Jazz South Breakthrough Commissions – four composers announced

Roella Oloro

Jazz South is pleased to announce an exciting and diverse line-up of four early career composers from across the Jazz South region who have been selected for Jazz South Breakthrough Commissions.

Each composer will create a new piece for digital broadcast from a venue in the Jazz South region in early 2021 and will be offered a package of mentoring to support the delivery of the commission.

A panel from the jazz industry, including representation from artists, educators, producers and promoters selected the composers based on innovation, ambition, and the artistic aspiration of each commission. Open to early career composers in jazz and improvisation, there was a strong response to the scheme with proposals for new music. The final selection represents a range of rising talent from across the South.

The 4 selected composers are: drummer, synthesist and recording engineer Tim Davies (Oxfordshire); jazz vocalist Lucinda Fosker (Berkshire); multi-instrumentalist Roella Oloro (Gloucestershire); saxophonist and arranger Asha Parkinson (Kent).

Tim Davies

The commissions will feature an exciting variety and approach to new compositions: Tim Davies will create a work for modular synthesiser and jazz ensemble; Lucinda Fosker will write music inspired by the River Thames; Roella Oloro will explore the concept of a perfumer mixing a new scent in music; Asha Parkinson will devise an extended piece for large ensemble integrating contemporary jazz and Arabic musical cultures.

Jazz South Breakthrough Commissions is an opportunity to support early career jazz composers at an exciting stage of their creative and professional development, with what may be their first commission. We are thrilled to work with these talented artists from the South, to support them in realising and profiling their commission concepts to audiences, as well as offering them the opportunity to gain input and widen their networks with mentors from the profession.

Kevin Appleby, Strategic Lead for Jazz South

I’m delighted to have been selected for the Breakthrough Commissions scheme. I will be composing a piece for modular synthesiser and jazz quintet that will explore the parallels of improvisation found between synthesis and jazz performance. As my first commission, this is an invaluable opportunity for me and I look forward to working with Jazz South in bringing these ideas to life.

Tim Davies

I am super excited to be taking part in the Jazz South Commissions scheme. There aren’t always that many opportunities in my area (Gloucestershire) for young jazz musicians. That is why I find it so encouraging to hear of an organisation supporting the talent down here. Yes, I’m truly proud to represent! I hope my partaking in this scheme will inspire more young people from South England to sign up for Jazz South Commissions in the coming years!

Roella Oloro

Breakthrough Commissions is part of a wider Jazz South programme offering over £30,000 towards commission projects for artists working in jazz and improvisation in the Jazz South region, outside of London.