Innovative music curator and AIM Member Jazz re:freshed and showcase producer British Underground announce the return of UK jazz to the SXSW Festival with the 2019 showcase featuring a world-class line up of the emerging UK artists currently shaping our understanding of the contemporary jazz scene. This year’s SXSW showcase will take place from 8pm at downtown venue Main II on 13 March and will feature NERIJA, JOE ARMON JONES, SARAH TANDY, YUSSEF DAYES and EZRA COLLECTIVE.
Recognising the importance of this new generation of performers and the work Jazz re:freshed have done to nurture it, for the first time the showcase is supported by key UK music industry organisations AIM, PPL and PRS for Music. Four of the artists have also been funded by the PRS Foundation‘s International Showcase Fund.
The showcase highlights the success of the two-year Arts Council England supported Jazz re:freshed Outernational initiative, a showcasing partnership with British Underground presenting artists at the frontline of the UK jazz revolution at key music events in the USA, Brazil and Europe. The programme has included many of the artists who are shaping today’s high-profile jazz scene including Shabaka Hutchings, Moses Boyd and Nubya Garcia and has been instrumental in bringing the movement to a global stage.
With SXSW showcase headliners Ezra Collective currently on their first US tour having sold out the 1400 capacity KOKO in London in November, UK Jazz continues to dominate the headlines with a recent feature in the NY Times as well as prominent pieces in The Observer and Complex and the BBC reporting that younger fans have been responsible for 108% increase in listeners to the Jazz UK playlist on Spotify.
Justin McKenzie, Jazz re:freshed said: “It’s always exciting to showcase the vast array of UK Jazz talent at SXSW and this year is no exception. We have a stellar line-up that is guaranteed to raise the roof.”
Paul Pacifico, CEO of AIM said: “The revitalisation of the British Jazz scene has been one of the most exciting developments in independent music of the past few years, introducing a whole new generation of music lovers to the genre. We’re very excited to be supporting the Jazz re:freshed and British Underground showcase, which will bring some of the movement’s luminaries to global eyes and ears on the international stage. We can’t wait to see what the future holds for them.”
Peter Leathem, Chief Executive Officer, PPL said: “We are excited to support the Jazz Refreshed SXSW showcase for the first time, alongside our colleagues at PRS for Music and AIM. This showcase demonstrates how the industry can work together to support some of the brightest artists in the jazz arena. To have the likes of the Ezra Collective, Yussef Dayes, Nerija and Joe Armon-Jones all on one stage shows how strong the pipeline of talented UK artists is, and we are looking forward to an enjoyable evening supporting them.
Nigel Elderton, PRS for Music Chairman, said: “I am delighted for PRS for Music to be supporting Jazz re:freshed Outernational in showcasing the incredible talent of the UK jazz scene at SXSW. While jazz music has always been exciting, the quality of songwriting and performances that we have seen in the UK in the last few years shows that the genre really is going through a resurgence, and Jazz re:freshed and British Underground are the perfect hosts to put this energy on an international stage.”