JazzUK hands over the baton to MusicTank

JazzUK hands over the baton to MusicTank
JazzUK, formerly Jazz Services was, for 34 years, the voice of advocacy for Jazz in the UK.   As an Arts Council of England National Portfolio  Organisation, the charity targeted grant funding for touring, promoters and recording schemes since 2004 creating over 5,000 gigs, providing employment for over 15,000 musicians, and generating five times more money in revenue than grants it awarded.

In a sector with many diverse and disparate organisations and individuals, Jazz Services was the only entity to provide authoritative comment based on objective analysis. A major Jazz Services campaign focused on issues such as the disproportionately low amount of arts funding Jazz receives when compared to other art forms – in 2018/19 opera will receive £57 million, classical music £19 million but jazz will get just £1.6 million despite the fact almost twice as many people attend- jazz concerts as classical concerts or opera.
“it is unlikely Jazz would receive the level of Arts Council funding it currently does were it not for the advocacy and work of Jazz Services”, said Lord Colwyn, Co-chair of APPJAG (All Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group).

Following the retirement of its long-serving Director, Chris Hodgkins, Jazz Services re-branded as JazzUK.   Despite substantially diminished funds, JazzUK initiated the hugely successful #4Jazz festival in Coventry, substantially funded by corporate sponsorship matching Arts Council funding.
Identifying the opportunity for more touring and international connections, JazzUK created a consortium of jazz musicians, promoters and agents, together with music industry bodies such as BASCA, PRS for Music and Musicians Union to promote British jazz at JazzAhead in Bremen, the foremost international forum for jazz, an unrivalled opportunity for the UK jazz scene to embrace International opportunities.

“Trustees are immensely proud of what Jazz Services, and latterly of what JazzUK has achieved, having excelled on every financial and artistic metric. However, securing funding that supports on-going operational costs for industry-wide activities that, for example, pay for salaries of suitably qualified and experienced people, has become increasingly difficult.  The cost of securing grants is now so high that Trustees of the charity were concerned whether ‘chasing grants’ was an appropriate use of charitable funds”, said Chair Dominic McGonigal.

Central to its work was the provision of information online.  The Jazz Services website was a unique and comprehensive resource covering everything from gig listings to advice for venues and promoters helping to increase jazz audiences.
Its Online Music Business Resource helped musicians manage their careers with information and advice on finance, law, marketing, digital marketing, copyright tour organisation, and included information on visas, work permits, tax and advice on all the challenges that musicians face.
“In a sense, our job has been done. As the jazz infrastructure has developed and the next generation of jazz musicians is coming through, it’s time now to ‘pass the baton on’.

The JazzUK trustees are pleased to announce that the JazzUK reserves and assets, including the Online Music Business Resource, will be passed to MusicTank, a not-for-profit music industry information hub set up by the University of Westminster”, said Chairman Dominic McGonigal.
“We believe that with the resources available to MusicTank, a greater number of musicians, more educators and more promotors and venues will be able to benefit from JazzUK resources”.
Jonathan Robinson, programme Director, MusicTank said: “Having worked with Jazz Services to further raise the genre’s profile in public sector broadcasting, we are not only well aware of the issues affecting the genre, but also conscious of the great progress made by JazzUK and its forerunner, Jazz Services.  We are therefore delighted to be entrusted with JazzUK’s legacy, which aligns well with MusicTank’s overarching ethos of sharing information and know-how as openly as possible.  Watch this space.“ http://www.musictank.co.uk/ 


Press Information:   Dominic McGonigal +44 7766 397807

Notes to the Editor

Jazz Services Ltd (JSL) was originally set up on the 20th January 1969 as the London Jazz Centre Society. The name was changed to the Jazz Centre Society on 17th November 1969 (JCS). JCS ran as a promoting and touring organisation with the main aim of establishing a national centre for jazz. In the 70s the JCS expanded and developed a subsidiary organisation Jazz Centre North and obtained the lease for a National Jazz Centre in Floral Street, London. Jazz Centre North had also established itself at the Band on the Wall, Manchester. In 1984 the JCS was split into three separate organisations – the National Jazz Centre, Jazz Centre North and Jazz Services Ltd. The National Jazz Centre went into liquidation in 1987.

JSL was established in 1984 by the Arts Council of Great Britain as an umbrella organisation. Jazz Centre North was wound up in 1984 and a number of regional organisations had been set up with representatives on the Board of Jazz Services – Jazz Central, Jazz South, Eastern Jazz, South West Jazz, Jazz North West and Jazz Action (North East development organisation funded by Arts Council Regional Arts Board for the North East) which had observer status. By the late 1990s, with the exception of Jazz Action, the regional organisations had had Arts Council funding withdrawn and been wound up. In 2005, NWJazzworks received ACE funding as the agency for the development of jazz in the North West and in 2004 Jazz Yorkshire was formed and received funding from ACE. Jazz Yorkshire, NWJazzworks and Jazz Action all made bids to be part of the ACE National Portfolio funding programme for 2012/15. They did not receive NPO status but received additional funding to the middle of 2012 to bridge the gap whilst and organisation/consortium was selected to fulfil the ACE brief for a development organisation for the North.

In 2009/10 Jazz Services responded positively to the ACE request to take over the funding role for the National Youth Jazz Orchestra and invested ÂŁ9k of its own resources to this effect in 2009/10. The two grants for JSL and NYJO were merged in 2010/11. Jazz Services and NYJO made a successful application to the ACE National Portfolio Funding Programme. In the latter half of 2011 and early part of 2012 Jazz Services underwent a restructuring exercise to deliver a structure best suited to deliver its plans for 2012/15 as a National Portfolio Funding Organisation. Jazz Services time as a National Portfolio Organisation came to an end in 2015 and, using ACE reorganisation funding, Jazz Services rebranded as JazzUK. The organisation refocused on audience development, a new education programme and the promotion of British jazz musicians overseas.

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