Jazz North's Creative Director Nigel Slee likes travelling using the combination of folding bike and trains during his working week. So, when Corrado Beldì, Artistic Director of NovaraJazz, issued a challenge to the 156 member organisations of the Europe Jazz Network to travel to the European Jazz Conference in Italy by sustainable travel, Nigel was up to the task.
Nigel won the competition by travelling the furthest - 1925km from Leeds in the United Kingdom to Novara in Italy - catching four trains that crossed four countries and cycling across five European cities, all in 20 hours. He was presented with the prize, a custom folding bike embossed with the NovaraJazz logo, on stage at the final plenary of the European Jazz Conference.
“Jazz North has a strong commitment to sustainable travel,” says Nigel. “Every year we increase our use of public transport and bikes to attend meetings and events across the north of England and as members of Julie’s Bicycle, it is built into the fabric of the organisation. So, when I heard about the NovaraJazz competition, I couldn’t wait take part. The whole experience was brilliant and travelling on train is a creative space where you can work, think and listen to music. Now we have a fantastic Jazz Bike – another incentive for us to continue our efforts to travel sustainably!”
NovaraJazz launched the train challenge last year for the 2019 European Jazz Conference as part of the Europe Jazz Network’s initiative “Take the Green Train”. The participant who travelled the furthest by train would win a customised folded bike. NovaraJazz Artistic Director Corrado Beldi presented Nigel with the prize and says, "Congratulations Nigel and we hope you return soon to Novara and by bike!" Other contestants in the competition travelled by train from Hamburg, Ghent and Paris.

Jazz North is the jazz development agency in the north of England funded by Arts Council England as a sector support organisation. Established in 2012, it has a ground-breaking approach to supporting and nurturing jazz across the north. It uses the power of collective partnership working to build networks between musicians, educators, promoters and venues, to grow audiences for jazz and to inspire children and young people to make music. Jazz North is committed to minimising the negative environmental impacts of its activities, including business travel by encouraging greater use of public transport and car sharing to meetings.