NorVol Jazz network agreed a relaunch revamp, with a new board appointed at the Newcastle Jazz Festival network meeting, on 6 October 2018. Tributes were paid to the previous NorVol Jazz chair, Chris de Saram, who died in August. Steve Crocker (JazzLeeds) has been appointed as the new chair to replace the late Chris de Saram, and Gill Wilde (Grimsby Jazz Projects) as Secretary.
Minutes of meeting held Saturday 6 October, 2018 at Newcastle Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music Lit & Phil Society 23 Westgate Road NE1 1SE
Steve Crocker: Norvoljazz secretary, JazzLeeds
Judith Waterhouse: Norvol Treasurer Wakefield Jazz
Paul Bream: Norvoljazz NE rep, Jazz North East Newcastle
Gill Wilde: Grimsby Jazz Projects
Rosemary Holmes: JazzLeeds
John Taylor Ashington Jazz Club Newcastle
Tony Roberts Jazz at J & B’s (St James & St Basil) W. Newcastle
Ros Rigby JPN rep (dir. Middlesboro’ Jazz weekender, ex Sage ex Eur. Jazz Network)
Pete Woodman Marsden Jazz Festival
Dave Parker Jazz Co-op Newcastle The Globe
Mel Grundy Jazz North East
Wesley Stevenson Newcastle Fest of Jazz & Imp Music left early to attend Festival business
Tamsin Austin Sage Gateshead
Lance Liddle Bebop Spoken here
Lesley Jackson Jazz North
Neil Hughes Southport
Paul Thomas: Sheffield Jazz
Laurie Stead Huddersfield
Jean Watson: JazzLeeds
Jez Matthews : Jazz at the Lescar/ Sheffield Jazz
Meeting began 11 am, following the AGM.
1. Minutes of meeting held 8th May at Ribble Valley all agreed as a true record. Proposed PB, seconded GW.
2. RR discussed relevance of Audience Finder App (with reference to LJ’s intern notes) since it is too sophisticated for most voluntary organisations. It was agreed that this type of information is important to evaluations but maybe Audience Finder was not the way to get it. TA suggested we are entitled to this information from ticket agencies we all use, e.g. EventBright and Ticket Source. It was agreed to ask clubs to let us know what information they could get from their online ticket provider about their audience – we would return to the subject at the next meeting.
Club and Festival Round-up
Wes Stevenson thanked everyone for coming to Newcastle. It was his 2nd year as Director of the Newcastle Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music in which time it has grown. He developed it as a centralised festival and as a co-promotion with other organisations in Newcastle to bring cohesion to these organisations and avoid event clashes. No one big pot of money but funded by many small bids and sponsors.
John Taylor has a monthly club at the Elephant in Ashington, but wanted to change venues to one with no stairs, and in an afternoon. He had a council grant for a small festival but as he was on his own didn’t have access to a bank account. He was setting up a resident band, Classic Swing.
Judith Waterhouse: With the death of Chris de Saram, Wakefield had started the autumn season with a new promoter, Pete Rosser, who had recently returned to the area.
Mel Grundy, Jazz NE: They had extended the range of venues they were co-promoting with around Newcastle. Changing the frequency from 45 to 30 bigger events quarterly, with an all dayer in June. To get a younger audience, working particularly with Cobalt Studios which was placed near a student area, an already successful strategy. Need to allow for a changing dynamic; a transient audience who dip in and out. Promote through Spotify and Youtube and choose certain type of bands.
David Parker: The Globe, set out to support jazz listening, has a wide range of music played 5 nights a week including, keep fit / Dance classes, a learning and education programme, workshops and night classes, Women make Jazz project, work with the Sage, and with JazzNE, for Saturday workshops. All done without funding. The 222 members each have to buy shares at £1, minimum invest 200 shares. The Jazz Coop owns the asset, or will do in 10 years. He is co chair with Debra Milne; they employ a part-time manager. Independent bookings of the venue are encouraged.
Tony Roberts: runs J & B’s (St James & St Basils) West Newcastle. Started this year but the church want a percentage of takings and the bar! He is trying to get a grant, but will need a different arrangement!
Rosemary Holmes: JazzLeeds have achieved Charity status. The JazzLeeds festival in July was a massive success and very ambitious, going from 1 day in 2017 to 6 days of performances and workshops all over Leeds; positive feedback from musicians and audience. Need for more volunteers. Also JazzLeeds run the “VillageJazz festival” in Chapel Allerton each September, and also a regular programme of 65-70 gigs at Inkwell and Seven Arts. A concern that they may be over extending themselves with only a small team of volunteers. There was also now plenty of competition from other venues (many free) in Leeds.
