Stuart Isaac

Artistic and Programmes Director at Arts for Health (Milton Keynes); Exec Officer, EMJAZZ

Being a jazz trumpeter through my secondary school years, my love of jazz in all it’s idioms has stayed with me, Training as music teacher, music has been the mainstay of my career, added to which I have led grass-roots initiatives and brought about economic and social development through many local and region-wide projects across the UK.

Including many years with national organisation Making Music, I have worked hand-in-glove with voluntary music promoters, performers and self-promoting groups focusing on capacity building by delivering training across a number of areas including Governance, marketing, communications, finance, fundraising, partnership building etc.

I was involved with the steering group for JPN, and as Executive Director of EMJAZZ (East Midlands Jazz) for nearly 10 years, brought that organisation in to the Arts Council England’s National Portfolio of regularly funded organisations.  I have driven numerous education and artist development projects, including region-wide (£72K) Youth Music funded ‘Miles Ahead’, engaging children & young people through Music Hubs; developed and managed the ‘Side by Side’ artist development programme, and supported the region-wide promotion of contemporary jazz performance through mentoring a network of core promoters/venues.

I bring knowledge, skills and experience to help develop JPN and UK jazz promotion.

Note of Support and Seconding: from Ian Perry (Programmer, Nottingham Jazzhouse – Jazz Steps)

I support Stuart Isaac in his application to become a JPN board member. I’ve known Stuart since 2011 when he became Executive/Development Officer for EMJAZZ, the East Midlands jazz  development organisation, during which time he has successfully consolidated EMJAZZ’s future by  achieving regular NPO status. Stuart’s longstanding work with national and regional Creative and Voluntary sectors would bring experience to the board from beyond the jazz sector. 

Penny King

Head of Creative Programming, Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama in Cardiff

I would bring to the Board a lifelong passion for jazz and new music as well as a range of relevant skills and experience. 

Early in my career I gained extensive experience as a producer working with two national touring networks, presenting a diverse range of UK and international artists, and developing partnerships to help build audiences for contemporary music. I then spent ten years at Arts Council England in music specialist roles developing regional and national strategy and managing funding to support artists and organisations across the music industry. Following this I worked as a freelance producer and fundraiser with artists and organisations including Green Man Festival, Lau and Martin Green.

I also have experience as a venue programmer; in my current role at RWCMD I promote an eclectic programme of UK and international jazz and collaborate with venues across Wales to extend the reach of our work.

An ambition would be to broaden the network across the UK and particularly into Wales where there is significant need for a stronger promoter infrastructure. As well as time spent attending regular Board meetings and events, there would be potential for me to support some of this work through my role at RWCMD.

Note of Support and Seconding: from Ros Rigby (JPN Board Member)

I am delighted to nominate Penny King for Board membership of JPN. Her wide-ranging career in music has included work as a funder at Arts Council England, as a freelance producer, at the helm of two hugely influential music touring networks in the late 1990’s/early 2000’s (the Asian Music Circuit and the Contemporary Music Network) and now as the Head of Creative Programming at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff. Since taking up that post she has developed opportunities for Welsh jazz artists and jazz students at the College to collaborate with overseas musicians. She also has considerable experience on other boards and would bring to JPN both knowledge of how we can better support the jazz scene in Wales, but also the benefit of her experience in so many different areas of the music industry. 

Kim Macari

Current Chair, Jazz Promotion Network

I am standing for re-election to serve a second term on the JPN board.

Things have changed a lot – not just in the organisation but also the wider community and the environment in which we operate. 2020 has been tough for all of us but I believe it’s highlighted the need for a body like JPN and has refined what our mission should be to support the jazz and improvised music community across UK and Ireland.

It’s been hugely rewarding to be part of this board – I’m particularly proud of the collaborative stand at Jazzahead in 2018/2019 and the programme of work for which we received our largest arts council investment for 2020, allowing us to deliver more work and bring on staff for the first time. 

My strength is my varied body of work – as artist, programmer and funder. This 360 degree view places me in a unique position that I can use to think strategically, communicate effectively and work to bring together different parts of our sector. I’m deeply passionate about this artform and want to do all that I can to ensure that everyone working in it is supported, recognised for their contributions and equipped to deal with the challenges we face.

I’d love to continue on the board to facilitate our growth and development.

Note of Support and Seconding: from Barney Stevenson (JPN Treasurer and Director Marsden Jazz Festival)

I have served alongside Kim Macari on the board of the Jazz Promotion Network since Kim’s election in 2017 and her appointment as chair in 2019.

Kim is a progressive and focussed thinker and is a passionate advocate of a diverse and thriving jazz sector. She has strong international links and is a frequent speaker and panel member at conferences in Europe and further afield. Kim also now works for Arts Council England, with national responsibility for jazz and as a relationship manager for arts organisations in London, helping her to gain valuable insights to current thinking in the arts.

