JPN Conference 2023 - Here to Stay!

Speakers and artists announced for JAZZ PROMOTION NETWORK CONFERENCE AND SHOWCASES – OCT 31-NOV 2.  B:MUSIC and Birmingham City University.
THE JAZZ PROMOTION NETWORK is proud to announce some of the speakers and showcase and special guest performers for the JPN 2023 CONFERENCE in Birmingham.
THE CONFERENCE - 13.00-17.00  Oct 31 and 10.30- 17.00  Nov 1.
Starting at 1pm on Oct 31 at B:Music (Symphony Hall) with Soweto Kinch’s Keynote address, conference sessions will cover Inclusivity in Jazz, International working post-Brexit,  Jazz and the Radio and Jazz Labels. Panels will discuss contrasting approaches to supporting emerging artists, and potential training methods for those aiming to work in different areas of the music industry. Confirmed speakers include:  Pelin Opcin (Serious/EFG London Jazz Festival), Alex Carr (B:Music/Cheltenham Jazz Festival), Thomas Rees (Freelance Producer, BBC Radio 3’s  J to Z), Claire Umney and Christian Bragg (Jazz FM), Janine Irons (Tomorrow’s Warriors), Alanna Henry (Jazz Refreshed), Heather Spencer (Jazz North and JPN Trustee), Julia Payne (The Hub UK), and Matt Fripp (Jazzfuel).
A full day at Birmingham City University (BCU) on Nov 1 starts with a Spotlight on the Birmingham Jazz Scene from Alex Carr (B:Music), Jeremy Price (RBC/(Eastside Jazz Club), Pedro Cravinho, (National Jazz Archive/BCU Satellite), plus promoters Amy Coates (Fizzle), Tony Dudley-Evans (TDE Promotions), Phil Rose (Birmingham Jazz) Sam Slater (Stoney Lane Live) and Guilia Maro (Cherry Reds).
The afternoon includes presentations, chaired by Emily Jones, by the four current Cheltenham Jazz Festival/Jerwood Jazz Encounters artists - Marcus Joseph, Andrew Woodhead, Piera Onacko and Raheel Khan, and their approaches to presenting jazz in new ways and contexts.
The much-discussed topic of AI (Artificial Intelligence) and its legal and ethical implications for the music industry will be discussed by speakers Orphy Robinson (JPN Trustee/The Ivors Academy), Dr Melissa Avdeef (University of Stirling), Dr Patrycja Rozbicka (Aston University),  and more.
BCU has a strong record of research projects connected with jazz, and a Jazz Studies Research Showcase will present projects in partnership with the National Youth Jazz Collective, Cheltenham Jazz Festival and Tomorrow’s Warriors.
In parallel with the above, Julia Payne will host a session specifically designed for volunteer jazz promoters to explore areas of common interest and concern.
For the first time, the event will include a showcase programme on both evenings drawn from right across the UK/Ireland. We aim to grow an event where promoters can experience exciting UK/Irish artists in one location .With support from funders and partners, we bring the following to  Birmingham. The choices were made by an independent expert panel based across the UK, from nominations made by JPN members and other trusted partners.
●      FROM IRELAND- solo improviser and composer BIANCA GANNON, awarded the 2022/2023 BANBAM Award from Dublin’s Improvised Music Company and Belfast’s Moving on Music.
●      FROM WALES: DUSKI- trio led by bassist Adam Thorne signed to US label Ropeadope- active this year promoting their latest album ‘Pillowtalk Sessions vol 1’.  Their name is a play on the Welsh word DYSGU meaning ‘to learn and to teach’! 
●      FROM SCOTLAND: SEONAID AITKEN ENSEMBLE. Presenting their latest album Sakura, an ensemble of women and non-binary artists led by composer and broadcaster Seonaid Aitken, who shine in their fields of jazz, improvisation and classical music.
●      FROM SCOTLAND: AKU! This hard-boiled trio of Glasgow’s top musicians AKU! make a powerful statement fusing noise-rock, Afrobeat and hip-hop, following in the footsteps of artists including Death Grips, Sons of Kemet, Fela Kuti and The Thing.
●      FROM ENGLAND: MARCO WOOLF. Richard Kankondo (Marco Woolf) is a current Jazz North ‘Northern Line’ artist. His latest release, “Francine, I” – on Phlexx Records in July - follows an African woman as she migrates West for the sake of her children.
●      FROM ENGLAND: LIAM BRENNAN’S COLLIDESCOPE. Birmingham based band formed in 2021 influenced by artists Charlie Parker, John Taylor,  Stan Sulzmann and Charles Mingus. Liam Brennan is joined by fellow Royal Birmingham Conservatoire graduates James Borland, Nick Manz, Tommy Fuller  and Kai Chareunsy.

These artists are joined by three SPECIAL GUEST ENSEMBLES:
●      Tuesday October 31: SOWETO KINCH TRIO. Our Keynote speaker will be performing with his regular trio.
●      Wednesday November 1: FERGUS McCREADIE TRIO – this  multi-award-winning Scottish pianist/composer is one of the most successful UK jazz artists in recent years.  
●      THE RACHAEL COHEN BAND –Shetland born saxophonist Rachael Cohen studied at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire before moving to London. She works extensively across the UK and has become a mainstay at London clubs such as Ronnie Scott’s and the Vortex.

We are grateful for funding to date from Arts Council Wales and Creative Scotland and sponsorship from Making Music and The National Jazz Archive. We also acknowledge generous support in kind from B:Music, Birmingham City University and Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.

Click here for conference tickets.