JazzLeeds is a major UK jazz promoter based in Chapel Allerton in Leeds. Starting in 2007 we have run weekly concerts, jazz festivals, popular community jazz cafés and jazz workshops at primarily at Seven Arts but also at Northlight and other venues in the city. We’re now looking forward to the future and have plans for major international jazz concerts a large programme supporting the local jazz scene and a significant educational programme with Leeds schools. We put diversity very much at the heart of our approach and are keen to promote high quality, accessible jazz in friendly welcoming environments.
As a registered charity, our activities are managed by a Board of Trustees, who play a crucial role in making sure the organisation manages its funds properly and fulfils its role of promoting gigs that showcase the best of local, UK and international jazz.
We are currently looking to recruit two new members to our Trustee Board. Given the profile of our current Board and our future programme it is suggested that the immediate areas of interest are in these fields
Specialist skills aren’t essential however: a love for jazz and an interest in the activities of JazzLeeds is the foremost requirement. Enthusiastic newcomers will be made very welcome, and being a Board member is itself an exciting learning experience
The role is a voluntary one. You will be expected to attend Board meetings (normally around 4 a year, held in North Leeds in the evening) and help out at some of our regular gigs. In return you will be able to shape our future activities and get to meet some of the most exciting jazz musicians around. Check out our website www.jazzleeds.org.uk to get an idea of our current programme.
If you are interested in joining us then please send an email by 30 September 2023 to [email protected] giving us an idea of your skills and experience and how you would like to be involved. We’ll respond to you after this date. For more information beforehand contact Ramesh Narayan, Chair of Jazz Leeds Trustee Board on 07774 111752
Approved by Trustees 18 July 2023
JazzLeeds has been a volunteer-led community organisation and more recently has become a charity. Over the past 15 years we have provided a large number of events with a focus on high quality, accessible jazz. We are passionate about jazz and we want the organisation to continue and to grow so that others can share our passion. This document sets out our vision and strategy for the three years 2022 – 25. In delivering this strategy we will contribute to the the key priorities in the delivery framework for Leeds Culture Strategy.
To be recognised as the best provider of jazz entertainment in Leeds.
We will achieve this with a set of strategies enacted in a spirit of collaboration, innovation, and inclusiveness with all stakeholders and lovers of jazz music everywhere and will demonstrate the trustees’ shared passion for the music.
To achieve our vision, there are three key strategic areas in which we must excel: Promotion, Education, and Enjoyment.
We will judge our success on key measures including a wider and more diverse audience demographic, positive audience feedback, ensuring prudent financial controls and financial sustainability, and to be seen as the promoter of choice for musicians.
We will aim to define and leave a significant and sustainable legacy for the next generation of Trustees including an organisation that is sustainable in terms of high quality events and featured artists, finance and human resources.
Strategy 1 – Promotion
To promote the work and aims of JazzLeeds widely.
To promote a regular series of concerts featuring a wide range of jazz music played to a listening, engaged audience and performed by established international, national, and regional artists as well as providing opportunities for less well-known and aspiring musicians, including promoting a number of major events each year of national significance.
To promote events in Seven Arts and other venues in Leeds including the Howard Assembly Room, including our regular programme of concerts, Jazz Festivals and other occasional events.
To utilise techniques like Live Streaming, You Tube, etc to reach a wider audience.
To strive to reach and sustain new audiences by promoting a broad range of music of interest to, and to better reflect the different communities of Leeds including younger people and a more diverse audience.
To nurture a passionate and engaged audience interested in the music we present.
To offer support to and collaborate with other Northern based jazz promoters including developing a Northern based touring circuit.
To seek partnerships with other major arts organisations in Leeds and beyond.
To apply for proportionate and appropriate funding from various organisations like ACE to support a programme of high quality concerts and events.
To continue to deliver our programme of 100 + events a year (including concerts, workshops, jam sessions and ensembles) with an emphasis on improving the quality of our concerts by featuring artists of national and international significance rather than increasing the number of events we provide.
Strategy 2 – Education
To offer jazz workshops, jam sessions and ensembles to musicians of all levels to improve their playing and improvisational skills.
