Tuesday saw the results announced of the annual Parliamentary Jazz Awards. The nominations are by a public vote and a panel makes the decision. There’ll be a lot of smiling faces after Tuesday, the full list of winners is here. A massive grin is sure to be still plastered across the face of Jez Matthews. He organises the weekly session at The Lescar in Sheffield who won Jazz Venue of the Year. I particularly like this decision, because it’s a great reminder of just how much of the British jazz scene depends on a network of clubs and venues organised, like the Lescar, essentially on a volunteer basis. Nobody does it on their own, Jez makes clear in a typically generous post just how many people help out and the networks and organisations that help an unfunded gig keep going. Nobody does it on their own, but it wouldn’t happen without those local heroes, so remembering to notice and and celebrate is brilliant.
Thank to the Parliamentary Jazz Awards and all the nominators then, and its a prompt to list as many I can call to mind, of the people who organise often weekly gigs of jazz and related music in the Bristol Bath area. Here goes, regular gigs promoted and run mainly by volunteers (and the curse of lists is that I’ll miss some, so apologies and do add if you come across this list)
BeBop Club, Bristol (weekly) – Andy Hague (surely takes prize for longest continuously running night, the 30th anniversary must be close)
Fringe Jazz, Bristol (weekly) – Jonathan Taylor
Jazz at Future Inn, Bristol (weekly) – Steven Williams
Jazzata at the Hen & Chicken, Bristol (roughly monthly) – Ian Storrer
The Old Fishmarket, Bristol (weekly) – Toby Perrett
Jazz at The Vaults, Bath (fortnightly) – Wade Edwards
Ring o Bells, Bath (weekly) – Joe Spibey
El Rincon, Bristol (weekly) – Pete Judge
Local Heroes All. And that’s before we get started on the jam sessions and promoters who are in it because they love the music (John Blakeley should surely be on this list somewhere – Canteen, No.1 Harbourside, endless gigs at The Wardrobe, Valley Fest and so on..). Always notice.