Jazz North is working in partnership with northern venues to bring musicians back to venues and audiences in its new Back to Live project. It will launch at More Music (in partnership with Lancaster Jazz Festival) in Morecambe and Future Yard in Birkenhead on Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th June, and then continue to The Crescent in York on Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th July
Back to Live gives each band on the Jazz North northern line scheme a chance to come together safely and takeover a venue. “The pandemic has seen many artists unable to work, rehearse and perform,” explains Jazz North’s Programme Manager Heather Spencer. “33% of musicians didn’t qualify for support and between 65% - 80% of a musicians’ income is expected to have been lost due to the cancellation of live performances.* Venues have consistently battled changing guidelines, last minute cancellations and months of closure.” 
Back to Live gives artists time to get themselves gig-ready again by rehearsing new or existing material, experimenting, and trying out new ideas to re-launch their music to audiences. “We’re so excited to see the brilliant artists of northern line face-to-face again,” continues Heather, “to feel that vibe in the room when musicians play to audiences, and to help get artists feeling ready and confident for live shows. 
The first two of these live shows will be on Sunday 6th June with Rafe’s Dilemma and Not Now Charlie at Future Yard, and Nishla Smith Quintet and John Pope Quintet at More Music’s The Hothouse. The bands will take over the venues from Saturday 5th June for rehearsals, photoshoots and development sessions in budgeting, project planning and marketing, with industry professionals. They will then perform on the Sunday to a live audience. Jemma Freese and SogoRock will then take over and perform at The Crescent in York on Sunday 18th July, on sale from next week. 
*From UK Music’s ‘Music By Numbers report 

Photo: Nishla Smith Quintet - credit Porl Medlock