New CEO for Jazz North

Jazz North has announced the appointment of a new Chief Executive to lead its next phase of development, growing opportunities for artists, audiences, promoters and young people across the north.

Chris Bye will join the organisation at a key moment as the sector navigates a new landscape for live music, whilst exploring the global opportunities of digital music and culture.

Chris said:

“Jazz North has been an integral part of the national jazz scene for years and has been instrumental in launching the careers of some of the north’s most exciting, vibrant artists. The team has also done an incredible job providing essential advice and support to promoters and artists throughout the pandemic.

What we face now is a unique moment in time. Unique in terms of challenges but also unique in terms of the potential for the northern jazz ecology to really develop. Artists are crying out for opportunities, and it is my aim to diversify our approach and expand our partnerships. I’m enormously excited to be joining and looking forward to working with an amazing group of people.”

Chris Bye comes to Jazz North following a career spanning the commercial and subsidised music industries. This has included managing a diverse portfolio of music organisations at Arts Council England and establishing an international programme of talent development opportunities for Pirate Studios. More recently Chris has supported key music venues and partners to navigate the pandemic, working with clients including Parklife, Ministry of Sound, Music Venues Trust and Greater Manchester Combined Authority. He also sits on the boards of SeaChange and Africa Oye.

Jazz North Chair Debra King said:

“The board are delighted that Chris will bring his wealth of experience to the organisation. Our selection panel were particularly impressed by his commitment to increasing the diversity of the artists and audiences we support and embedding an even more dynamic, digitally-focused approach across our programmes. His appointment follows a recent period of board development ensuring Jazz North is extremely well positioned to grow our impact and influence in the years ahead.’’

Jazz North Trustee and renowned trombonist Dennis Rollins said:   

“It’s exciting to welcome Chris Bye as the new CEO of Jazz North. The board look forward to working with Chris to put in place new programmes and create strategic partnerships to help support the region’s many incredible jazz artists, in particular to make sure we challenge inequality in the sector and champion diverse talent.”


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