Follow by Email

Friday, 1 May 2015

Jazz North to appoint new Executive Director?

Jazz North are set to appoint new Executive Director. What do you think? Do post any comments below...

"Dear Jazz Colleague,

Exciting times for Jazz North as we enter the next stage of our development. In April we joined Arts Council England’s portfolio of national arts organisations. This means we have the security of funding support over the next three years – and the opportunity to grow and strengthen the organisation and deliver an ambitious five year business plan.

This means that we are now recruiting for a new position of Executive Director. The Executive Director will join the Creative Director team of Nigel Slee and Steve Mead, and take overall responsibility for the successful delivery of Jazz North’s fundraising, business development, finances, communications, HR, organisational management and legal compliance.

Job advert as advertised in The Guardian, Arts Jobs and Arts Professional below. 

Obviously we’d like to find the right person and the job spec is a tall order! We’d be grateful if you could share this news through your networks or pass on to anyone who you think might be interested in this new role.

Any further questions please contact my colleague Lucy Woolley

Best wishes,

Nigel Slee
Creative Director
Jazz North"


  1. Disappointing to see so much money going into bureaucracy rather than reaching the sharp end.

  2. To put it bluntly: the last jazz musician will have starved to death and arts administrators will still be shuffling around tiny amounts of cash and taking the lion's share. Quite sickening to be honest...

  3. A few comments have come in via email - here's two

    Here we go again! It always happens when public funding goes into the supply side of any activity. More bureaucracy and less customer focus. Funding is now a step removed from the ‘market’ – totally predictable. One more in the eye for the Voluntary Sector. Best avoided at all cost I say (again!) G

    More “jobs for the boys” M

  4. By email- I think this corporatisation both creates an antipathetic atmosphere around the art and wastes even more money. The more contact I have with Arts professionals the less I like the direction in which the Arts are being pushed. It'll be interesting to see what Jazz North's presence at Jazz Action (Bremen) brings in the way of benefits balanced against the costs. Chris

  5. By email from Jez Matthews

    "These all seem to be vague comments about corporatisation and bureaucracy without specifics.

    As a voluntary promoter working up to 20 hours a week and having to deal with no small amount of bureacracy myself, I wouldn’t mind being paid, but I certainly don’t begrudge others being paid for the things that exist in the real world, like compliance, finances, and essential activities like fundraising. It sounds to me like this post will free up others to focus on the artistic remit of Jazz North.

    Jazz North isn’t stuffed with highly paid workers as far as I am aware, and I wouldn’t begrudge a skilled person coming in and generating opportunities so that more musicians and promoters like me can continue to get help from Jazz North. If Jazz North is in receipt of greater funding and a new organisation remit as a National Portfolio Organisation, then it is no surprise that this will require greater administration. We wouldn’t question the Crucible Theatre for employing someone new if they took on additional funding and therefore additional workload.

    Does anyone contributing to this chain of responses actually know the make-up of Jazz North in detail, and their salaries, and also have you actually spoken to them individually to find out what they do? If you do, then fair enough, you are better informed than I am, but if not then are you really qualified to pass comment?

    I would point to the contribution that Jazz North has made in terms of funding, artist supply (through Northern Line) and professional advice to Norvol promoters over the last two years, not to mention the current touring funding bid that has come about thanks to their support.

    I love jazz, the musicians, the venues, the promoters, the festivals; its been my life since forever. The jazz world is a small one and I would call upon others to pull together and work constructively with organisations like Jazz North, rather than make cheap comments from the side. The same goes for our interactions with the Jazz Promotion Network and the Arts Council. We should be building relationships with these organisations; not denigrating them out of our natural frustration with the wider situation around funding for the music and musicians.

    An alternative question is, perhaps, would anyone here like to offer their own services for free x numbers of days per week to do the work being carried out as part of this paid position? If not, then why would you expect it to not attract a salary? Or perhaps you are suggesting that the existing employees work themselves into the ground, and the post shouldn’t exist?"