Jasmine and Slow Loris, both based in Leeds, are the latest beneficiaries of the Jazz North Introduces scheme, which offers high-profile exposure at leading jazz festivals in the north for young up-and-coming musicians, along with career support and promotion.
The bands were selected from a wide range of applications after impressing the selection panel with their talent and enthusiasm. The initiative was open to bands of up to five musicians, 75 per cent of whom must be under 25 and living or studying in the north of England. Now, they will perform at leading northern jazz festivals in Lancaster, Marsden, Liverpool, Manchester, Gateshead, Scarborough and Durham with other festival performances to be confirmed.
Reflecting the growing scene across the UK, Jasmine combine the influences of jazz and hip-hop, using Ableton Live to introduce layered horn parts over a traditional saxophone led jazz quintet setup. The band is made up of Jasmine Whalley (alto saxophone), Ben Haskins (guitar), George MacDonald (piano), Owen Burns (bass) and George Hall (drums).
Slow Loris is made up of Sam Lowther (guitar), Sam Evans (guitar), Chris Sellers (bass), and Theo Goss (drums) who met while studying at Leeds College of Music. Sam Lowther says their music is “dark, intense and energetic” with rock and metal influences, alongside a love of electronic music and hip-hop, yet staying rooted in jazz. They enjoy challenging traditional genre boundaries to create fresh, original music.
Jasmine and Slow Loris will each receive a package of help as part of the Jazz North Introduces scheme, including payment and expenses for the gigs, professional mentoring, a photo-shoot and assistance in creating an electronic press kit.
A panel, consisting of festival directors, professional musicians, promoters and educators, prioritised musical excellence in terms of musicianship, creativity, innovation and potential to select the bands. Lucy Woolley, Jazz North Introduces Project Manager, said: “Every year we are impressed by the quality of the applications to the Jazz North Introduces scheme and it is always exciting to see the amazing new artists entering the scene. By working in partnership with festivals, Jazz North Introduces will provide Jasmine and Slow Loris with the opportunity to perform throughout the region giving jazz audiences their first glimpse of the great talent that is emerging here in the north.”
Videos about Jasmine and Slow Loris can be found at http://www.jazznorth.org/introduces