Shirley Tetteh – MS Mochles Pictures 2019
Summer jazz schools are excellent fun to explore practice with other people or try something completely new. Often set up by organisations or independently by jazz musicians, it’s a great way to combine a holiday or break with music, access tutoring and playing alongside professional artists and summer school participants of all ages. This series of Jazz South Spotlight features will home in on three different summer schools covered by the Jazz South region. Here’s the first, taking place in Brighton.
We spoke to one of the co-founders of New Generation Jazz, Eddie Myer, to find out more about the organisation as it gets ready for its first one-day summer school event on Saturday 20 July.
Tell us a bit more about New Generation Jazz, what sparked the idea?
My colleague Jack Kendon and I were aware that there was a gap in the scene, yet lots of support for jazz in and around Brighton. We wanted to keep the tradition of jazz alive and the richness of the genre both in tradition and quality, which is second to none. It also came about that a few years prior, we became aware of a purpose-built jazz venue, The Verdict, which popped up in the heart of Brighton, and it felt right to seize the opportunity.
How would you define New Generation Jazz?
We’re gig oriented so we curate stages and draw attention to young more diverse artists. A majority of what we aim to do is bring younger audiences and younger artists together, break away from the stigma and remove some of the preconceived notions that jazz is not for young people, we want to grow the sector in this way.
You could call us ‘promoters with a mission’, putting on performances to further the careers of younger artists. For example, at Love Supreme, we have been putting on stages with a mix of commercial artists and old school side by side since its genesis. We want to go beyond binary mindsets that you have to like one specific style or another. New Generation Jazz allows the opportunity to enjoy the merits of both.
Where do you see New Generation jazz going?
We want to keep going and keep growing the audience. It’s two stranded really, we want to tap into the older more established supporters of jazz in Brighton and bring them to younger artists just in the earlier stages of their careers’ to try and ‘Break out the Jazz Box’ as it were.
Ashley Henry – Image Credit : Mrporter.com
So what should we expect from the New Generation Jazz Summer School?
Eddie explained that education is at the forefront of what New Generation Jazz does. Staying true to that narrative, New Generation Jazz is launching an immersive, learning experience at Brighton Electric Studios this Saturday 20 July.
Bringing together some of the most exciting musicians creating new jazz sounds, the day aims to include musicians of all ages and abilities, with the help of expert tutors (such as Sony award-winning artist Ashley Henry, guitarist extraordinaire Shirley Tetteh and BBC New Generation Jazz Artist Rob Luft) to provide an exciting and worthwhile day in the south. The project hopes to “foster links between the many different participants in the local scene and the city’s educators to ensure the continuation of the music we all love.”
As “the first of its kind” jazz summer school event in Brighton, Eddie hopes that those in the sector will go along and support this event.
For more information and to get tickets head to www.newgenerationjazz.co.uk