Listing festivals, particularly small ones, draws attention (if we let it) to the people who make them happen. The credit for the music goes to the artistry of the musicians, no question about it. I for one, am also always moved, grateful and slightly awestruck by those who make it possible for me to have those moments, shared usually with plenty of others.
So the customary shout-outs are called for. It’s also notable how often it’s possible to identify somebody. Yes, the end result is always a team effort and often the genius of that somebody is in part helping everyone to see what’s possible and getting everyone going. Often, in the local, smaller events they’re putting their own resources on the line as well. Here the shout-out is for individuals:
Bath Jazz Weekend: 2019 was the first and Nod Knowles made it happen. 2020 it happened again (more on that soon)
Bristol Jazz and Blues: It wouldn’t have happened, or be what it is without Denny Ilett and Colin Gorrie and an uphill battle to keep it going.
Cheltenham Jazz is a big operation these days, but it’s become and evermore stunning, diverse and creative programme – organising minds are at work Emily Jones has been the Head of Programming (and creator of subversive twitter account/ bot ‘Jazz Bollocks’! with the evergreen Tony Dudley-Evans advising.
The remarkable Ambleside Days Festival is the brain-child of Derek Hook
A selective list as ever, but anyone who’s been to those events owes them a great big cheer and salute.
Another name that figures in my enjoyment of music, is Seb Scotney, the force of nature behind London Jazz News, and it marked it’s 10th year in 2019. I have a lot of fun through my association with the site so it’s a personal vote of thanks, but it’s also a treasure for music lovers everywhere.