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Jazz South Spotlight – Swanage Jazz Festival 2019

With the weather set to be fine, we continue to shine the spotlight on summer activity in the Jazz South region.

Coming up this weekend is the 30th Swanage Jazz Festival, Saturday 13th July to 14th July 2019. In this special year there is an outstanding line up of over 40 bands in a mere two days! Acts include The Sara Dowling Quartet, The Nigel Price Quartet, Gilad Atzmon’s Orient House Ensemble, Dorset Youth Orchestra and Hexagonal’s tribute to McCoy Tyner.

Sarah Dowling

This year is testament to the dedication of a new team of directors and organising committee who have been determined to see this festival celebrate its anniversary and continue to attract acts and audiences into the future.

Swanage is part of the the beautiful Isle of Purbeck heritage coastline in south east Dorset, featuring breathtaking scenery, fantastic eateries and visitor experiences.

So grab your tickets now at

Weekend and day tickets are available. Featuring a mixture of contemporary and traditional jazz in venues across Swanage, how could you miss it? The full programme is available online.



For full details visit

Jazz South Spotlight – Love Supreme 2019

Welcome to the first in an ongoing series spotlighting who and what is going on in jazz across the Jazz South region. Expect articles and interviews with artists, promoters and features on jazz education. As it is the summer, we are kicking off with festivals (and keeping our fingers crossed for fine weather every weekend).

Are you stuck for plans this weekend? If you haven’t already, grab your tickets and head down to East Sussex for an annual highlight of the summer ‘Love Supreme’, taking place from the 5th-7th July 2019. Since its launch in 2013 Love Supreme has presented a spectrum of musical styles including jazz, funk, soul, blues and hip-hop and has also been a crucial platform for younger and less established acts to develop their audiences. It is the largest festival in the Jazz South region and unique in its three-day outdoor setting with camping.

Headliners this year include the classic and contemporary – Ms. Lauryn Hill, Gladys Knight, Cinematic Orchestra, Jamie Cullum, Snarky Puppy, Jimmy Cliff, GOGO Penguin and Chick Corea’s Spanish Heart Band.

Jamie Cullum

Much talked about special project is Orphy Robinson’s presentation of Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks celebrating the 50th anniversary of the album, and concert with artists such as the talented Tank and the Bangas, Judi Jackson, Steam Down, Tampa the Great, Makaya McCraven and Leee John of Imagination. Also look out for Brighton’s New Generation Jazz  programme, which includes Xhosa Cole, winner of BBC Young Jazz Musician 2018.

Judi Jackson

Love Supreme Festival will take place at Glynde Place, East Sussex from Friday 5th to Sunday 7th July 2019. Camping tickets give access to the whole festival including all performance acts, after parties, band stand and jam sessions. In the past, tickets have completely sold out before the festival takes place so grab them if you can!

Suitable for fans and family audiences.

For full details see

Keep an eye on this page for more news and spotlights – register for updates to receive information on Jazz South projects

Platform South performances kick off with Iain Ballamy Quartet at Watermill Jazz

Platform South celebrates the best artist talent from the south of England and supports promoters to bring their music to the widest audiences in venues and locations across the region.

We spoke to Kathryn Shackleton, artist booker at Watermill Jazz to find out a bit more about the club as she prepares to present the first performance of the scheme – Iain Ballamy Quartet – a new ensemble featuring a world-class line-up.

Iain Ballamy – saxophones
Jason Rebello – piano
Percy Pursglove – trumpet & double bass
Mark Whitlam – drums


Tell us about Watermill Jazz – we hear that it’s a special anniversary year

Watermill Jazz is a weekly jazz club in Dorking, founded by pianist Ann Odell and her partner Steve Spurling 25 years ago. Ann still comes to the club as a listener every week and sold out her own gig here in March. The club is run entirely by volunteers and we aim to present the highest-quality UK and international jazz. We love variety – you might find a soloist one week, big band another, where vintage jazz rubs shoulders with progressive music.

To celebrate our 25th anniversary we’re excited to commission new works from four superb musicians: trombonist Mark Nightingale for big band, sax player Derek Nash for his acoustic quartet, trumpet player Laura Jurd for her new line-up and pianist Alan Broadbent for his trio. We also wanted to make it easier for younger people to experience live jazz and hear its wide variety of musical styles. As part of our 25th celebrations we are giving away a number of free tickets to every gig to under-25 year olds. These tickets are available from The introduction of the Platform South scheme is great timing, giving us some extra support to make our anniversary year programme really special.