Tamsin Austin: The Sage is in transition and resting the Festival for 2019 to relaunch in 2020 with a fixed slot, 3rd weekend in March, and in 2019 relaunch of a seasonal programme, concentrating on larger scale events with a policy of 50/50 gender split of performers. Audience development needed to penetrate young market and club scene. Jazz refreshed involves younger musicians. Steve Crocker asked about the challenge of achieving a 50/50 gender split for audiences, as well as performers.
Pete Woodman: Marsden Jazz Festival was taking place next weekend – over 800 musicians taking part. Festival made a loss in 2017. To avoid this, did a successful crowd funding, which raised £13,000. 70% of gigs are free.
Reports also sent in from members: Sheffield Jazz, Bradford JATP, Huddersfield Jazz and Boston Spa – reported to the meeting, copies available on request.
Projects and New business
1. Internship scheme report made by SC and PB in LJ’s absence. 5 clubs to take place over 9 months should be submitted in next few days by Newcastle in conjunction with NorVol, starting Easter 2019; manager in North East.
RR suggested we look at feedback from Jazz Promoter Fellowship Scheme, from Help Musicians UK, which has just been evaluated and could benefit this scheme. She will feed back information from it. Three of the participants are now involved in promoting with Manchester Jazz Festival, in York and with Serious LJ, to complete and submit to ACR in the next few days.
2. Emerging Artists Bands from Leeds College of Music are again available in April/May 2019. College pay travel costs. Useful inexpensive bands for support acts – or main? Genevieve Begley, 3rd year LCoM student, organising it in conjunction with Dave Walsh at the LCoM. SC to circulate information when known. Clubs asked to express interest for the April/May period.
3. Social Media SC does jazz blog of information provided by promoters; Richard Gentle publishes club info for members on the NorVol Jazz website. Also “New Years Honours” best gigs from the last year. Please provide info ready to put in to SC!
4. Orpheus project not likely to be repeated, as Kim not available to do the great organising job she did last time. PB
5. JPN Developments RR – came about from demise of JazzUk and Jazz Services. Wide ranging board and includes Ireland with Emily Jones (Cheltenham JF) chair. Tony Dudley-Evans and Nod Knowles who initiated JPN are no longer on the board. Meet-ups planned in various locations including one in London on 24th November, “JazzWorks”, as part of the London Jazz Festival. A Southern Arts Council Funded Jazz Organisation, based around Turner Simms Hall, is being developed along the lines of NorVol Jazz / JazzNorth and are undertaking a survey to find out what is going on. Going Dutch. There are still opportunities to visit the Netherlands and JPN are focusing on Denmark for next round. PB said the project now to develop collaborative projects between Dutch and British artists. June 2019 is to be next Going Dutch event in Newcastle. JPN are sharing a stand in Jazz Ahead in Bremen at the next meeting. It is important to maintain and increase these European connections in the light of Brexit. Emerging Talent Scheme is happening if it gets funders to move forward. European Jazz Network RR noted that they have backed a manifesto for gender balance in jazz. Ros has been chair of the network until recently.
8. Middlesborough Jazz weekender RR – the festival has come about from the Heritage grant to renovate the own Town Hall. The organisation is a funded NPO but it is a challenge to develop an audience after so long – 40 years since last event. It has at least led to the reforming of the Middlesbrough Youth Jazz Orchestra.
9. Jazz North LJ reported in a note from SC
Alt Shift J now live – 1st event Penrith, Clitheroe 20 Oct, Cleethorpes 2/3 Nov, Middlesbrough 16 Feb.
Jazz Camp for Girls – funding agreed – announced this week
Jazz introducing bands – Slow Loris and Jasmine
Northern Line – evaluation now completed
10. NORVOL The way forward – SC GW
• To raise profile of Norvol Jazz through promoting to musicians
• To “adjust” the name to (eg) Northern Jazz Promoter Network
• To relaunch
• To have one big Northern Jazz conference instead of 3 meetings with just the admin group meet and anyone else interested. This was not agreed – some like the current nature of the group and was not a popular suggestion. DP (works in design and marketing) suggested focusing on what we want to achieve before changing the current arrangements.
• To make more use of facebook group between us for communication.
• To develop a relationship between Northern Jazz promoters and Music Hubs in each area through:-
– Jazz band performances in schools – primary offer the best opportunity
– Workshops introducing music and instruments of a jazz band
– Music and story eg Fish Tales, Woodland Story
• To develop a closer working relationship with Jazz North – it was felt that jazz North could better use the wealth of talent that existed in the North for promotion.
Thanks were given to Paul Bream for his stalwart work as NE Rep – he was now stepping down after 6 years., which he said had been a pleasure!
Next Meeting – Manchester Festival suggested for May next year.