NEWS: New Jazz Promoters Fellowship to challenge gender balance in UK jazz scene

Help Musicians UK (HMUK), the leading independent music charity, is proud to launch the Jazz Promoters Fellowship—a new pilot programme in partnership with internationally recognised and award-winning jazz composer, educator and record producer, Issie Barratt.


This fully-funded HMUK Fellowship has been developed out of the need to create a gender balance within the jazz scene in the UK and provide a framework for best practice in training for promoters. The move has been supported by industry leaders across the sector.

Recent evidence—from Issie’s extensive four-year research project—shows that women are hugely underrepresented in jazz, often excluded from performance opportunities, rarely booked as often as their male counterparts, and infrequently considered in development initiatives.

The Fellowship will aim to change perceptions and create a new, inclusive jazz landscape. It will focus on equipping the next generation of male and female promoters for a career in the industry by working closely with many of the UK’s best jazz promoters, venues and festival directors.

By the end of this Fellowship’s pilot year (July 2018), participants will have had invaluable opportunities in order to deliver a year-long personal project aimed at addressing the equality gap.

Key opportunities* of the programme include:

  • Seven seminar days hosted at key points in the jazz calendar
  • Development of a promoter’s job description and toolkit
  • Monthly tutorials
  • Mentoring from leading experts and peers
  • Participation in roundtable discussions
  • Devising and delivering a year-long self-initiated project

*An allocation will be made per candidate to cover support costs incurred throughout the pilot year.

Emerging promoters of all backgrounds and stages in their careers are encouraged to apply to this yearlong programme.

Applications are now open and will close at midday Friday 7 July 2017 and successful recipients will be announced in late July.

Claire Gevaux, Creative Director, HMUK said: “As an independent voice, HMUK is committed to a fair, inclusive and equal music industry, and is keen to turn conversations into action.

Our recent partnership announcement with Women in Music enables us to continue to question, have conversations, discuss and raise awareness of gender equality—working in tandem to address this imbalance.

We’re really proud to announce and deliver this Fellowship in partnership with Issie Barratt. With a wealth of relevant experience and a broad network of contacts inclusive of promoters, managers and agents, Issie is ideal to oversee the project.”

Issie Barratt said: “As I celebrate my 30th year in the music profession I’m astonished there’s still such a gender imbalance within the jazz scene.

I’m confident that this new Jazz Promoters Fellowship will not only help a new cohort of jazz promoters establish best practice, but will also lead the way in creating a more diverse and inclusive jazz scene for us all to enjoy in the not so distant future.”

Key dates

  • Applications open: Monday, 12 June 2017
  • Applications close: Friday, 7 July 2017
  • Interviews of shortlisted applicants: Thursday, 20 July 2017
  • Successful applicants announced: Tuesday, 25 July 2017
  • Jazz Promoters Fellowship begins with Introductory Afternoon: Wednesday, 26th July 2017

More information here

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