Two outstanding bands of young musicians are being given the chance to make their name thanks to a pioneering initiative by Jazz North, the organisation devoted to nurturing and showcasing talent.
Jasmine and Slow Loris, both based in Leeds, are the latest beneficiaries of the Jazz North Introduces scheme, which offers high-profile exposure at leading jazz festivals in the north for up-and-coming jazz musicians, along with career support and promoting their music.
The bands were selected from a wide range of applications after impressing the selection panel with their talent and enthusiasm. The initiative was open to bands of up to five musicians, 75 percent of whom must be under 25 and living or studying in the north of England. Now they will perform at leading northern jazz festivals in Lancaster, Marsden, Liverpool, Manchester, Gateshead, Scarborough and Durham with other festival performances tbc.
Jasmine and Slow Loris will each receive a package of help as part of the Jazz North Introduces scheme, including payment and expenses for the gigs, professional mentoring, a photo-shoot and assistance in creating an electronic press kit.
Reflecting the growing scene across the UK, Jasmine combine the influences of jazz and hip-hop, using Ableton Live to introduce layered horn parts over a traditional saxophone led jazz quintet setup. The band is made up of Jasmine Whalley (alto saxophone), Ben Haskins (guitar), George MacDonald (piano), Owen Burns (bass) and George Hall (drums).
“Dark, intense and energetic” say the band consisting of Sam Lowther (guitar), Sam Evans (guitar), Chris Sellers (bass), and Theo Goss (drums). They met while studying at Leeds College of Music. Their music incorporates rock and metal influences, alongside a love of electronic music and hip-hop, yet staying rooted in jazz. They enjoy challenging traditional genre boundaries to create fresh, original music.
A panel consisting of festival directors, professional musicians, promoters and educators prioritized musical excellence, in terms of musicianship, creativity, innovation and potential.
Lucy Woolley, Jazz North Introduces Project Manager, said: “Every year we are impressed by the quality of the applications to the Jazz North Introduces scheme and it is always exciting to see the amazing new artists entering the scene. By working in partnership with festivals, Jazz North Introduces will provide Jasmine and Slow Loris with the opportunity to perform throughout the region giving jazz audiences their first glimpse of the great talent that is emerging here in the north.”
Jazz North’s partners in the initiative are Durham Jazz Festival, Gateshead International Jazz Festival, Lancaster Jazz Festival, Liverpool International Jazz Festival, Manchester Jazz Festival, Marsden Jazz Festival, Scarborough Jazz Festival and Leeds College of Music.
Apply for a place on Jazz North Introduces
Recruitment for the next round of Jazz North Introduces will be late Spring 2019.