Jazz South announces £30,000 Jazz South Commissions programme


Jazz South is delighted to announce the launch of Jazz South Commissions, a new three-part programme offering over £30,000 towards commission projects for artists working in jazz and improvisation in the Jazz South Region.

With a focus on innovation, ambition and artistic aspiration, the three elements of this Arts Council England-funded initiative aim to support and celebrate jazz in the region: Platform South Commissions will involve the six bands selected for the first round of Jazz South’s inaugural Platform South scheme. Two open call initiatives – Jazz South Radar Commissions and Jazz South Breakthrough Commissions – will support 14 jazz composers at different career stages to create new work.

Launching the programme will be the six bands already selected and part-way through the debut round of Platform South including luminary band leaders, Iain Ballamy, Kate and Mike Westbrook. In lieu of continuing performances to audiences in regional venues and programmes, each band will create a Platform South Commission, comprising new audio works for digital broadcast in the autumn.

Jazz South Radar Commissions will support ten jazz composers at all career stages with awards of up to £1,250 to create new pieces of original music for up to three performers. These will be digitally broadcast in late 2020, generating inspiration and new material for live performances and touring in the future. The scheme invites applications directly from composers.

Jazz South Breakthrough Commissions is a creative development opportunity for early career composers. Four awards of up to £3,000 will be made to realise original, creative ideas. Supported by a package of mentoring, each selected composer will create a new piece for digital broadcast from a venue in the Jazz South region in early 2021. Applications are invited from composers, organisations, or individuals (including promoters, clubs, festivals, venues, curators, and producers).


Jazz South Radar Commissions and Jazz South Breakthrough Commissions are now open for online applications with a deadline for submissions of Friday 31 July 2020 at 5pm.

Find out more and discover how to apply here


Louise Victoria and Mark Whitlam, We Are Leif, said: ‘We’re very grateful for Jazz South’s innovative approach in adapting to the new situation we’re all facing. With their support in a time when artists are unable to perform live, We Are Leif are really excited to work on some new material which will be shared online with listeners everywhere through our Platform South Commission.’

Kevin Appleby, Strategic Lead for Jazz South and Concert Hall Manager at Turner Sims Southampton said: ‘In creating this major new commissioning programme we want to shine a light on the vibrant range of jazz composer talent that we have across the Jazz South region, ranging from established and internationally respected artists to those who are in the early stages of their professional journeys.’

Jazz South supports the development of jazz across the South of England covering a wide area outside London, working with artists, promoters and educators. Launched in 2018, and funded by Arts Council England through its Ambition for Excellence programme, Jazz South is led and hosted by nationally renowned concert hall and live music producing organisation, Turner Sims Southampton, and supported by the University of Southampton in collaboration with other partners across the region. Turner Sims is a founder member of the Jazz Promotion Network, and a member of the Europe Jazz Network. Turner Sims’ media partners include Jazzwise.


Download the full press release here