Jazz in the UK – a united organisational ecology dedicated to jazz

At my retirement party from Jazz Services I had to respond to some very kind words from the Chair of Jazz Services, Dominic McGonigal.

My response ran along the following lines. After 29 years at the helm of Jazz services it had not escaped my notice that as jazz is so under resourced in terms of public funding and every one works like stink; occasionally jazz in the UK shoots itself in the foot and when it not doing that it stabs itself in the back. Jazz in the UK is an ecology and all jazz organisations, promoters and musicians are in a real sense dependent on each other whether in receipt of public funds or wholly commercial. It is crucial that Jazz in the UK sticks together and continues to build a sustainable and vibrant ecology. I illustrated this with the joke of the butler who, struggling with a crossword puzzle, asked his employer the meaning of the word “faux pas”. Lord Blenkinsop asked the butler, Jenkins if he remembered last weekend when the archbishop came to stay with his wife. Did Jenkins recall the incident in the afternoon when the archbishop severely pricked his finger on a prize rose in the garden and Jenkins was summoned from the pantry to apply first aid? Did Jenkins remember that later on at 6 o’clock he entered the drawing room with a tray of drinks just as the archbishop and wife came through the french windows? As they entered the archbishop’s wife asked “how’s your prick”, to which the archbishop replied “throbbing”. You Jenkins exclaimed “good grief” and dropped the tray of drinks. That Jenkins is a faux pas.

Jazz in the UK needs to work together to ensure that collectively they finally receive realistic levels of public and private funding.

Attached documents (click to download)

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