JPN Conference Music Programme Announced


Bela Horvath Trio

This is a Leeds based trio led by Bela on piano. It is deeply respectful of the jazz tradition but something of Bela’s Hungarian roots filters into their music.

Josh Schofield Quartet

Led by Josh Schofield on saxophones, this is one of the most exciting groups to emerge from the Birmingham course in recent years. It has tremendous energy based on the jazz modern mainstream.

Samantha Wright Quintet

Clarinettist Sam Wright leads a quintet with Alicia Gardner-Trejo sharing the frontline on bass clarinet and baritone saxophone. Music with great charm.


Leeds based Morpher’s music combines a heady mix of electronics and improvisation that puts them in the forefront of what is happening in contemporary jazz.


Even Sanne

Led by guitarist Eran Har Even and vocalist Sanne Huijbregts, the quartet EvenSanne (available on the Going Dutch programme and already booked to play Manchester Jazz Festival this year) is one of the fascinating new wave of bands from the Netherlands, producing compositions and improvisations that are at once harmonic, lyrical, storytelling and  dynamic.

Eric Vloeimans’ Oliver’s Cinema

Indisputably a new European maestro, trumpeter Eric Vloeimans leads the Oliver’s Cinema trio (with accordion and cello) in a blend of cinematic style composition, freedom of improvisation and a characteristically Dutch sense of wit and imagination.  Available in 2018 on the Going Dutch programme.

Performance time: 7.00 – 7.40pm, downstairs

Ubunye (‘one-ness’) unites singers hailing from Kwa Zulu Natal in South Africa (now Huddersfield-based) with a jazz horn section and gospel and R’n’B players from Yorkshire, in an inspirational blend of jazz, Isigqi – traditional Zulu music – and Afro-pop.

The ElecTrio
Performance time: 7.50 – 8.30pm, upstairs

Dan Goldman, from Leeds, has made a speciality of the Fender Rhodes, centring it at the heart of the blistering, funky driving sound of this tight, magnetic band: progressive, yet with a nod to its historical roots in 70s/80s fusion.

Performance time: 9.30 – 10.10pm, upstairs

Faye MacCalman fronts a Newcastle sax-bass-drums trio drawing on garage rock, minimalism and free improvisation: riffs, silence, noise and grooves create a collage of hard-edged blocks of sound that evolve over the performance.


JPN Conference and AGM 2017

We are pleased to announce that this year JPN will once again be organising a two day conference to consider and discuss some of the challenges and opportunities currently facing our sector. It’s our only national meet and a great place to network, so there will be plenty of time to mingle with colleagues. There’ll be lots of live music, and we will also be staging our AGM.

For 2017 the event will be hosted by Leeds College of Music and we are very grateful for their generous support.


Monday 26 and Tuesday 27 June

To allow travel time we will be starting at midday on Mon 26 June and finishing at 5pm on Tues 27 June


Leeds College of Music


Each JPN member receives one free conference place, which includes lunch, tea and coffee each day.

JPN members can purchase additional places for colleagues at a reduced rate.

Non-members are also able to purchase places.

Hotel and Travel are at members’ cost.


The conference theme will be #jazz100 – Launching the Next 100 Years of British and Irish Jazz

There will be five main elements:

  • Discussion groups (led by facilitators) exploring the future of jazz
  • Facilitated meetings for different areas of the sector on shared opportunities and challenges
  • Updates on new and ongoing JPN projects
  • Live music from some of the north’s leading jazz artists
  • The formal JPN AGM (open to JPN members only)

If there are particular areas or subjects you would like us to consider featuring during the conference, please email Amy Pearce at

To see the full programme for the conference please click here

To register for the conference please click here

Norvol and Jazz North to encourage new promoters

The Norvol jazz network continues to flourish.  It is now up to 30 jazz club and festival members in the Northern region and keeps attracting more.  The network met at Scarborough on September 24th, and approved a project to work with Jazz North to help new Northern jazz promoters. They also  gave their blessing to starting work on a new jazz touring programme for 2017 which will follow on from the current successful Apollo/NorvolJazz programme that is bringing artists like Ingrid Jensen, Ellery Eskelin and Seamus Blake  to Northern jazz venues.

Full minutes of the meeting can be found here


Manchester Jazz Festival celebrates the EJN Award 2016

Manchester Jazz Festival, whose Artistic Director Steve Mead is also vice Chair of JPN, was recently given the 5th European Jazz Network Award for Adventurous Programming. An edited version of the press release follows:


The Europe Jazz Network (EJN) is pleased to officially announce the winner of the 5th EJN Award for Adventurous Programming. The Award 2016 goes to Manchester Jazz Festival, the first UK promoter to receive the prestigious Award.

Each year EJN, the Europe-wide association of promoters, presenters and organisations who specialise in creative music, contemporary jazz and improvised music, awards a European promoter who exemplifies the values of EJN and skilfully succeeds to create visionary and fascinating musical programmes for the audience.

The EJN Award 2016 was announced on 22nd July 2016 during the opening ceremony of the Manchester Jazz Festival (mjf) at Manchester Town Hall. John Davies, Chair of mjf, opened the ceremony, welcoming all participants and thanking the many sponsors and supporters of the Festival gathered at the beautiful venue of the Town Hall. Ros Rigby, President of EJN, and Piotr Turkiewicz, Chair of the Award 2016 Jury, presented the Award and the guidelines that the Jury followed to identify the winner of the 2016 Award, before asking to Steve Mead, Artistic Director of mjf, to receive the Award on behalf of all mjf team. Richard Lees, Leader of Manchester City Council, and Sarah Maxfield, Director of Arts Council North, also intervened as key partners and supporters of mjf, acknowledging the essential contribution of the festival to the development of a dynamic, diverse and inclusive cultural scene in not only in the city of Manchester but also throughout the UK.

