Jazz South Radar Commissions

We are delighted to announce an exciting and diverse line-up of ten composers from across the Jazz South region who have been selected for Jazz South Radar Commissions.

Each composer will create a new 12-15 minute piece for up to 3 performers. These will be filmed and digitally broadcast in late 2020.

A panel from the jazz industry, including representation from venues, artists, promotion and jazz journalism selected the composers based on innovation, ambition, and the artistic aspiration of each commission. Open to composers in jazz and improvisation of any career stage, there was an extensive response to the scheme with over 50 proposals for new music. The final selection represents a range of established and rising talent from across the South.

Tamsin Mendelsohn, Jazz South Manager, said:
“We created Jazz South Radar Commissions to highlight the stunning jazz composer talent that exists across the south of England outside London. The digital broadcasts enable us to profile their new commissions, as well as regional venues who programme jazz, and we are excited to share all of this with the widest audiences later in the year.”

The 10 composers are:

Olie Brice (E Sussex)
“Imaginative and adventurous” (London Jazz News) – improviser, composer, double bassist and bandleader of the Olie Brice Quintet, Olie will write a new suite for saxophone, trumpet and double bass, featuring Jason Yarde, Nicholas Malcolm and himself.

Josephine Davies (E Sussex)
Winner of the 2019 Parliamentary Jazz Awards ‘Jazz Instrumentalist of the year’, Josephine Davies is a musical artist at the forefront of the UK contemporary music scene. Josephine will write a new piece for an all-female trio, reflecting her tumultuous experiences of the past four months, strongly inspired by living by the sea and incorporating both the peacefulness and intense drama of the elements.

Alexander Hawkins (Oxfordshire)
“One of the most vividly distinctive (voices)…in modern jazz” (The Jazzmann), Oxford based composer, pianist, organist and bandleader Alexander Hawkins will explore new approaches for a ‘classic’ line-up of piano, double bass and drums.

Andrew Hayes (Bristol)
Bristol-based saxophonist and composer Andrew Hayes, alongside his bandmates in Run Logan Run, will write new music inspired by Dartmoor’s rich history of folk legend, reconnecting musicians with their local history and landscape.

Hannah Jacobs (Oxfordshire)
Co-member of Oxford’s exciting jazz, pop and electronics duo Limpet Space Race, Hannah Jacobs will explore live electronics in a jazz format, combining live electronic manipulation using a custom-built modular synth and homemade instrument array, with trombone from Tom Green and vocals and keys from Theo Laird.

John Martin (N Somerset)
“Beautiful and compelling” (Bob Mintzer), Bath-based saxophonist and composer John Martin will write a new piece for double bass, drums and tenor saxophone, building on the new sounds and concepts he’s been working on since the release of his acclaimed second album ‘Hidden Notes – Spirit of Adventure’.

Randolph Matthews (Kent)
Described as “dazzling improvisational skills, flawless and world class” (Chris Philips, Jazz FM), vocalist and composer Randolph Matthews will create a new piece telling untold stories of the lives of black sailors, charting a course in music through the often troubled waters of Britain’s maritime past and exploring the work of black sailors.

John Miles (Hampshire)
“Sophisticated composer” and “powerful saxophonist” (The Guardian), prolific music, theatre, film and television composer, John Miles will write a long form narrative piece, aimed at children, and encompassing spoken word and improvisation.

Robert Mitchell (Surrey)
Award-winning pianist, keyboard player, composer, songwriter, poet and author, Robert Mitchell will combine music and poetry in a tribute to the legendary US politician and civil rights leader John Lewis.

Rebecca Nash (Bristol)
“At the vanguard of innovative and compelling new music” (Downbeat Magazine), Bristol’s Rebecca Nash will develop an exciting collaboration with trumpeter/electronic artist Nick Walters, exploring the concept of leylines, their effect on the natural world around them and how their energy can be incorporated and developed within a musical setting.

The ten artists are delighted to begin work on their original compositions. These will be digitally broadcast in late 2020, with more details to be announced in October.

Radar Commissions is part of a wider Jazz South programme offering over £30,000 towards commission projects for artists working in jazz and improvisation in the Jazz South region, outside of London.