How do you see Watermill Jazz fitting into jazz in the south east and beyond?

Watermill Jazz is one of a host of small clubs in the South East which work tirelessly (and usually not for profit) to bring jazz music in all its forms to listeners in the area. We are blessed with a very trusting audience who support better-known musicians and are also open to gigs by musicians they may never have heard of. This really helps us present a wide variety of music.

The club seeks to act as a siphon, bringing some of the excellent jazz you might expect only to find in cities like London, New York or Oslo to listeners in this green corner of the South East. As well as bringing musicians to Watermill Jazz from all over the world, we are lucky to be able to draw on a wealth of talent from right here in the South of England, as highlighted by the quality and range of artists featured in the Platform South scheme.


Iain Ballamy’s new quartet will kick start Platform South performances  at your venue – are you excited?

Of course! It’s always a pleasure to work with Iain. His father, Mark, was a frequent visitor to our old venue, playing piano at our jam sessions regularly and Iain has played at the club in a number of different line-ups including a memorable duo concert with Scandinavian accordionist Stian Carstensen. Iain is a superb saxophonist with an international profile and we’re excited to hear his new band which features Jason Rebello on piano. Jason’s first visit to the club was 22 years ago. A very gifted young player, he impressed everyone at Watermill Jazz when he first appeared in Dorking alongside saxophonist legend, Peter King.


Tickets are available for Iain Ballamy Quartet on Tuesday 02 July 2019 from

You can find out more about forthcoming events at Watermill Jazz on Facebook, Twitter and at


Promoters in the Jazz South region can find out more about Platform South and how to book a subsidised performance from one of the bands specially selected for the scheme

Edition Records’ Rob Luft selected for BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artists scheme 2020-2021

Guitarist Rob Luft is announced as the seventh jazz artist to be selected for the prestigious BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artists talent development scheme for young artists at the start of their international careers. He follows in the footsteps of Edition artists Laura Jurd and Misha Mullov- Abbado.London Jazz  News celebrates with a full feature

Jazz South wishes Rob every congratulations. His debut album ‘Riser’ is available at Edition Records.

Welcome to our new website, come on in and look around!

We are delighted to launch our new website. It’s been a collaboration between Split Design who created our look and logo (check out the Origin of Our Identity) and Dart Digital who built the site.

As our projects are launched you will find more information here and on our social media platforms.

We will also create and invite content  that celebrates jazz across the region. Keep in touch and contribute to features on artists, promoters and education projects in the Jazz South region.

Register for updates via our contact page and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Platform South 2019-20 is launched with information for promoters on how to book the bands

Following the Platform South Showcase at Colston Hall during the Bristol International Jazz & Blues Festival 2019, we’re delighted to launch Platform South, supporting artist talent from the south to reach audiences across the Jazz South region.

Platform South is a partnership subsidy scheme between Jazz South and promoters, programmers and producers. Platform South aims to celebrate high quality jazz talent from the south and support promoters to bring the artists and music to the widest audiences in venues and locations across the Jazz South region. The aim of the subsidy is to reduce financial risk to promoters, to enable more adventurous programming or to enable smaller venues and promoters access to bands who might otherwise not be affordable to them.

Promoters may read the full terms and conditions of the scheme, contact artists and complete our online booking form.

Platform South Showcase & Industry Networking Reception – 24 March 2019 – Colston Hall, Bristol International Jazz & Blues Festival

Jazz South is delighted to announce the showcase times for the bands selected for its inaugural scheme – Platform South.

Taking over the free foyer in Colston Hall, the annual popular event at Bristol Jazz & Blues Festival, Platform South will celebrate the highest quality jazz talent from across the south of England. Six bands represent the region from as far apart as Devon, Bristol, Brighton and Hastings and profile the range of musicians and styles that the south has to offer.