To provide ‘outreach’ educational programmes for children and young people, using specialist teachers, through Leeds Music Education Partnership or directly with schools in North Leeds and other areas of Leeds.
To put on a series of talks on jazz music by experts who will be able explain the practice and theory behind well-known pieces of music and historic context of musicians.
To seek private sponsorship and developing long-term paid support for JazzLeeds.
To develop links with and collaborate with those institutions providing music education in Leeds including providing live performance opportunities for music students.
To signpost and provide progression opportunities for developing musicians.
Strategy 3 – Enjoyment
To ensure that all events are enjoyed by everyone: musicians, volunteers, technicians, customers, and venue staff.
To ensure that everyone has the support to enjoy working for and helping the organisation.
To take pride in everything we do to make every event a great experience.
To take mutual pride and enjoyment from the success of aspiring musicians in their future careers, and from those taking part in our education programmes.
As Trustees, to take pride in ensuring that JazzLeeds will be a leader in innovative and successful promotion, education, and general enjoyment.
Jazzleeds annual report: this is the annual chair’s report of the JazzLeeds charity for the year Oct 2021 to Sept 2022, presented and approved by the JazzLeeds Trustees on 23 November 2022
JazzLeeds Chairs Annual Report – November 23 2023
We had an extremely active and successful year, meeting our aims and objectives. For the first three months, venues were open but with restricted numbers due to Covid. Venues finally opened up again with no restrictions from the beginning of 2023 onwards.
We programmed 114 separate musical performances. 18 of these were our international jazz evenings with an additional 17 Leeds-based support bands. At Leeds Jazz Festival in June we promoted 16 live performances and at Chapel Allerton Arts Festival in September a further 10 performances.
We also put on 53 Sunday afternoon and Rush Hour Jazz gigs. Of these, 10 were participatory events (jazz cafés) 20 were free, or pay as you feel events including 11 “Rush Hour jazz” gigs in the Seven Arts bar, 22 were concerts featured new or “emerging artists” including our “College Collection” concerts and support bands from Leeds Conservatoire and 5 concerts were by community bands playing in the open air “Courtyard Jazz” summer series at Seven Arts .
With the return of live performances we ceased offering livestreaming our concerts; we did however make extensive use of filming concerts for our JazzLeeds You Tube site.
Two of our concerts had to be cancelled due to Covid illnesses
These are challenging times. Since January 2022 restrictions on audience numbers were lifted. Some of our audience are still shielding however, or have just got out of the habit of going out to live music, but everyone is now facing steep rises in the cost of living. Attendances during the year were only around 80% of pre Covid 2019 levels.
Average paid attendance 2021-22 at our evening concerts was 70 and for our Sunday afternoon events it was 50. We have however had a higher proportion of younger (25 and under) people attending as part of our audiences this year. Donatations to our “pay as you feel” events have been continued to be very generous – people have recognised the difficult situation musicians and venues are in and have wanted to help.
Highlights of 2021-22
Highlights of the year included two performances of the Nikki Iles Jazz Orchestra in October, a superb celebration of Nikki’s music. We also had a return of overseas jazz stars including percussionist Ari Hoenig and sax players Ben Wendel, Greg Abate and Joel Frahm and guitarist BD Lenz. We had our first joint presentation with Howard Assembly Room of Izzy Barratt’s “Interchange” which was recorded by BBC Radio 3’s JtoZ. The Cookridge Street tent where we promoted two days as part of the Leeds Jazz Festival was a huge success as were the Swing Dance, Silent Movie and Regent Street jazz Sunday events of the Chapel Allerton Festival – these were also our first ventures into mixed media – film and dance.
Overall we had an operating surplus on our ticketed concerts of £4275 – entirely due to our main venue Seven Arts being awarded Government Cultural Support funding and hence us not having to pay room hire charges for the whole year, and tech charges for a large part of the year. This cost in a normal year would have amounted to over £5000; these cost payments resumed from November 2023.
