Jazz North has announced the appointment of Chris Bye as new Chief Executive. Chris takes over from Lesely Jackson who stepped down in September this year. Chris will lead its next phase of development, growing opportunities for artists, audiences, promoters and young people across the north. Chris Bye will join the organisation at a key moment as the sector navigates a new landscape for live music, whilst exploring the global opportunities of digital music and culture.
“Jazz North has been an integral part of the national jazz scene for years and has been instrumental in launching the careers of some of the north’s most exciting, vibrant artists. The team has also done an incredible job providing essential advice and support to promoters and artists throughout the pandemic.
What we face now is a unique moment in time. Unique in terms of challenges but also unique in terms of the potential for the northern jazz ecology to really develop. Artists are crying out for opportunities, and it is my aim to diversify our approach and expand our partnerships. I’m enormously excited to be joining and looking forward to working with an amazing group of people.”
Chris Bye comes to Jazz North following a career spanning the commercial and subsidised music industries. This has included managing a diverse portfolio of music organisations at Arts Council England and establishing an international programme of talent development opportunities for Pirate Studios. More recently Chris has supported key music venues and partners to navigate the pandemic, working with clients including Parklife, Ministry of Sound, Music Venues Trust and Greater Manchester Combined Authority. He also sits on the boards of SeaChange and Africa Oye.
Steve Crocker, Chair of Northern Jazz Promoters network said -
"We welcome Chris to the Northern jazz fold. Northern Jazz Promoters has always worked closely with Jazz North to improve jazz promotion in our region. We believe in the high quality of our jazz clubs and festivals and hope Jazz North will continue to bang the drum about what is happening in the region. We'd be delighted to continue this work with Chris".