PRESS RELEASE 20th April 2022

Musicians ask Government to help ensure their futures

Award-winning guitarist Nigel Price has called on Nadine Dorries to give support to the UK’s jazz live scene as it faces a parlous financial situation following the Covid pandemic.

In a letter to the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, endorsed by Dame Cleo Laine and a large group of prominent musicians, educators, promoters and media representatives, Price has drawn attention to a serious lack of funding of the UK’s grassroots jazz infrastructure.

“I have appealed to Ms Dorries to ensure that financial support for this vital part of the UK’s jazz heritage is not overlooked in the Government’s well-documented push to kick start the Arts following the pandemic,” says Price. “We have already lost a number of promoters and venues who have succumbed to the dire financial straits faced by the jazz scene.”

The letter addresses five key points:

· Lack of accessibility to funding to those without dedicated premises and/or company status.

· Disparity in funding between large and small venues.

· The fiercely competitive nature of the Arts Council of England’s bidding process leading to a higher

Incidence of failure amongst grassroots promoters.

· The urgent need for a simpler process to get help to these smaller venues.

A reply from DCMS has left Price and the 68 signatories to his letter, all of whom are winners of the Parliamentary Jazz Awards (the UK’s most prestigious annual jazz prizes) feeling that their claims have been dismissed.

“It’s clear that if we want a live art form that creates work for hundreds of musicians and means so much to so many people across the country to have any kind of future on these islands, then we are going to have to be prepared to fight for it,” says Price.

Price hopes that his initial exchange with the DCMS will be the beginning rather than the end of the discussion and will prompt wider action to support the people who keep the jazz scene alive, many of whom are volunteers who give up a great deal of their spare time to run weekly gigs through a love of the music. 

https://nigethejazzer.com

Press Release

Extension of deadline to midnight on 1st August 2021 for the completion of questionnaires for the All Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group  Review Of Jazz In England

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 Following an enforced delay due to the global pandemic and a year of unprecedented change, challenges, and specific hardships for working musicians, promoters,venues, jazz organisations, studios, technical staff, media and the jazz constituency at large, the All Party Jazz Appreciation Group (APPJAG) commissioned a Review of Jazz in England that was launched on Friday 28th May. The Review is being undertaken by APPJAG’s Secretary, Chris Hodgkins, and an expert advisory panel, chaired by musician and jazz educator Dr Kathy Dyson and supported by Teesside University Business School.

Full details and briefing papers – ‘Cold Comfort and Home Truths’ – Terms of reference, composition of the Advisory Panel, and the five questionnaires dealing with promoters and venues, musicians, jazz festivals, audiences plus individuals and organisations are available at: Review of Jazz in England      

The closing date for the questionnaires is midnight, Sunday 1st August 2021.

Notes to the Editor

The All Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group (APPJAG) aims to encourage wider and deeper enjoyment of jazz, to increase Parliamentarians’ understanding of the jazz industry and issues surrounding it, to promote jazz as a musical form and to raise its profile inside and outside Parliament. APPJAG currently has over 116 members from the House of Commons and House of Lords across all political parties.   The Group’s officers, as at the Annual General Meeting of 22nd March 2021, are Co-Chairs:, John Spellar MP and Lord Mann, Secretary, Sir Greg Knight MP, Vice Chairs, Alison Thewless MP and Chi Onwurah MP. Treasurer is Ian Paisley MP. Officers are Lord Colwyn and Sarah Champion MP.

The Secretariat is Chris Hodgkins with the assistance of Louis Flood. The contact address is: appjag1@gmail.com the web address is:https://appjag.wordpress.com/