturday 8 December Jazz promoters from Yorkshire went to Southport in the North West to join other promoters from the North who have decided to form a new network called NORVOL JAZZ.
The new network will work with musicians, the education sector and each other to grow the audience for jazz. The meeting was hosted by Southport Melodic Jazz, one of the many hard core enthusiasts all over the UK who put on jazz promotions.
NORVOL JAZZ has already attracted 20 jazz promotion groups as members and has another 15 expressing an interest to join. Two guest speakers at the meeting were Chris Hodgkins, Director of the national jazz support organisation JAZZ UK and Steve Mead from Jazz North and Manchester Jazz Festival. Both speakers outlined the impact of the cuts in arts funding and the increasingly important role to be taken by volunteer organisations.
The members taking part agreed several key actions to benefit jazz in the North. Members’ websites will be linked, band tours coordinated and individual promoters will liaise to learn from each others’ best practice.
A funding bid will be submitted to The Arts Council in January to set up 4 ‘road-shows’ to be held across the region (basically the area of Northern England from the Scottish border down to Cheshire and the Humber) in 2013 aimed at improving members’ marketing, fundraising, and audience development skills and to help them work better with young people through schools.
The meeting was chaired by Chris de Saram from Wakefield Jazz Club (NORVOL JAZZ Chair) assisted by two NORVOL JAZZ officials, Steve Crocker from Seven Jazz in Leeds and Geoff Matthews from Southport Melodic Jazz.
The next meeting will take place on Saturday 6th April at The Sage in Gateshead Tyneside to coincide with the Gateshead International Jazz Festival.
Promoters represented at the meeting were:
- Heart, Leeds
- Jazz at the Field, Haslingden
- Jazz North East
- Freedom Principle
- Freedom Principle/EFPI/Sandbar
- Grimsby Jazz/Cleethorpes Jazz Festival
- HX7 Hebden Bridge
- Parr Jazz Liverpool
- Scarborough Jazz
- Seven Jazz Leeds
- Sheffield Jazz
- Southport Melodic Jazz
- The Atkinson, Southport
- Wakefield Jazz
- Wigan Jazz
- Wigan Jazz Club
- Wilmslow Jazz and Swing club