Award-winning friendly jazz club presenting the best in jazz from the UK and beyond


New Trustees recruited for JazzLeeds


Following a recruitment drive in autumn 2023 we are glad to announce two new Trustee members for JazzLeeds — Joe Allen and Hayley Harding. We thank them for offering their services and wish them well in working with us. 


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.

Vision/Mission statement

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 outreacheducational 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.


Annual Report

Jazzleeds annual report:

JazzLeeds Chairs Annual Report – November 23 2023

Part 1: The Jazz year (Oct 2021 to Sept 2022)


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

Audiences 2021-22

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 external fundin 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

Steve Crocker



This is our ticket box office site

You can buy tickets for all our upcoming gigs here



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


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 –


We acknowledge the support and help from Leeds City Council, Leeds Inspired, Arts at Leeds, Jazz North, Seven Arts and Northlight. 

Contact Information:

JazzLeeds, 11 Gledhow Park Drive, Leeds LS7 4JT

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