The All Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group Announces A Review Of Jazz In England
Following an enforced delay due to the global pandemic and a year of unprecedented change, challenges, and specific hardships for working musicians, the All Party Jazz Appreciation Group (APPJAG) has commissioned a Review of Jazz in England. The Review will be undertaken by APPJAG’s Secretary, Chris Hodgkins, and an expert advisory panel, chaired by musician and jazz educator Dr Kathy Dyson.
Chris Hodgkins summarises the review’s objectives:
‘This review concerns the operation, management and business of jazz, and its purposes are twofold:
One, to help the jazz constituency in England to understand and use its resources in the most efficient and effective ways – and two, to make the case for improving the support, sustainability and promotion of jazz in England.
The review will be undertaken in two phases. The first, entitled “Where are we now?”, examines the present state of jazz in England, drawing on revealing data from five key surveys aimed at the jazz constituency. The second asks the question: “Where do we want to be?”, and develops a succinct action plan for jazz in England that will go out for consultation to all interested parties, and the jazz constituency at large.’
John Spellar MP and Lord Mann (Co-Chairs of APPJAG), and Alison Thewless MP and Chi Onwurah MP (Co-Vice Chairs of APPJAG), detail some of the review’s objectives:
“It has been a tough year for jazz with many musicians and promoters falling through the cracks in terms of funding. APPJAG continues to put the case to the Department for Culture, Digital, Media and Sport to rectify this egregious state of affairs. Underpinning the review is the fact that jazz in England (and indeed across the UK) is “rich beyond the dreams of avarice” in terms of human resources: jazz musicians, composers, volunteer promoters, audiences, commercial promoters, educators, youth orchestras, jazz festivals, Arts Council England funded jazz National Portfolio Organisations, a growing service economy and jazz archives. But there are some vital issues that need addressing urgently; increased investment, frictionless touring in the EU, financial support for musicians and promoters who fell through the cracks in 2020/21 and a fair deal for musicians getting their music streamed. The objective of the Review of Jazz in England is to inform Government, funding bodies, potential sponsors, Parliament and to assist the jazz constituency in shaping an action plan for jazz in England.”
And Dr Kathy Dyson, Chair of the Advisory Panel of the Review of Jazz in England, comments:
“As a jazz musician and educator I am well aware of how hard a year it has been for jazz musicians, promoters, studios, technical staff, media and the jazz constituency at large. Realistically, recovery will be slow on the domestic scene and our touring capabilities will be hampered both by Brexit and the myriad quarantine and travel issues globally. This current situation is exacerbated by ten years of funding cuts which have dramatically affected the arts and now the Government is planning to impose a disastrous 50% funding cut to arts subjects including music at Higher Education level in England. The pandemic has thrown petrol on flames and highlighted issues of insecurity, low wages and exploitation of musicians by the music streaming companies. This Review of Jazz in England is a genuine and concerted attempt by people who care deeply about the music, musicians and all involved in promoting it, to find out how the jazz community has fared during the pandemic, what the main issues are that we face now; how these can best be addressed during the post Covid period with the aim of an action plan for the jazz community in England.”
Teesside University Business School is partnering the Review of Jazz in England, and Associate Dean (Marketing & Recruitment) Dr Noel Dennis, writes:
“Teesside University Business School is proud to support the Review of Jazz in England. This is a very timely project that will provide the analysis to allow for fresh strategic thinking to ensure a sustainable future for this wonderful music. I am delighted our students are being afforded the opportunity to contribute to this exciting project and, in so doing, develop their professional skills.”
Full details and briefing papers – ‘Cold Comfort and Home Truths’ – Terms of reference, composition of the Advisory Panel, and five questionnaires dealing with promoters and venues, musicians, jazz festivals, audiences plus individuals and organisations are available at: Review of Jazz in England The closing date for the questionnaires is midnight, Monday 28th June 2021.
Notes to the Editor
The All Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group (APPJAG) aims to encourage wider and deeper enjoyment of jazz, to increase Parliamentarians’ understanding of the jazz industry and issues surrounding it, to promote jazz as a musical form and to raise its profile inside and outside Parliament. APPJAG currently has over 116 members from the House of Commons and House of Lords across all political parties. The Group’s officers, as at the Annual General Meeting of 22nd March 2021, are Co-Chairs:, John Spellar MP and Lord Mann, Secretary, Sir Greg Knight MP, Vice Chairs, Alison Thewless MP and Chi Onwurah MP. Treasurer is Ian Paisley MP. Officers are Lord Colwyn and Sarah Champion MP.
All-Party Parliamentary Groups are informal groups of Members of both Houses with a common interest in particular issues. The views expressed in this report are those of the group. This is not an official publication of the House of Commons or the House of Lords. It has not been approved by either House or its committees.
28th May 2021