We received a further year of Arts at Leeds funding (£4000) and specific funding support from a main grant Leeds Inspired of £5750 for the Jazz Festival/Jubilee celebration in June. This funding allowed us to put on more events than we would have usually in the summer month. and to pay for the costs of bands playing during the two days of the Cookridge Street Leeds Jazz Festival tent.
NJP Internship scheme
We had support from two paid interns as part of the Northern Jazz Promoters internship scheme– Ben Gilbert (full year from Oct 2021 to September 2022) and Oliver Bolton (November 2021, resigned in July 2022). The intern scheme had a notable success, the Arts Council Funded tour by Marco Woolf; the interns also helped us run the two festival concerts, and improved our Social Media. Due to the certain challenges the scheme presented we not be repeating it in following years.
Part 2: Looking Forward
We are celebrating our 15th year this year (2022/3) We will be promoting events as part of the 2023 Leeds Jazz Festival (25-30 May) and the Chapel Allerton Arts Festival in September (1-3 2023) and more generally during the 2023 Leeds Year of Culture where we hope to extend the reach of our jazz performances to other parts of the city.
As part of our JazzLeeds strategy we are undertaking our first jazz education programme with Roundhay School in autumn 2022 led by Dave Evans; if it proves successful we will look to extend this into 2023.
Our main venue remains as Seven Arts, although they too have their challenges – it is now only open Wednesday to Sunday and they no longer prepare and serve their own food. Our previous second venue, Inkwell, has now returned under new management this autumn, now called “Northlight”. Our instrumental workshops led by Dom Moore (and our JazzLeeds piano) have now returned there fortnightly on Sunday mornings and the Jazz choir led by Tessa Smith started there on 7 November 2022 on Monday evenings.
Jazzleeds will be undertaking another joint promotion with the Howard Assembly Room, on Sat 26 November with Andy Sheppard/Espen Eriksen Trio
JazzLeeds regular programme
The programme between October 2022 and Easter 2023 is attached as Appendix . We have kept to the same level of events as previously and have even expanded in two areas – the successful Rush Hour jazz events will now be fortnightly rather than monthly and we will be starting regular jazz jam sessions, monthly at Northlight.
Beyond Easter we will have to consider whether we can maintain such a full programme however with the challenges we have to face.
Summary and conclusion
The key issue is the current economic situation. We will continue to face rising costs and falling audience levels making life increasingly difficult when we rely so heavily on ticket sales to survive. We will need to look towards a bid into the Arts Council England Thriving Communities Fund to support future losses on live gigs.
Our aim continues to be to encourage and entertain audiences through our concerts as well as providing work for freelance musicians and an educational programme for community musicians. Financial care and vigilance must be the key watchwords however
Appendix 1: Concerts held Oct 2021 to Sept 2022
Evening concerts and support sets (17 performances plus 16 support sets)
1. Nicki Iles Jazz Orchestra – **two performances
2. Ari Hoenig Trio – support Rory Mann Quintet
3. Nigel Price Quartet Wes Reimagined – support Ben Gilbert and Edison Herbert
4. Greg Abate Quartet – support Joel Stedman – Bass Clarinet, and Greg Vincent piano
5. Clark Tracey Sextet– support Luke Prince quartet
6. Liane Carroll and Brian Kellock – support Amy Clark Quintet -** two performances
7. Jeremy Sassoon sings Ray Charles – support Ellen Connolly trio
8. Tony Kofi ’Generation Monk” Quintet with Olivia Cuttill Quartet support
9. Joe Tatton group with Gareth Lockrane with Abtuse in support
