With three major new jazz festivals, a purpose-built jazz club, top-class big bands, a thriving jazz education sector and a wealth of grassroots players and gigs, jazz has never been stronger or better represented in the Brighton area.
Yet it can still be hard for new acts to break through to connect with audiences outside London, and many younger music fans are often unaware of the wealth of great young players currently moving the music forwards.
New Generation Jazz is an Arts-council supported project that has been building bridges since 2015. The aim is twofold – to help young artists develop audiences outside the capital, and introduce young people in Brighton and the South-East to jazz and demonstrate what a vital, living tradition it is today.
In October 2015 NGJ launched their series of monthly gigs and workshops at the Verdict Jazz Club, featuring the best and brightest of rising UK jazz talent.
Artists who have participated include Nerija, Nubya Garcia, Seed Ensemble, Ezra Collective, Moses Boyd, Camilla George, Binker Golding, Mark Kavuma, Duncan Eagles, Ant Law, Sam Leak, Rory Ingham, Cherise, Emma Rawicz, Roello Oloro, Howes3, Steamdown, Nye Banfield, Jonny Mansfield, Alex Hitchcock, Tom Greene, Charlie Stacey, Henry Spencer, Ife Ogunjobi, Alex Ridout, and many many more, charting the rebirth of a new wave of UK jazz artists
Each gig is on the last Friday of every month at the Verdict Jazz Club. The tickets will be held at a low price for students and young people. Each of the featured artists will also lead a workshop in one of the schools and colleges across the city, giving our young musicians some hands-on experience of what it’s like to play jazz.
Since then New Generation Jazz has gone on to promote artists at major festival events, programming the Bandstand and Friday Arena Stages at Love Supreme Festival every year since the festival's inception, and organising stage takeovers at Soundcrash and Brighton Fringe. In 2021 they curated and promoted the return of Brighton Jazz Festival with a run of sell-out shows. New Generation Jazz have supported local promoters to enable them to launch their own jazz events successfully.
The New Generation Jazz Summer School launched in 2019 to resounding success.
Over lockdown in 2020 New Generation Jazz curated a series of cinematic quality Livestream gigs featuring a selection of cutting edge artists. They later expanded the programme in collaboration with Jazz South, and repeated the programme in 2021.
In 2021 New Generation Jazz developed their Jazz Futures educational programme for 12-18 year olds. They are currently expanding this in collaboration with BIMM Brighton.
New Generation Jazz are committed to fostering diversity within the UK jazz scene, and helping both artists and audiences from under-represented groups.
New Generation has partnered with educators, promoters and festivals in Brighton and beyond. The project will foster links between the many different participants in the local scene, and the City’s educators, to ensure the continuation of the music we all love into the New Generation.