I wholeheartedly support Kim’s re-election to maintain continuity of leadership and momentum for the JPN.

Paula McColl

Creative Producer, Moving On Music, Belfast

I am a Creative Producer with Moving On Music in Belfast, co-managing the organisation with my colleague Michael Bonner. I have been involved with Moving On Music in various roles since 2012, beginning initially as a volunteer while studying for my Masters. After graduating I began working as the Touring & Outreach Officer, and now as Creative Producer. 

My roles within the organisation include overseeing our NI Touring Programme, Outreach activity and Artist Development work, general programming and working on ‘Brilliant Corners; a festival of jazz in Belfast’, fundraising and strategy development. My background in music is as an Irish traditional musician, and I continue to play and teach fiddle. I studied Music at Ulster University, followed by a Masters in Cultural Management. I have a wide musical interest which is what brought me to Moving On Music’s work back in 2012.

The opportunity to be part of the JPN board is a very exciting one for me personally. I hope to bring some fresh ideas and perspective to the network’s activity. I would in particular be keen to find ways to further connect NI and Irish musicians, promoters, etc to the network. I particularly enjoyed the opportunity to host the JPN board meeting in Belfast in 2018 and remain enthused to bring the JPN conference to Belfast for the first time. Being a member of the board while also hosting the conference with Moving On Music would be naturally beneficial to both organisations. I look forward to getting to know all of the members of the network and working together to develop and promote the exciting work that is happening across the UK and Ireland.

Note of Support and Seconding: from Kenneth Killeen (Director, Improvised Music Company)

My colleague Paula McColl has expressed interest in joining the Jazz Promotion Network board and I am thrilled at this decision. She will undoubtedly be a valuable board member, adding a considerable dynamic as well as an vital geographic viewpoint to this expanding network. 

Improvised Music Company has worked with Paula and the team at Moving on Music for a number of years, collaborating on work opportunities for artists, programming, professional and talent development and mentoring.  

We share the similar views on artform, artist and audience development, connected to the international jazz network and with a focus on progressing our collective domestic talent. 

It is important that the Jazz Promotion Network board reflects adequately the scope of its membership, its geographic remit as well as the work done by its respective constituents. Paula will, of course, bring this to the table, but also a lot more in terms of new ideas, new perspectives and new initiatives. 

With her considerable experience and skills, she will be an important addition to the ongoing work of the Jazz Promotion Network board and Improvised Music Company look forward to both liaising with and supporting her in this role. 

Orphy Robinson MBE

Musician, Trustee/Vice Chair NYJO, Trustee Ivor’s Academy, Chair Ivor’s Jazz Committee

I wish to stand for a position of trustee on the JPN board. 

I am currently a trustee/Vice Chair of NYJO.

I am a Trustee of the Ivors Academy (BASCA) & Chair of the Ivor’s Jazz Committee. 

I have experience in lobbying & championing musicians and composer’s rights. This has included successful rights & royalties campaigning for the 2018 European Copyright Directive in the European Parliament. 

I am currently providing evidence for the upcoming DCMS Select Committee review on the unfair remuneration rewards in music Streaming .

I have led or contributed to various national steering groups on research, consultation, construction of Policy, Finance, Equality, Diversity.

I believe that the JPN is an essential voice to bring some clarity to a minefield of issues for promoters  & musicians, such as grants, commissions.

I believe that the profile of the JPN can be raised to be an invaluable asset for the UK Jazz ecosystem & a powerful voice to represent members views.

I would be honoured if you would cast your vote for me.

I thank you for your time and support.

Orphy Robinson.

Note of Support and Seconding: from Steve Mead (Manchester Jazz Festival)

To those of you who already know the rich contribution that Orphy makes to jazz and improvised music across these islands as an artist, it may come as something of a surprise that this is only half of Orphy’s story. A quick glance down the wealth of experience detailed above reveals an individual so deeply committed to the culture and wellbeing of his chosen artform: its artistic and social growth and development, the wider sharing and learning of its joys and benefits, and a long-held principle that jazz must be ‘at the table’ in any conversation about culture in its wider sense.

Orphy’s insight, openness and commitment, in themselves, make him an unquestionable choice as a trustee. Yet I must also speak up to make sure that the network – and its board – is a place where all voices are heard and acknowledged, not only regardless of their background, but because of it – and to remind us all that if crucial voices such as Orphy’s are missing from the conversation, the conversation is incomplete. His ambitions are clear and determined, and chime perfectly with those of the JPN. It is only by taking proactive steps to ensure that we genuinely represent everyone, that JPN will truly achieve its vision to be a collaborative network that enables the diverse UK & Irish jazz sector to innovate, inspire and thrive. Orphy brings to the table the essential qualities and mindset that will help us do just that.

