It’s safe to say that 2020 has been a rollercoaster year for the music industry and the jazz sector in particular. Since Covid-19 hit in March, nearly everyone has seen their calendars and activity wiped out in the face of restrictions and uncertainty. But there was also a huge amount of innovation and improvisation from everyone across Ireland and the UK and it’s been great to see so much of the membership managing to still thrive in such a difficult time.

For JPN, it’s been a year of reflection and positive change. As we move into 2021 and leave 2020 behind, here are a few reminders of what’s been going on behind the scenes and some of the significant events from the past year.

  • February 
    • JPN receives its first ever project funding from Arts Council England. This enables us to kickstart our new programme of work and begin the search for hiring a new Network Manager and Communications and Marketing Manager
    • We announce that the next conference will be in Belfast
  • March
  • May
    • The Conference in Belfast is officially cancelled
    • Lucy Woolley and Daniel Garel are appointed as Network Manager and Communications and Marketing Manager respectively
  • June
    • JPN hosts its first ever digital open space event with keynote speeches from Ayanna Wittter Johnson and MU Deputy Secretary Naomi Pohl
    • JPN hosts a panel discussion at this year’s inJazz Festival summarising the Going Dutch Project
    • Our survey assessing the impact of Covid-19 on the jazz sector is Launched
    • Membership is made free until April 2021
  • July 
    • JPN Launches its first training session in collaboration with Attitude is Everything to help promoters and venues improve accessibility for customers
  • August 
    • JPN launches its case-study programme with AiE which saw the selection of four promoters/festivals to work directly with the charity to improve accessibility at their events. The results of these case studies will be published in 2021
  • September 
    • We said goodbye to longstanding board members Kenneth Killeen, Claire Furlong and John Blandford who stood down at our AGM 2020
    • We launched our report which expands on our survey results
  • October 
    • There are successes for the jazz sector in the first round of Arts Council Cultural Recovery Funding, with around £4 Million being awarded to jazz organisations by our estimates
  • November
    • The first of our Action Learning sets run by Julia Payne from the hub UK takes place. We also kickstart our interactive Business Planning training
  • December 
    • We hosted our EGM to vote in new board members – the newly elected representatives are Roger Wilson (Black Lives In Music), Orphy Robinson (Musician/Ivors), Paula McColl (Moving on Music) and Penny King (RCWMD)

As we approach 2021, we also have a number of other exciting things to look forward to, including the launch of our new membership platform online, announcement of more training sessions with Attitude is Everything and the hub, new digital resource hub for members, revealing our conference plans for 2021 and much, much more.

From everyone at JPN, we want to say a huge THANK YOU to all our members. Your continued resilience is inspiring in these difficult times and we are very excited to see everything you will achieve in the new year to help promote jazz across the UK and Ireland.