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52

Jazz in the UK now

Sammy Stein By

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SaxophonistDavey Payne mentions Babel Records which is a record label founded in 1994 which releases jazz albums from UK artists and has been important for the revival of interest in jazz in the UK. Some of the releases have found chart success for bands such as Polar Bear and Acoustic Ladyland and the label has been supportive of many artists. The label works closely with The Vortex Jazz Club in Dalston.

In the UK, funding is still vital in keeping the art alive but we just do not seem to have the funds available elsewhere whilst in Europe there seems to be more funding available from federal and private sources. Perhaps some of the media companies could step in and help, take a stance, make finding available or perhaps our government need to put more funds into the arts so the potential we undoubtedly have here stays in the UK. There seems to be a lack of funding specifically at grassroots levels and an attitude of letting small venues try to compete with mass market venues offering same old same old in musical terms. If there is nothing down to stop the funding pools drying up, musical potential in the UK is in danger of drifting overseas and we should not let that happen.

With thanks to: The musicians who gave their thoughts and time. Namely Reuben Fowler, Yaron Stavi, Peter Brotzmann, Mats Gustafsson, Mussinghi Brian Edwards, Renato D'aiello, Peter Haughton, Evan Parker, Dave Lewis, John Edwards, Barb Jungr and Pedro Segundo.

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