Indeed, it would be harder to think of anyone better placed to help lead us, as we navigate together the challenging period we undoubtedly face. I hereby endorse Orphy’s nomination to become a JPN Trustee.

Wesley Stephenson

Jazz North East / Newcastle Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music / New  Jazz and Improvised Music Recordings

My enthusiasm for jazz began working in an independent record shop.

In 2009 Jazz North East invited me to join their team noticing that I attended virtually every concert whatever genre style, I have become the primary lead in steering the organisations activity.

With Jazz North East I bring new developments building on a 54 year history.

In 2014 I initiated ‘Women Make Music’ championing female musicians and creating a realistic gender balanced programme, I also ensured more representation for local artists, assistance in artist development, and credible workshop series.

In 2017 I independently began the ‘Newcastle Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music’ working with regional partners presenting a full weekend of dynamic jazz.

With the festival postponement in 2020, I developed and launched the ‘New Jazz and Improvised Music Recordings’ project offering a life line for artists to continue writing and recording whilst live performance has not been possible.

I consider my work in the context of the global jazz network, as a JPN member I believe I could bring new ideas and approaches.

Whilst recognising the roll of a board member is to carry forward the organisations activity plan, this is also an opportunity for personal artistic development.

Wesley Stephenson (Jazz North East / Newcastle Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music / New Jazz and Improvised Music Recordings)

Note of Support and Seconding: from Paul Bream (Retired Chairperson, Jazz North East)

I have known Wesley Stephenson for around 15 years, since he became a regular audience member at Jazz North East concerts. He was always keen to discuss the performances, and in recognition of his clear commitment and enthusiasm for the music he was recruited to the JNE Board in 2010. Since then, he has played an indispensable part in sustaining and expanding the promoter’s activities, building new relationships with musicians in Britain and Europe, and becoming lead programer for the organisation in 2016.

Three initiatives in particular have demonstrated the highest levels of creative thinking and organisational ability:

* The ‘Women Make Music’ concert series, for which Wesley has secured ongoing funding, presents bands/projects led by female musicians, and has been an integral part of JNE’s annual programme since 2016.
* The annual Newcastle Festival of Jazz & Improvised Music, established and curated by Wesley in 2017, is a cooperative venture involving promoters and venues across Tyneside, and presenting leading improvising musicians from both the UK and international scenes.
* The ‘New Jazz & Improvised Music’ record label, recently launched by Wesley after a successful crowdfunding campaign, is a logical development from the Festival, but with the wider agenda of issuing original recordings by both established and emerging artists.

All in all I regard Wesley as one of the most creative, dynamic and effective organisers to have emerged on the jazz scene in recent years. I have every confidence that he can be a key player in the continuing development of jazz as a vital part of the national and international cultural landscape, and wholeheartedly recommend him as a JPN Board member.

Roger Wilson

Black Lives In Music

I have a wealth of skills and experience developed within the music industry to bring to the JPN board. My experience is taken from my time as a musician working in the commercial sector, as an administrator, educator and tour manager. Currently, I am Head of Professional Development and Orchestra Manager at the National Youth Jazz Orchestra where I have worked for the last five years. During the difficulties of the current pandemic I worked together with my colleagues to develop and enhance the community experience for NYJO musicians and to provide opportunities for their professional development and maintained well-being throughout. Support for the wider jazz community will be of continuing significance during the challenging times the industry is experiencing. I am passionate about the plight of under-represented groups within the Jazz community. As a founder member of a new organisation called Black Lives in Music, I hope to help galvanise awareness and precipitate action in the wider UK jazz community. BLiM wishes to help create fair opportunities for people of colour at all levels of our industry in the UK. I hope to work with JPN to provide a voice that can be heard and listened to in the best interests of jazz and improvised music in the UK and Ireland – I bring energy, knowledge, experience, tenacity and commitment.

Note of Support and Seconding: from Kim Macari (Current Chair, Jazz Promotion Network)

Roger’s passion for meaningful change and development within the jazz scene is an inspiration. What’s most striking about his work with NYJO is that he takes a holistic view of jazz education; he’s concerned just as much about what goes on off-stage and away from rehearsals and gigs as he does with what happens on-stage. He also looks at the bigger picture and how jazz education is connected to the other parts of the industry – this is evident in the work he does to prepare NYJO’s young musicians for professional life.

I believe he will bring not only his expertise within the field to the board of JPN but also passion and drive for positive and meaningful change in our sector – one only has to look at the momentum of his recent equality, diversity and inclusion initiative to see that he is someone who can identify a problem and work toward a solution.

Roger works tirelessly behind the scenes and is a force for good in the world of jazz education. I second his application to join the board of JPN without reservation