The winner will be also celebrated this year at the European Jazz Conference in Wroclaw, Poland (22-25 September 2016) with all the members of the Europe Jazz Network and other international professionals of the creative music sector.

The 2016 Award has been unanimously assigned by an independent jury composed of journalists and EJN members to Manchester Jazz Festival for its continued and successful efforts in promoting original projects and nurturing emerging talents from the North of England as well as developing throughout the years an audience very receptive for new musical discoveries.

Previous winners of the EJN Award for Adventurous Programming were: “Moers Festival” in Germany (2015) “Jazz em Agosto” in Portugal (2014), “Bimhuis” in The Netherlands (2013) and “12 Points Festival” in Ireland (2012).

 Steve Mead, Artistic Director of mjf, said:
“To receive news of this award is incredibly humbling and totally unexpected. It’s a tribute to all the hard work of mjf staff past and present, every single performing musician, our many venue partners and supporters and a testament to the creative jazz scene not only in Manchester and the north, but across the whole of the UK. In addition to our championing of new and original work, I’d like to think that our celebration of the undiscovered, our choice of collaborator and the curiosity of our continually growing audiences have all played a part in the EJN’s decision to grant this prestigious award to mjf.”

Comment from the Award Jury 2016:

“The EJN Award is for ‘adventurous programming’ and this can be interpreted in many ways. Manchester Jazz Festival, now over 20 years old, has been adventurous in its policy of supporting emerging talent, jazz from across the North of England, and new work, rather than seeking the usual ‘big names’ for their programme. Through this they have brought to public attention many artists from the North who have gone on to gain national and international profiles- such as the Mercury Prize nominated band GoGo Penguin from Manchester. The Jury were unanimous in their appreciation for this approach and were delighted that the 2016 Award should go to this enterprising UK jazz festival.”


Steve Mead receiving the EJN Award

Steve Mead receiving the EJN Award

Dutch Visits

As part of JPN’s ongoing work with Dutch Performing Arts (DPA), a schedule of visits to Dutch events is currently taking place – for more details please see the Dutch Performing Arts page under ‘What We Do’.

Steve Mead, Artistic Director of Manchester Jazz Festival, recently visited Rotterdam’s Injazz Festival as part of this programme of visits. This is his report:

Back at the end of June, a cohort of JPN promoters, including my fabulous colleagues Amy Sibley-Allen, David and Alice Porter, Ian Perry and Kate Gamm, attended the Injazz showcase weekend of young Dutch jazz talent, on the warm invitation from Dutch Performing Arts.

It was a relaxed, varied and enlightening affair and we were impeccably looked after. Despite the cloud of despair that hung over our arrival day following the referendum result, our Dutch colleagues welcomed us, looked after us and generally made the whole thing a piece of cake. (Dutch Apple Cake, naturally.)

Showcase performances were scheduled back to back across three main venues, focussing on the relaxed and flexible spaces in the Lanteren Venster, but all within easy walking distance – I especially liked the ingeniously converted Kantine Walhalla – and of the 30 or so bands on offer over the two day showcase, I managed to catch at least 15 minutes of 20 of them.

Most of us have attended similar events in the past of course – they’re a great way of gaining a potted summary – a snapshot of the scene at a particular moment in time – and I love having no expectations and making chance discoveries, of which there were plenty.

Of course there are plenty vying for attention and that elusive UK gig – and plenty of ‘good but not outstanding’ – but there were also some special, unexpected moments.

We were treated to a Trade Dinner – great for chance meetings – (why is it easier to hook up with other Brits at events like this than it is back home??) – and, of course, circulating with your frikandel – although admittedly it wasn’t ideal for vegetarian pests like me… Memorably, we were also treated to a special trip to Amsterdam to an intimate old converted cinema, the intriguingly named Theater de Roode Bioscoop, where three duos played for us and us alone. The unlikely duo of viola and bass (Mark Haanstra and Oene van Geel) shone with their command, musicality and constant interest.

My find though, tucked away in a distant space in the Lanteren Venster at the end of the night, was Even Sanne, centered on vocalist Sanne Huijbregts and guitarist Eran Har and expanded into a new four piece with accompanying film. What struck me here – as it did Amy from Kings Place – was the originality of sound, the combination of Sanne’s simple, striking voice, the ensemble cohesion and the group’s vision, avoiding cliché and going for their own thing – something which many others lacked. Like the best discoveries, I wasn’t expecting it, it felt like it was just for me and I can still remember the sound now – and the tingle factor it prompted.

Thanks must go to Nora and Susanne for treating us like royalty and for Nod for setting it all up for us.

If you haven’t joined JPN yet, apart from the obvious benefits and discoveries, this trip is a great example, especially in such uncertain times, of what such a team effort can achieve for understanding and awareness – on both sides.


JPN Members News

Welcome to the new look JPN web site! Although the ‘look and feel’ has changed, we are still working on a number of new features, including membership news and discussion forums. These will be released as soon as possible during the next few months, and will allow members to post their own news and discussion threads automatically.

In the meantime JPN members are warmly invited to submit their news for general publication. In the short term this can be done by using the ‘contact us’ facility and pasting in your news item. We will publish this as soon as possible.

Just a few ground rules. The main one is that we are trying to be a forum for our members and more generally for the jazz community. So we would ask that the item is genuinely news which is likely to be of interest to a national audience, and not, for example, a listing of your next few gigs. News will be moderated so the usual caveats apply.

We look forward to hearing from you.