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Durham University Big Band

For the second consecutive year we're pleased to be presenting a gig from the more

Workshop Bargain!

In a new collaboration with Sage Gateshead, we are running a series of workshops throughout t...more

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Learn about Jazz North East and what we do.

About Us

Jazz North East - Who Are We

Jazz North East was established in 1966 and is the oldest grant-supported jazz promoting body in the UK. JNE is a limited company and a registered charity (Charity No. 507509). In 2013 we incorporated Tyneside’s other leading contemporary jazz promoter, Schmazz.

The organisation is managed by a Board consisting of six unpaid Directors:
Iain Kitt – Secretary
Paul Bream – Chairperson
Bill Bream – Treasurer
Ken Drew – Photography & Video Recordings
Charlie McGovern – Sound Engineer
John Pope – Musician Liaison

To contact any of the Directors, please use the CONTACT Form on this website.

For many years Jazz North East received an annual grant from Jazz Action, the Jazz Development Agency for the North East region, but Jazz Action was disbanded in 2012 and its successor body, Jazz North, does not provide direct funding to promoters. We are therefore now dependent for our core funding on discretionary grants from funders such as Arts Council England and the PRS for Music Foundation, supplemented by assistance at specific gigs from international cultural bodies such as the French Music Export Bureau, Dutch Performing Arts, and Pro Helvetia. With this income, and by sharing costs with other promoters, we aim to mount a regular programme of around 40 concerts a year.

We have also become increasingly active in supporting the development of local musicians, with a particular mission to encourage adventurous young players in expanding their creative horizons. To this end we run a monthly ‘Improvisers Workshop’, as well as organising occasional workshops with visiting musicians. We also help to link up emerging local artists with established national and international players, thus raising the profile both of the individuals and of the whole jazz scene in the North East.

Money is always a problem so we welcome approaches from potential Co-Promoters and Corporate Sponsors. Donations are also greatly welcomed. Our Charitable Status delivers tax benefits. Please use the CONTACT button to reach us.

Jazz North East operates two free mailing lists for the general public, one by email and one by post. You'll not be surprised to learn that email is our favourite medium - cheap and easy - but you can sign up for either by clicking the CONTACT button on this website and giving us your email and/or postal address.

In its very first year Jazz North East presented concerts by artists as diverse as veteran pianist Earl ‘Fatha’ Hines and free jazz pioneer Ornette Coleman, thus from the very beginning showing a commitment to reflecting the whole spectrum of international jazz, with an emphasis on the USA. But from the '70s onwards the focus shifted to include British stars, although leading Americans continued to be a regular presence in our programmes. Some of those presented up to the turn of the century including Joe Harriott, Michael Garrick, Stan Tracey, Mike Osborne, Evan Parker, Keith Tippett, Steve Lacy, Carla Bley, George Russell, Lee Konitz and Eddie Lockjaw Davis.

In the 21st century our programme has become even more diverse and adventurous, with an attempt to cover the whole stylistic spectrum of jazz from bop to free improvisation, and an increasingly international perspective that has seen us build strong connections with Europe and as far afield as Australia and Japan, as well as continuing links with jazz’s American homeland. So in the 12 months to December 2016 we presented around 200 musicians in all, from 14 different countries in addition to the UK.

And that’s the way we hope to go on. In 2016 we celebrated 50 years as a promoter; in 2017 we look forward in anticipation to bringing more of the world’s most exciting and adventurous jazz musicians to Tyneside, from the UK, from Europe, from the USA, and from wherever else great music is being made.

Bands seeking a gig with Jazz North East should contact us by email at