Jazz North’s Nigel Slee wins sustainable travel competition

Jazz North’s Creative Director Nigel Slee likes travelling using the combination of folding bike and trains during his working week. So, when Corrado Beldi, Artistic Director of NovaraJazz, issued a challenge to the 156 member organisations of the Europe Jazz Network to travel to the European Jazz Conference in Italy by sustainable travel, Nigel was up to the task.

Nigel won the competition by travelling the furthest – 1925km from Leeds in the United Kingdom to Novara in Italy – catching four trains that crossed four countries and cycling across five European cities, all in 20 hours. He was presented with the prize, a custom folding bike embossed with the NovaraJazz logo, on stage at the final plenary of the European Jazz Conference.

“Jazz North has a strong commitment to sustainable travel,” says Nigel. “Every year we increase our use of public transport and bikes to attend meetings and events across the north of England and as members of Julie’s Bicycle, it is built into the fabric of the organisation. So, when I heard about the NovaraJazz competition, I couldn’t wait take part. The whole experience was brilliant and travelling on train is a creative space where you can work, think and listen to music. Now we have a fantastic Jazz Bike – another incentive for us to continue our efforts to travel sustainably!”

NovaraJazz launched the train challenge last year for the 2019 European Jazz Conference as part of the Europe Jazz Network’s initiative “Take the Green Train”. The participant who travelled the furthest by train would win a customised folded bike. NovaraJazz Artistic Director Corrado Beldi presented Nigel with the prize and says, “Congratulations Nigel and we hope you return soon to Novara and by bike!” Other contestants in the competition travelled by train from Hamburg, Ghent and Paris.

Bit of Background

  • NovaraJazz, located in the city of Novara in the north of Italy, started in 2004. The outstanding characteristic of NovaraJazz is the fusion of different musical genres, attracting a wide audience from all over the country and, thanks to DJ sets and musical workshops, the involvement of students and people of all ages. Six years ago, NovaraJazz undertook a commitment to sustainability in all aspects of their work – replacing non-recyclable cups and plates with bioplastic alternatives and producing an acoustic weekend festival in a nearby national park with audiences arriving by foot or bicycle. All food and drink served at their festival events is from local farms including rice, wine, gorgonzola and a specially commissioned festival beer. novarajazz.org
  • The European Jazz Conference 2019 took place in Novara, Italy from 12th – 15th
  • The Europe Jazz Network (EJN) was created in 1987 as a Europe-wide non-profit association. Currently it includes 156 organisations (festivals, clubs and concert venues, independent promoters and national organisations) in 35 countries. EJN’s mission is to encourage, promote and support the development of jazz and creative improvised music within the European scene and to create opportunities for artists, organisers and audiences from all different countries to meet and communicate. europejazz.net