10. “Dreamers” – feat Mark Lockheart Eliot Galvin- with Geumbanji support
11. Ben Wendel with Calvin Travers support
12. Arun Ghosh Quartet + support: Maeve Thorpe trio
13. Ben Crosland’s “Solway Stories” – support: Panagiotis Kotsiopoulos Project
14. Jason Rebello and Tim Garland’s Duology support Sam Dolling Trio
15. Joel Frahm Trio support Steve Hanley and Simeon Walker
16. My Iris – Trish Clowes support Emma Johnson Gravy Boat
17. Mingus Profiles Sextet support Leeds Big Band Mingus workshop
Leeds Jazz Festival 2022 1-12 June 2022 (16 JazzLeeds performances held at : Seven Arts, Wardrobe, Howard Assembly Room, Cookridge Street Stage)
1. Dan Barker Bey – Rush Hour Jazz 1 June Seven Arts 6pm
2. Bird Migration –Charlie Parker Centenary Big Band directed by Hans Koller: Seven Arts 2 June 7.30pm
3. Jazzleeds presents Friday at the Leeds Jazz Festival Tent @Cookridge Street 3 June 11-6pm featuring Alligator Gumbo, Awen, Os Caras, Olivia Cuttill Quartet and John Taylor’s Blues Spectrum
4. Jazzleeds presents Saturday at the Leeds Jazz Festival Tent @ Cookridge Street 4 June 11-6pm featuring Edison Herbert Quartet, Jeff Hewer Quartet, ORB, Hyo Jung Trio and Pan Jumby
5. US sax star Michael Moore with his trio @Wardrobe Saturday 4 June 7-9.30pm 14/12/7
6. Izzy Barratt’s “Interchange” – joint event with JazzLeeds and Howard Assembly Room. Sunday 5th June. Concert 4pm (preceded by Open Rehearsal 1pm)
7. Ubunye @Seven Arts Friday 10th June 7.30pm
8. Learn to Play Jazz Workshop – Dom Moore at Meanwood Valley Farm Barn 12 June 10.30am
9. Amy Clark Quartet Sunday @Seven Arts 12 June 1.30pm
Olivier Le Goas Quartet “Reciprocity” featuring John Escreet Chris Tordini and Nir Felder was cancelled due to Ill Health
Chapel Allerton Festival 2 – 5 September 2022 (10 Jazzleeds performances held at : Queens Hall/Seven Arts/Regent Street and Willow Tree stages)
1. Let the Good Times Roll – Swing Dance with 2 Rivers Big band and Swing Cats
2. Silent Movie: Buster Keaton “In One Week and The Boat” with Adam Fairhall on piano
3. Marco Woolf sextet + Sarah Hennighen “Power Out”
4. Jazz and Blues Sunday in Regent Street: LYJRO Big Band, Quinteto Gustavo Andrade, New York Brass Band Tempo Feliz and Louis Louis Louis
Sunday afternoons and Rush Hour Jazz Oct 2021-Sept 22 (53 performances )
1. Dom Ingham Quintet
2. Will Howard (Rush Hour Jazz)
3. Jam session (Seven)
4. Ancient Infinity Orchestra
5. Munch Manship Octet
6. Jam session (Meanwood Barn)
7. Oliver Bolton / Glen Leach (Rush Hour Jazz)
8. Jeff Hewer Quartet
9. Nishla Smith Quintet
10. Jam session (Meanwood Barn)
11. “Universal Time”
12. Adam Fairhill and Johnny Hunter – “Winifred Atwell Revisited”
13. Alex Fisher (Rush Hour Jazz)
15. Rafe’s Dilemma
16. Jazz Café (Seven)
17. Dale Storr solo
18. Ed Kainyeck (Rush Hour Jazz)
19. Tom Sharp Jazz Orchestra
21. Richard Ormrod(Rush Hour Jazz)
22. James Mainwairing Quartet
24. Garry Jackson Quartet
25. Jenny Hammond (Rush Hour Jazz)
26. Tim Knowles Quartet
27. Jazz café (Seven)
29. Alison Rayner Quintet
30. Dudley Nesbitt (Rush Hour Jazz)
31. The Jazz Defenders
32. College Collection – Joe VDM Quartet Dan Pattenden Quartet and Speaking Evil.
33. College Collection – Maeve Thorpe Quartet, Fergus Leach Quartet and Haydn Morrow Quartet
34. Hugh Pascall Quartet
35. John Settle- vibes (Rush Hour Jazz)
36. LUU Big Band
38. Os Caras
39. Jazz Cafe and Jam Session (Seven)
40. James O Hara Blues Band
41. Emily Brown Quintet
42. Stuart McDonald (Rush Hour Jazz)
43. Jazz Cafe and Jam Session (Seven)
44. B.D. Lenz Trio
45. Trish Heenan Quartet
46. Phil Green’s Outside Chance
47. Tessa Smith (Rush Hour Jazz)
48. North Leeds Jazz Orchestra
49. Rhythm De Luxe
50. Manouche North, feat Christine Pinkard
51. Toby Jack Brazier(Rush Hour Jazz)
52. Jazz cafe and Jam Session
53. Brigitte Beraha “Lucid Dreamers”
Our Christmas party with New York Brass Band and Nicki Allan’s Quintet was cancelled due to Covid.
