Jazz West Midlands (JWM) will provide a new regional jazz infrastructure, leadership and workforce for the promotion of Contemporary music. The Organisation will operate at both promoter level and strategically across the region. The resultant programming of jazz excellence, enabling high quality artists to be engaged (with core programme enhancement); reaching out into the West Midlands jazz cold spots seeking a larger and more diverse audience and range of participants; creating a much more resilient sector with a strong network organisation; giving young people, emerging talent and musicians a chance to perform across the region. The region is the geographical area of the five counties of the West Midlands: Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, Hereford & Worcestershire and the West Midlands Met County.
The key artistic development for JWM now is in the continuing creation of new forms of performance. To have a continuing and evolving art form that can engage new audiences with accessible local performances. If JWM to is be sustainable it must cross boundaries to keep pace with what is attractive to the public and artistically valid and rigorous. Developing JWM to be a strong and representative Network of high-quality jazz promotion and across the West Midlands and will it attract the best live performing artists. This project will give the promoters the resources to plan long term, without barriers to success. This new organisation will develop existing jazz promoters’ programmes, expand their vision and attract younger artists in. JWM wants to bring to the audiences across the region artistic achievements that they would not otherwise be able to enjoy. This project will provide the opportunity to give artistic expression to Contemporary Jazz across a wide variety of settings. JWM will bring new artistic programming opportunities across the region, which helps us to recruit new faces and bring fresh creative ideas into the organisation. To successfully develop both the artistic excellence and the organisation JWM will engage with new partners in the arts. These partnerships will give access to talent that is both developed and emerging.
The current Jazz ecology of the West Midlands is of a disparate set of independent promoters acting in isolation from each other and the wider jazz community. JWM will develop the sector into a network, supporting and building the wider infrastructure necessary for sustainability. The impact will therefore evidently be that independent promoters can operate in a collective system and supporting environment given by the region organisation. The artform will be impacted with increased outstanding performance opportunities, the amateur, young and emerging talent will have a much wider platform to perform live. This will give the sector higher levels of performance and individual confidence to create great art.
By plugging the regional, and even national gaps, in the ecology the sector will be much stronger. The project will build infrastructure to the sector, install systems of quality control and data collection, online facilities and a regular conference. These activities will have significant impact and provide a connection with wider sector to enhance the jazz ecology.