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Thursday 6: Vieux Carre Jazzmen - The Holystone, Whitley Road, Holystone, North Tyneside NE27 0DA. Tel: 0191 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free. OUTDOOR gig.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Jazz North East Crowd Funding Appeal

A few weeks ago in the 'Jazz Alert' I expressed my shock at hearing that the Arts Council had rejected Jazz North East's most recent funding application. 
The result of that rejection is that JNE and their partners Schmazz will run completely out of funds by the end of December, and will be unable to continue their promotion activities. Unless you come to their aid . . . 
To try and keep themselves going for the first half of next year, while they work on securing more reliable funding, JNE have set up a Crowd Funding appeal, encouraging audiences and musicians to contribute. You can find the appeal at <http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/2014-programming-fund/x/5120454>.
If JNE are successful with their appeal it will enable them to continue with their varied programme, from straightahead gigs rooted in the modern jazz mainstream, through the younger contemporary bands that have been a speciality of Schmazz, and on to the adventurous international stream that has so often delivered the sound of surprise. 
I've often sung the praises of Jazz North East and Schmazz for their joint efforts to bring the widest variety of high quality jazz to Tyneside, and for their willingness to take chances with emerging national and international musicians who don't yet have a high profile, but whom JNE believe deserve to be heard. Of course that means that not every gig appeals to every jazz enthusiast . . . but jazz is a diverse and constantly evolving form, and offering audiences the possibility of going to a gig and making a discovery is surely truer to the spirit of the music than playing safe with a constant diet of 'more of the same'.    
It's the sort of programme that should surely be supported by the Arts Council, with their slogan of 'Great Art for Everyone'. But that funding well has proved to be dry, so I urge everybody who wants to see JNE survive to support their appeal. Please give as much as you can.
Best wishes,
Paul Bream

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