Serious’ hugely successful professional development scheme for emerging creative jazz musicians, Take Five, will again ‘take over’ during the EFG London Jazz Festival and this year, we have many reasons to celebrate. 

As part of the EFG London Jazz Festival 21st birthday, we are thrilled that the concert halls, free stages and clubs will resound with performances by outstanding bands from the UK and Europe, led by artists who are Take Five alumni.  This includes bands from UK (Take Five: UK) – too many to list; Switzerland (Take Five: Switzerland); France, the Netherlands, Norway and Poland (Take Five: Europe) – the latter leading to many ongoing collaborations, the most vivacious being the Obara International Quartet (a Polish/Norwegian collaboration) who have taken Europe by storm. Performances are spread across the festival and more information can be found on the EFG London Jazz Festival website. 

To bring it all into focus, on Sunday 24 November we will announce the artists who will participate in the ninth edition of Take Five: UK and will present a programme of free performances in a day long celebration that will begin at 12 noon in the Front Room of the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre, London. 

On this day, audiences will be treated to a performance by European Sunrise, which showcases the talents of 10 composer-performers from France (Airelle Besson and Guillaume Perret), the Netherlands (David Kweksilber and Marcos Baggiani), Norway (Daniel Herskedal and Per Zanussi), Poland (Marcin Masecki and Piotr Damasiewicz) and the UK (Arun Ghosh and Chris Sharkey) – all participants in our Take Five: Europe programme, who have developed material that has been honed in workshops and performances across the continent. 

We’ll also present three ground-breaking Franco-British collaborations featuring previous participants from a Take Five programme.  These three bands are: Sonsale, featuring Andy Champion and Corey Mwamba; Dors, featuring Chris Sharkey and Christophe de Bezenac; and Of Gauls and Gaels, featuring Fraser Fifield and Benjamin Flamant – who met via Take Five: Europe last year and who were commissioned by French festival Jazz sous les Pommiers. This Franco-British programme is supported by Jazz Shuttle.

And during the afternoon, the participants in Take Five Edition IX will also be announced to the public. Take Five: UK is supported by Jerwood Charitable Foundation, PRS for Music Foundation, Arts Council England and the Musicians Benevolent Fund and is designed to give some of the UK’s most talented young jazz musicians the unique opportunity to take ‘time out’ to develop their craft.  It provides each artist with the chance to discuss, explore and strengthen all aspects of their future careers. 
The eight creative jazz musicians who have been selected for Take Five Edition IX are:
• George Crowley (saxophone/clarinet, London) 
• Peter Edwards (piano, London)
• Laura Jurd (trumpet, London)
• James Mainwaring (saxophone, Leeds)
• Nick Malcolm (trumpet, Bristol)
• Dan Nicholls (reeds/keyboards, London)
• Shama Rahman (sitar/vocals, London)
• Alex Roth (guitar, London)

'Supporting artist development across all music genres is a longstanding priority for PRS for Music Foundation.  Take Five is an important part of this commitment through which we help talented jazz musicians at critical moments in their career. Congratulations to the eight musicians who were selected this year - this exciting line-up of distinctive voices reflects the quality and breadth of jazz in the UK.' (Vanessa Reed, Executive Director, PRS for Music Foundation)

'Take Five continues to excel as a model of professional development. It aims to generate and amplify the confidence and abilities of the jazz artists taking part, and has proven it can arm them with new knowledge on how to make and, critically, make heard their outstanding music. We are proud to support this ninth edition, and to recognise once more the quality of the field from which these talented eight artists were chosen.' (Shonagh Manson, Director, Jerwood Charitable Foundation)

Take Five Edition IX will run from October 2013 to the summer of 2014 and provides participants with one-to-one mentoring sessions to address their particular areas of need, as well a residential period exploring areas such as composition, performance, communications, business infrastructure and strategic direction. 

'Take Five has gone from strength to strength in 2013 and we are thrilled to be presenting a range of work in this year’s EFG London Jazz Festival that showcases the talents of so many of the previous and present participants.  In 2013 Serious  produced three editions – Take Five: UK Edition VIII, Take Five: Europe Edition II and a new addition to the suite of programmes, Take Five: Switzerland – all of which have introduced us and our forward thinking funding partners to 26 wonderfully creative musicians from across the UK and Europe.  The artists who have been chosen to participate in Edition IX are no exception and we are looking forward to seeing where their Take Five journey will take them.' (John Cumming, Director, Serious)

A previous participant in Take Five commented:

'Being part of Take Five has made a great impact on my life as a musician and composer. I have never before received so much support and encouragement and now think in a completely different way since gathering new skills in how to promote and manage my work, thanks to the guest speakers and tutors. The tools I have been given and the people I have met through the process have opened up my eyes to areas in the music industry I previously was unaware of.  I have been inspired to take more risks, and most importantly, I’ve found a new confidence in myself as an artist.  With this new wave of optimism, I have begun new collaborations, created new opportunities, and am in near completion of my second album – a project I wouldn’t have pursued if it weren’t for Serious.' (Yazz Ahmed, Edition VIII, 2013)

Click here to download this press release and to find out more about the participants in the ninth edition of Take Five: UK. 

For further press information please contact Martel Ollerenshaw at Serious  /  +44 (0)20 7324 1880