Appendix 2: Concerts programmed Oct 2022 to Easter 2023
1. 02/10/2022 Fergus Quill Imaginary Big Band (Sunday afternoon)
2. 05/10/2022 Rush Hour Jazz – Nicki Allan
3. 06/10/2022 Jean Toussaint Quintet “Songs for My Sisters, Brothers and Others” support from Cameron Byrom Quintet (evening)
4. 09/10/2022 Dales Jam (Sunday afternoon)
5. 13/10/2022 Art Theman Trio – Thane and the Villeins support from “Fudashi”(evening)
6. 16/10/2022 Jamie Taylor and John Stowell (US guitarist) (Sunday afternoon)
7. 27/10/2022 Christine Tobin Trio (evening)
8. 30/10/2022 Kate Peters Quintet (Sunday afternoon)
9. 02/11/2022 Rush Hour Jazz feat Cathy Ibberson and Jack Glover
10. 06/11/2022 Joy Ellis Trio (Sunday afternoon)
11. 10/11/2022 Robert Mitchell “True Think”, support from Yellow Light Hansa (evening)
12. 13/11/2022 Jazz cafe and Jam Session (Sunday afternoon)
13. 20/11/2022 Al Woods and- DYJO 50th anniversary concert (Sunday afternoon)
14. 26/11/2022 Andy Sheppard and Espen Eriksen trio (at Howard Assembly Room) (evening)
15. 01/12/2022 Ingham/Davison Sextet: The Music of Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers support Veidian (evening)
16. 04/12/2022 CFM Collective and Roundhay school jazz group (Sunday afternoon)
17. 07/12/2022 Rush Hour Jazz – Dan Barker Bey
18. 11/12/2022 Dale Storr solo blues and boogie piano with James Atashroo (trumpet) (Sunday afternoon)
19. 15/12/2022 Alan Barnes Octet’s Copperfield Suite support Karl Mullen (solo blues piano) (evening)
20. 18/12/2022 Back Chat Brass -Jazz Leeds Christmas party (Sunday afternoon)
21. 21/12/2022 Christmas Rush Hour Jazz with Dudley Nebitt
22. 08/01/2023 New Year Jazz cafe and Jam Session (Sunday afternoon)
23. 12/01/2023 Alex Clarke Quartet with Clark Tracey, Dave Green, Dave Newton (evening)
24. 15/01/2023 Los Cameradas (Community Salsa Band)
25. 18/01/2023 Rush Hour Jazz with Rod Mason
26. 22/01/2023 Mike Hall’s “Boplicity” sextet (Sunday afternoon)
27. 29/01/2023 Northlight afternoon Jazz jam
28. 01/02/2023 Rush Hour Jazz with Tony Burkill
29. 02/02/2023 Radiohead’s “Kid A”, 20 years on – a jazz interpretation“ with Rick Simpson, Tori Freestone, James Allsopp, Dave Whitford, Will Glaser (evening)
30. 05/02/2023 John Taylor’s Blues Spectrum (Sunday afternoon)
31. 12/02/2023 Kjetil Mulelid Trio from Norway (Sunday afternoon
32. 15/02/2023 Rush Hour Jazz with Jenny Hammond
33. 16/02/2023 Five Gold Rings – Jamil Sheriff Quintet (evening)
34. 19/02/2023 Benny Goodman revisited – the Derrick Harris septet (Sunday afternoon)
35. 26/02/2023 Northlight afternoon Jazz jam
36. 01/03/03 Rush Hour Jazz with Tom Sharp
37. 03/03/2023 The Paris Quintet (Friday evening) with Guillaume Prévost drums, Gabriel Pierre Double Bass, Olga Amelchenko Alto Saxophone, and Christian Altehülhorst Trumpet led by Dave Bristow (piano)
38. 05/03/2023 Svarc-Hanley-Longhawn (Sunday afternoon)
39. 12/03/2023 Northlight afternoon Jazz jam
40. 15/03/2023 Rush Hour Jazz with Ed Kainiek
41. 16/03/2023 Elmo Hope Celebration Quintet with Steve Fishwick- Trumpet, Herwig Gradischnig -Tenor Sax ( Austria), Claus Raible – Piano ( Germany) Giorgos Antoniou- Bass ( Switzerland) Matt Home – Drums ( UK) (evening)
