An outstanding band of young musicians is being given the chance to make its name, thanks to the Jazz North Introducing scheme which is being run in partnership with jazz festival partners from across the North of England.
Jam Experiment, comprising five musicians from Manchester aged from 16 to 18 is the first beneficiary of the Jazz North Introduces scheme, which offers them high-profile exposure at leading jazz festivals in the north, along with help in promoting themselves.
The band was selected from a wide range of applications for the scheme after impressing a panel of festival directors with its talent and enthusiasm. Now it will perform at the Lancaster Jazz Festival, Marsden Jazz Festival, Southport Melodic Jazz Club and Liverpool Jazz Festival.
Jam Experiment is made up of bandleader Rory Ingham, 17, who plays trombone, BBC Young Jazz Musician of Year 2014 – saxophonist Alex Bone, 17, pianist Toby Comeau, 17, bassist Felix Moseholm, 16, and drummer Jonathan Mansfield, 18.
The band describes its approach as “energetic, connected, creative, swingin’, humorous, enthusiastic”. It came together after a weekly jam, and the players’ ambitions are to play exciting original compositions and arrangements, make a strong impression and search for something that is musically new. Among its inspirations and influences are guitar titan Pat Metheny, keyboard legend Herbie Hancock, bassist Christian McBride and pianist Gwilym Simcock.
Jam Experiment receives a package of help as part of the Jazz North Introduces scheme, including payment and expenses for the gigs, a photo-shoot, video showreel created from interviews and performances and assistance in creating and electronic press kit.
Jo McCallum, who co-ordinated Jazz North Introduces, said: “Working in partnership with promoters, the Jazz North Introduces scheme is providing young bands with their first high profile performances at leading northern jazz festivals. It is a fantastic opportunity for these young musicians to perform throughout the region and a fantastic opportunity for jazz audiences to have their first glimpse of the great talent that is emerging here in the north.”
Applications for Jazz North Introduces demonstrated the wealth of young talent in the north. The youngest was Take Four and a Half, a Bradford quintet that was highly commended by the panel for its ambition and enthusiasm. In recognition, the band has been offered three days’ mentoring by leading saxophonist Iain Dixon.
Jazz North Introduces builds on the mjf (Manchester Jazz Festival) introduces scheme to showcase the very best new jazz talent from across the north.
A pilot version was run earlier this year with Leeds band The Stretch Trio being selected for a showcase at Gateshead International Jazz Festival.
The initiative was open to bands of up to five musicians, 75 per cent of whom – plus the nominated leader – must be under 25, and living or studying in the north of England.
The panel that selected Jam Experiment prioritized musical excellence, in terms of musicianship, creativity, innovation and potential. A shortlist was drawn up and assessed by an advisory panel consisting of experienced musicians, promoters, educators and Jazz North staff.
Jazz North’s partners in the initiative were Marsden Jazz Festival, Southport Melodic Jazz Club, Lancaster Jazz Festival, Liverpool Jazz Festival, Chethams School of Music, Leeds College of Music, Gateshead International Jazz Festival and Scarborough Jazz Festival.
The Jam Experiment will play the following festivals:
- Friday 19th September 10.15pm – Lancaster Jazz Festival www.lancasterjazz.com
- Saturday 11th October 12pm – Marsden Jazz Festival www.marsdenjazzfestival.com
- Friday 6th February afternoon – Southport Melodic Jazz Club – Jazz on a Winter’s Weekend
- Sunday 1st March 1pm – Liverpool Jazz Festival www.facebook.com/LiverpoolInternationalJazzFestival