Covid-19 statement from Jazz North – March 2020

Covid-19 virus image
Jazz North is monitoring the current guidance and ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Following advice, at this time we are not holding any public events and have cancelled the remaining two Jazz Camp for Girls sessions at the end of March, and the Jazz North Education Conference in June.

As an Arts Council England Sector Support Organisation, we are talking to our funders in order to work out ways we can help and support you throughout this difficult time.

More and more gigs are also being cancelled and this will have a devastating impact on the industry. We are working internally to continue to fulfil our mission to support the jazz sector as much as we can, including the artists and venues who will be hit hardest. As things change, and as we develop our strategy, we will update all our stakeholders, including guidance on how you can support artists across the sector.

We have no office base and already work remotely, so we will continue to be at the end of an email if you have any questions –

There is still little in terms of guidance at this time, but please see the following links which may be relevant to you:

Arts Council England
Arts Council England have made an initial statement on Monday 16th March, and expect to offer further updates in due course.

Musicians’ Union
Musicians’ Union are offering updates to their guidance, including a survey to review how their members have been impacted by the current situation:
They have now setup a specific mailing list for direct updates on the situation here:

ISM (Incorporated Society of Musicians)
ISM have a comprehensive range of advice for performers, private and school music teachers on their website. Their legal team can give advice to ISM members if suspended from work, or have self-isolated, because of the virus. They can also give advice to members on their rights if freelance engagements are cancelled or postponed.

Help Musicians UK
HMUK is updating their guidance relating to musicians’ welfare and the latest update is shared below.
HMUK Music Minds Matter helpline is a 24 hour support service which you can access via emailing or telephone 0808 802 8008.

Music Venue Trust
For venues and promoters, Music Venue Trust are offering updates and advocacy via their channels.


Female Jazz Musicians record ‘She Wasn’t Bad for a Girl’

An all-star band featuring female jazz musicians associated with Jazz North and the Jazz Camp for Girls project have united to record ‘She Wasn’t Bad for a Girl’ by saxophonist Helena Summerfield.

As Jazz North’s Jazz Camp for Girls Project Manager, Helena was inspired to write the song after thinking about some of the very silly things that had been said to her over the years as a female musician. Things like, “You don’t sound like a girl when you play the saxophone,” and “Are you the singer?” when arriving at a gig carrying an instrument.

The song’s video was released on Sunday 8th MarchInternational Women’s Day – by the Jazz Camp for Girls All Stars band and hits out at the gender stereotypes in a male dominated jazz industry. “Things are changing,” says Helena, “but the stereotypes still need to be broken down. I hope that the song will not just appeal to female jazz musicians, I think that the lyrics relate to common themes in other traditionally male dominated environments. The song is fun but also has a serious message. It turns the phrase ‘she wasn’t bad for a girl’ on its head whilst giving the audience a cheeky wink.”

The All Stars band features Caz Boaden on drums, Nicola Farnon on bass and vocals, Kathy Dyson on guitar, Laura Cole on piano, Alex Clarke on tenor sax, Nokuthula Zondi on vocals and Helena herself on alto sax. “I felt like a kid in a sweet shop,” says Helena. “I had the opportunity to hand pick these amazing players who are all out there doing their thing and can really swing.”

Jazz North’s Jazz Camp for Girls gives 9 to 15-year-old girls the opportunity to flourish under the mentorship of female role models and was where the idea for the song first came about. “At last year’s camp, I decided to create a handbook,” says Helena. “It was filled with snapshot interviews of female jazz musicians, practise tips and resources to empower our young participants. I wanted them to have something physical to take home and to show them that women are making successful careers playing jazz and improvised music. This year I thought that it would be even more exciting to bring our handbook role models to life to perform a Jazz Camp for Girls anthem. I hope you feel inspired after watching the amazing musicians in our video and empowered by its message.”

The video for ‘She Wasn’t Bad for a Girl’ features footage from the recording session at Valley Wood Studio in Leeds, plus girls taking part in the February 2020 Jazz Camp for Girls. Released on Sunday 8th March for International Women’s Day, this also fell during the second jazz camp weekend. “We hope that the song will raise awareness of the Jazz Camp for Girls project and of Jazz North’s commitment to supporting women in jazz,” says Helena. “I’m really excited to see how the song is received and would love to get the band together again to record more material in the future.”

Watch the video for ‘She Wasn’t Bad for a Girl’ here

See more information about Jazz North’s Jazz Camp for Girls here.