Following the success of 2019’s Jazz Camp for Girls, Jazz North has made the camp bigger for 2020 and is taking it to more places across the north of England including Sage Gateshead and The Northern Jazz Centre in Doncaster.
Overall, six weekend workshops will take place in February and March in Gateshead, Greater Manchester, Huddersfield, Cumbria, Lancaster and Doncaster aiming to offer an unforgettable first experience for girls aged between 9 and 15 years. They will have the opportunity to flourish under the mentorship of female role models, discover improvisation and playing in a band, and to develop their confidence. Now, instead of just one day, the camp will run for a weekend, and instead of just one weekend, the camp will take place on three weekends across the north, giving more girls the opportunity to take part.
Addressing the gender imbalance in jazz, Jazz North’s initiative was inspired by the success of a similar project created by JazzDanmark and Copenhagen Jazz Festival. Jazz Camp for Girls Project Manager Helena Summerfield says the need is still there. “Our pilot Jazz Camp for Girls in 2019 was a great success and confirmed the need for such provision in the region,” says Helena. “We aim to build on this foundation now and reach even more young musicians. The project aims to give girls a really positive experience of playing in a band; the emphasis will be on finding their own voice when improvising and creating new music together. Jazz Camp for Girls will also develop supportive working relationships between the partner organisations and celebrate female role models from the world of jazz.
We have a fantastic group of inspiring tutors from across the north lined up to work with our girls. I am delighted that we have been able to extend the course from one day to a weekend, through generous funding from The Ronnie Scott’s Charitable Foundation, Harold Hyam Wingate Foundation and Golsoncott Foundation, as this will allow everyone to work in more depth and have twice the fun.”
Previous participant Alice aged 14 said last year’s jazz camp “was good because it was well organised and your parents got to come at the end to see what you’d been doing. It made you feel more confident about improvising because some girls hadn’t really improvised before. I thought it would be good to meet other girls that play the saxophone and other jazz instruments.”
The camps will be led by professional female musicians including Alice Grace, Helen Pillinger, J Frisco’s Lara Jones and Megan Roe, Jilly Jarman, Kathy Dyson, Helena Summerfield, Cat Miles, Sonia Mellor and Hannah Brady.
Partners working together on the project are Sage Gateshead, Musica Kirklees, Doncaster Youth Jazz Association, Sheffield Music Hub, Rotherham Music Service, BlueJam Arts, Trafford Music Service, Lancashire Music Service, University of Huddersfield and Marsden Jazz Festival.
Bit of Background
- Jazz North was awarded funding for Jazz Camp for Girls from Ronnie Scott’s Charity Foundation, Harold Hyam Wingate Foundation and Golsoncott Foundation.
- Jazz North is the jazz development agency in the north funded by Arts Council England as a sector support organisation. Established in 2012 with a ground-breaking approach to supporting and nurturing jazz across the north, it uses the power of collective partnership working to build networks between musicians, educators, promoters and venues, to grow audiences for jazz and to inspire children and young people to make music:
- JazzDanmark provides counseling, information and networking events and financial support for the jazz industry in Denmark:
- Copenhagen Jazz Festival Fonden is the organizer of the two annual jazz festivals Copenhagen Jazz Festival, Vinterjazz and live jazz all year round in Copenhagen.