Acclaimed saxophonist Iain Ballamy will present his new south west band IBQT Iain Ballamy Quartet, while Bristol’s emerging We Are Leif perform their own blend of jazz, groove and Neo-Soul. Kate Westbrook’s The Granite Band is a vehicle for her haunting lyrics on the Dartmoor landscape, partnered by Mike Westbrook’s genre-busting score integrating jazz and prog rock. Free-stage foyer audiences will hear spontaneously created instrumental and vocal improvisations by Fourth Page, as well as the upbeat tunes of Hexagonal performing original music and celebrating piano greats McCoy Tyner and Bheki Mseleku. Sara Colman Band will complete the showcase with Sara’s classic song-writing and instinctive improvisational energy.

Jazz promoters and programmers are invited by Jazz South to an industry networking reception at 18:30-19:30 to meet the bands and find out how the Platform South scheme will run, supporting artists and promoters to bring this music to audiences across the region.

Showcase times:
12:30 The Granite Band
13:30 Hexagonal
14:30 Fourth Page
15:30 We Are Leif
16:30 Iain Ballamy Quartet
17:30 Sara Colman Band

Kevin Appleby (Strategic Lead, Jazz South and Concert Hall Manager, Turner Sims Southampton) says:

‘We’ve been delighted with the response to our call out for bands, revealing the high quality of talent that we can celebrate from the south east and south west of England. This is a great start for Jazz South as we roll out our other programmes over the next couple of years’.

Tamsin Mendelsohn (Manager, Jazz South) says:

‘Audiences are going to have a rich and varied afternoon getting a taste of the range of jazz talent from the south. It’s wonderful working in partnership with Colston Hall and the Bristol Jazz & Blues Festival as they support our inaugural programme for Jazz South. We look forward to welcoming promoters and venue programmers to the showcase and to the private networking reception in Colston Hall afterwards.’

Promoters wishing to attend the networking reception can register via

Platform South showcase is a collaboration between Jazz South, Bristol Jazz & Blues Festival and Colston Hall. The event is supported by Arts Council England, Ambition For Excellence fund. Jazz South is hosted and led by Turner Sims Southampton, and supported by Arts Council England and University of Southampton.

Details of the performance can be found at:

Press and promoters can contact:
Tamsin Mendelsohn at for logos, images and further information.

Link to original press release

Turner Sims Southampton Secures Arts Council England Funding for Jazz in the South

Major Boost for Jazz in the South
Turner Sims Southampton secures £315,755 in Arts Council England funding

Turner Sims Southampton, part of the University of Southampton, will receive over £315,000 for an ambitious scheme to significantly raise the aspirations of emerging and professional jazz artists, standards of performance, composition and promotion across the UK’s Southern regions.

Turner Sims will now launch the 3-year talent development programme Jazz South, the only music project in the country selected within the final round of the Arts Council England’s Ambition for Excellence programme fund.

Jazz South will benefit from Turner Sims’ strong track record in jazz promotion, development and commitment to broadening the reach and raising the profile of the sector. Talent development opportunities will be offered throughout the Arts Council’s South West region plus the central and southern parts of Arts Council’s current South East region, from Buckinghamshire to Kent.

Kevin Appleby, Turner Sims Concert Hall Manager, said of the award:
This is a hugely exciting moment for Turner Sims and I’m most grateful to Arts Council England for their support. This investment enables us to realise our aspirations for creating new opportunities for the jazz sector in the South of England. I know from the conversations we have had with a range of organisations and individuals across the region already that there is a great appetite for this, and I look forward to working with partners regionally, nationally and internationally to bring these opportunities to life.

Sir Christopher Snowden, President and Vice-Chancellor at the University of Southampton, commented:
The University welcomes this funding for its renowned concert hall and is proud to be supporting this significant sector development – playing a leading role in talent development for jazz artists of all ages. As custodians of culture in Southampton, this extraordinary project is testimony to our University’s determination and commitment to the fundamental role that arts and culture play and further underpins our essential role in nurturing new talent.

Phil Gibby, Area Director, South West. Arts Council England, said:
We’re delighted to be supporting Turner Sims with a significant grant of £315,755 through our National Lottery-funded Ambition for Excellence programme. The fund supports and stimulates ambition, talent and excellence in arts and culture across England and our investment in Jazz South looks set to support a step change in jazz music across the south west and south east of England.

Turner Sims already has a distinctive jazz programme with fantastic links across Europe and this investment will enable this identity to grow by developing young, emerging and established talent, creating new commissions and building different and diverse audiences. We are excited to see what the next three years have in store for jazz in the region, nationally and beyond.

The original press release is here