42. 19/03/2023 Mangorata (Sunday afternoon)
43. 26/03/2023 SK big band play Stan Kenton (Sunday afternoon)
44. 02/04/2023 Os Caras (Sunday afternoon)
British saxman Don Weller has died on 30 May 2020 after a long illness aged 79. He was a great favourite amongst jazz fans – he memorably appeared for us in Leeds at Seven Arts on 15 Dec 2009 with his good friend Bobby Wellins on tenor sax (picture is by Colin Watson).
When I lived in Sheffield during the 1980’s I arranged for Don to play at many of the venues in that city – including his own quartets, quintets, Major Surgery , Rocket 88 and several bands led by pianist Stan Tracey. Here’s music from a couple of those concerts.
The first is Don with Bobby Wellins Quartet on tenor saxes, Errol Clarke piano, Andy Clyndert on bass and Bryan Spring 12/10/83 and “Promised Land”. This was a concert featured in the BBC2 Jazz at the Leadmill series broadcast by Charles Fox on Jazz Today on BBC radio 3, 15/04/84 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qTD5BSGyw54
The second is an hour long performance from the Radio Hallam Airwaves Jazz festival at the Leadmill Sheffield on 28/11/84 – a quartet with Errol Clarke piano, Andy Clyndert on bass and Bryan Spring. I was the jazz presenter on Radio Hallam at the time so the introduction at the start is by a much younger me! The tunes he played were were “Sudden Discomfort, Softly as in a morning Sunrise, Polka Dots and Moonbeams, The Red Zinger and one other unnamed tune. The original broadcast was on my Jazz Unlimited show 8 Dec 1984 (https://www.jazzleeds.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/DON-WELLER-BRYAN-SPRING-QUARTET.mp3)
An obituary for Don Weller by Pete Vacher in Jazzwise magazine is here https://www.jazzwise.com/news/article/don-weller-19-12-1940-30-5-2020
Jazz Leeds is pleased to announce it is appointing a new Trustee to the Board of Trustees: Ramesh Narayanan. Ramesh has extensive experience in in international business, has degrees in music, and plays the saxophone (“To level grade 8 he says – I still don’t know how!). He has worked with Leeds Youth Jazz Rock Orchestra and ArtForms and is a Trustee of Yasmen, an organisation that helps bring music to people with special needs.
Ramesh will join Jamil Sheriff, Steve Crocker, Steve Ross, Karen Gourlay Rosemary Holmes on the Jazz Leeds
Our Jazz Choir with Tessa Smith returns to “Northlight” (the new name for Inkwell) on 31 Potternewton Lane Leeds LS7 3LW. Come and join us! Contact Tessa Smith on Tessa Smith [email protected]
JAZZ INSTRUMENTAL WORKSHOPS
Workshops will start again fortnightly at “Northlight” (the new name for Inkwell on 31 Potternewton Lane LS73LW) on Sunday mornings, 10:30am-12:30pm – Cost per session: £10/8. All instruments and standards welcome. There is a piano available and a drum kit, otherwise please bring your instruments. To join – contact tutor Dominic Moore.
e: Dominic Moore – [email protected]
We acknowledge the support and help from Leeds City Council, Leeds Inspired, Arts at Leeds, Jazz North, Seven Arts and Northlight.