Turner Sims Concert Hall, part of the University, is to launch Jazz South, a three-year talent development programme to help emerging and established jazz artists while raising standards of performance, composition and promotion across the South.
In support of the programme, Jazz South will receive over £315,000 in funding from Arts Council England (ACE). It was the only music project in the country selected within the final round of the ACE’s Ambition for Excellence programme fund.
Kevin Appleby, Turner Sims Concert Hall Manager, believes that this is an exciting moment for the venue. He comments:
This investment enables us to realise our aspirations for creating new opportunities for the jazz sector in the South of England, and 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.
Through Jazz South, established and emerging artists, and gifted and talented children and young people, will work with promoters and leading UK and international figures. New work will be commissioned, and talent and excellence developed through masterclasses and residencies.
Southampton’s own world-leading Music department – one of the largest and most diverse in the UK – will also be involved in the project. President and Vice-Chancellor at the University of Southampton, Sir Christopher Snowden, acknowledges the University’s role, stating:
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.
Turner Sims has a strong track record in jazz promotion, development and commitment to broadening the reach and raising the profile of the sector. It will shortly be hosting Jazz Promotion Network Presents, a major annual gathering of the jazz industry, and will be announcing the details of the first tranche of programme activity in summer 2018.
Phil Gibby, Area Director, South West. Arts Council England, says:
“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.”
In what has been an eventful few months for the arts in Southampton, the announcement follows the recent launch of Studio 144, which marked the completion of the city’s Cultural quarter.