Jazz South Radar Commissions: ten composers announced

Randolph Matthews

Jazz South is thrilled to announce an exciting and diverse line-up of ten composers from across the Jazz South region who have been selected for Jazz South Radar Commissions. Each composer will create a new 12-15 minute piece for up to three performers, which will be filmed and digitally broadcast in late 2020.

A panel from the jazz industry, including representation from venues, artists, promotion and jazz journalism selected the composers based on innovation, ambition, and the artistic aspiration of each commission. Open to composers in jazz and improvisation of any career stage, there was an extensive response to the scheme with over 50 proposals for new music. The final selection represents a range of established and rising talent from across the South.

The ten composers are: Olie Brice (East Sussex), Josephine Davies (East Sussex), Alex Hawkins (Oxfordshire), Andrew Hayes (Bristol), Hannah Jacobs (Oxfordshire), John Martin (N Somerset), Randolph Matthews (Kent), John Miles (Hampshire), Robert Mitchell (Surrey) and Rebecca Nash (Bristol).


Rebecca Nash

The commissions will feature an array of original ideas and combinations: Josephine Davies with an all-female trio; Randolph Matthews telling untold stories of the lives of black sailors; John Miles writing a narrative aimed at children; Rebecca Nash combining electronic samples and live performance. Full details on all ten composers and their proposal can be found on the Jazz South website.

Tamsin Mendelsohn, Jazz South Manager, said: ‘We created Jazz South Radar Commissions to highlight the stunning jazz composer talent that exists across the south of England outside London. The digital broadcasts enable us to profile their new commissions, as well as regional venues who programme jazz, and we are excited to share all of this with the widest audiences later in the year.’

The ten artists are delighted to begin work on their original compositions. These will be digitally broadcast in late 2020, with more details to be announced in October.

Composer Randolph Matthews said: ‘I am so happy to receive the news that my application was accepted by Jazz South. Creating and presenting music matters to me. It’s fundamental to my well-being and satisfaction of sharing something meaningful to society. The Jazz South Commission has given me the opportunity and scope to work with some great musicians in the south east area to improvise, craft music and share something for all to experience.’

Rebecca Nash said: ‘Being chosen for the Jazz South Radar Commission Scheme is such an opportunity to focus on writing new material, and to work creatively as we continue to live through such uncertain times. I’m delighted to be working on some exciting new music with the brilliant Nick Walters (which we will be releasing in due course), and we are both very appreciative of this support. Thank you, Jazz South.’

Radar 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.