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Serious' Talent Development Scheme 'Take Five' welcomes new artist participants for its 17th Edition

To celebrate International Jazz Day 2022, live music producers Serious are proud to announce the participants for the seventeenth edition of their prestigious talent development scheme Take Five – an annual programme that offers mentorship and opportunities to eight of the finest emerging jazz and improvising musicians from across the United Kingdom, funded by the PRS Foundation, Arts Council England and Serious Trust.

This year’s eight participants are an eclectic and exciting group, demonstrating the variety and quite literally the beating heart of the UK’s flourishing jazz scene, offering a taste of what is to come from the genre in the coming years. They are:

Charlotte Keeffe
– Trumpet, flugelhorn, piano, voice
Dominic Canning
– Piano/ Synth
Marcus Joseph
– Alto Saxophone
Midori Jaeger
– Cello / Voice  
Misha Mullov-Abbado
– Double Bass / Electric Bass
Nishla Smith
– Voice
Rosie Frater-Taylor
– Voice / Guitar
Xhosa Cole
– Saxophone

In early May, the participants will take part in an online residency week with talks, discussions and breakout sessions with leading industry experts. Covering topics from how to gig more internationally, to the best ways of working with agents and labels, to funding and legal advice for artists as well as keynote talks from past Take Five Participants and other artists. This part of the scheme will allow them a chance to learn about the complexities of the business in a focussed setting and offer them the chance to take some time out from their usual busy schedules and step back and think about how to advance their music and careers.

For the second half of the programme (22 –26 May) the participants will meet in person at the beautiful setting of Cats Abbey in the Cotswolds, to collaborate on a series of pieces that each of them arranged for the entire group, directed by the esteemed composer and saxophonist Jason Yarde, culminating in a video recording of their works which will be released as part of the EFG London Jazz Festival’s digital programme in November. As well as workshopping each other’s pieces there will be other tailored sessions throughout the week on technical and production skills, wellbeing, and stage presence.

Beyond these two residencies the artists are offer continued mentorship and guidance from Serious and its wide variety of trusted industry partners, along with performance opportunities at the EFG London Jazz Festival and elsewhere – most notably at the Take Five Presents showcase in Southbank Centre’s Purcell Room.

For more information about the artists, you’ll find their biographies below and on Serious’ website here.

To listen to each of the artists’ music, check out this YouTube playlist here.

The Take Five initiative is aimed at British and UK based composer-performers and is designed to give some of the UK’s most talented emerging creative jazz and improvising musicians the opportunity to take time out to develop their craft, build their careers and get their music out into the world.

Going back seventeen years, the programme has brought through the likes of Seb Rochford, Shabaka Hutchings, Yazz Ahmed and Nubya Garcia, as well as musicians from outside the traditional jazz idiom but with a foot firmly in improvisation such as electronic musician Leafcutter John, taegŭm (Korean flute) player Hyelim Kim, and South African cellist and composer Abel Selaocoe – serving as a pivotal moment in their careers that led to wider recognition, touring, record deals, and more.

Other aspects of the scheme, such as mentorship, funding and marketing support, creates further opportunities for the artists to reach a wider audience and gain a greater foothold in the rapidly evolving music industry.

To find out more about Take Five, please visit our website here.

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