Live Music Exchange Resources

Jazz in the North West – Kathy Dyson (2004)


Author(s): Kathy Dyson
Organisation/Affiliation: Arts Council England North West
Date: 2004

This report illustrates the deep commitment of musicians and promoters in the region to their own continuing artistic integrity and development and in seeking audiences for the music.  We believe that the cultural richness and diversity of an area is embodied and carried forward in its live music traditions and that jazz music needs a properly funded infrastructure in order to thrive. Innovative solutions are needed to creatively promote what is essentially minority music and all work in this area would undoubtedly benefit and enrich the cultural and social life of the North West region. This project has given us a snapshot overview of the quality, quantity and diversity of jazz that is performed and promoted in the North West of England. We have gathered information and opinions from a broad range of jazz musicians and promoters, which has revealed a complex interaction between their current activities and aspirations and the fast changing cultural mores and market forces prevalent in society. It is hoped that Arts Council intervention can assist this particular genre and its practitioners by helping to provide a strategic action plan as an alternative to reacting to economic and social change and by providing adequate funds to balance and implement this policy. The two priorities which will most positively affect musicians, promoters and audiences are: The active encouragement of a thriving local scene in both rural and metropolitan areas, focussing on the generation of a  ‘jazz economy’; The rekindling and organisation of a comprehensive Northern Touring Circuit linked to a national and international touring programme.

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