One of Serious’ key strands is talent development – Seriously Talented – an area that has preoccupied the organisation for decades. In 2004/05, Serious developed Take Five in conjunction with partners PRS for Music Foundation and Jerwood Charitable Foundation, to enable emerging creative jazz musicians to explore their creative output and improve their business potential. Since that time, over 150 musicians have participated in this and related schemes.
Proving that the UK has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to emerging talent, the EFG London Jazz Festival is once again, awash with musicians who have participated on a Seriously Talented programme. There are musicians in clubs, on freestages, in large and small venues, with orchestras, leading contextualising talks – and doing vital work with learning and community engagement.
One such project is Make It / Break It, an exciting large-scale participation project devised by former Take Five participant, guitarist Chris Sharkey. Alongside other Seriously Talented artists such as Alice Zawadzki, Heidi Heidelberg and Andy Champion, Make It / Break It will engage over 100 participants in an innovative new piece of music. Make It / Break It will be performed on the Clore Ballroom at the Southbank Centre at 6.30pm on Saturday 19 November – the event is free.
This season is also the time to announce the participants in the twelfth edition of Take Five: UK, which is supported by Jerwood Charitable Foundation, PRS for Music Foundation, Arts Council England, Help Musicians UK and the Serious Trust.
The eight creative jazz musicians who have been selected for Take Five Edition XII are:
· Olie Brice (Double Bass, East Sussex)
· Corrie Dick (Drums, London)
· Duncan Eagles (Saxophone, London)
· Paul Edis (Piano, North Shields)
· Richard Foote (Trombone, Birmingham)
· Kim Macari (Trumpet, London)
· Rebecca Nash (Piano, Birmingham)
· Shirley Tetteh (Guitar, London)
Take Five is designed to give some of the UK’s most talented young jazz musicians the unique opportunity to take ‘time out’ to develop their craft and their business. It provides each artist with the chance to discuss, explore and strengthen all aspects of their future careers. The edition will run until the summer of 2017 and provides participants with one-to-one mentoring sessions to address their particular areas of need, as well a residential period for exploring areas such as composition, performance, communications, business infrastructure and strategic direction.
Vanessa Reed, Chief Executive, PRS for Music Foundation said: ‘Congratulations to the eight talented jazz musicians that have been selected for this year’s Take Five Edition XII. It’s great to see another line-up of exceptional musicians being offered the opportunity to collaborate and learn from each other as they take their careers to the next level. I look forward to following the outcomes from the residency early next year.’
Jon Opie, General Manager, Jerwood Charitable Foundation said: ‘Serious continues to set the standard for nurturing the best jazz musicians, quite simply there is no better programme than Take Five. Congratulations to the eight selected for Edition XII; these exceptional individuals will be in safe hands with Serious as they explore options for their new projects and make new industry connections.’
Claire Gevaux, Creative Director, Help Musicians UK said: ‘Take Five attracts some of the best jazz musicians in the sector and this year’s group is no exception. We are looking forward to seeing how this group interact with each other and make the most of this valuable opportunity to explore and understand themselves as entrepreneurs in the music business.’
Claire Whitaker, Director, Serious said: ‘Serious is thrilled to be able to announce the twelfth edition of Take Five: UK and to express our appreciation to the funders of this scheme – Jerwood Charitable Foundation, PRS for Music Foundation, Help Musicians UK and Arts Council England – who continue to support one of the most vital opportunities for the UK’s creative jazz musicians. We are also grateful to the individuals who support this area of our work via the Serious Trust. This support demonstrates their faith in Serious as a developer of talent.’
Previous participants in Take Five: UK described the experience:
‘Take Five has helped me discover what my strengths are. That isn’t easy to do, to be objective about your own career and creative development. I feel more confident with my musical direction and that I have the support from Serious with regards to receiving advice about any future ventures that I may have uncertainties about.’ Zoe Gilby, Edition XI
‘I’ve made some fantastic new contacts that will directly help my career, as well as learning a lot and being inspired to change the way I do some things as well as do new things. The artistic side of the residency was very stimulating: I think we’ll all stay in touch – and probably work together again too.’ Cath Roberts, Edition XI
‘I have a lot of ideas, I hope Take Five will help me structure and think more holistically about my career… gain more insights into worlds less known to me such as funding support, PR and touring.’ Moses Boyd, Edition XI
A panel of industry experts contributed to the selection process, taking into account the following considerations: creativity, future potential, style of music, range of influences, and distinctive contribution to the jazz community. The panel included representatives from Jerwood Charitable Foundation, PRS for Music Foundation and Serious, as well as Graham McKenzie (Director, hcmf//, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival), Steve Mead (Manchester Jazz Festival) and Jason Yarde (composer, arranger, producer and saxophonist).