Brecon Jazz Club (BJC), as one of the founder members of the Brecon Jazz Music Trust, has a mission to extend employment and performance opportunities for emerging musicians. This includes booking students and graduates of the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama ‘Jazz Performance’ degree, with whom BJC has strong links. There is demand from local & festival audiences as well as musicians to extend these opportunities.

Brecon Jazz Futures (JF) is an initiative developed by musician/educator Marc Edwards in 2016 which received BBNP / SDF funding in 2016. With this, Marc programmed 14 younger/emerging bands from Jazz music courses in Manchester, London & Birmingham in that year’s Jazz Festival. Audience feedback showed support for this and reviews encouraged further outlets for these ‘showcases’.

As partners in the 2018 Festival we have followed this by creating a number of EMERGING TALENT ‘JAZZ FUTURES’ SHOWCASE events in Brecon as part of both ‘year-round’ and ‘festival’ jazz programming. In this initiative, the partners link the ‘club’ and the ‘festival’, the ‘year round’ and local to the the ‘jazz weekend’ and national audience, and collaborate as promoters to select and offer unique performance opportunities which would not otherwise exist.

This initiative led to THREE specific events:-
– Brecon jazz ‘July’ club event: a showcase of new compositions and music from THREE bands trained in Wales (RWCMD).
– Brecon jazz ‘August’ festival weekend: during the Saturday programme of TWO bands featuring emerging jazz musicians – many of whom have already won national jazz awards – as concert highlights.

In covering the months of July and August, we address the issue that in attempting to spotlight jazz students and younger talents, many are not necessarily available in Wales for bookings during the summer – they are playing at Festivals elswhere. This understanding arises from close links with RWCMD and discussions with the students, staff and graduate musicians there. It is also recognised that younger musicians are also composing new work which needs to be showcased, but at the same time, that audience expectations need to evolve to understand and appreciate some of these newer formations and styles.

So existing audience development as well as attracting new audience members, is an objective. This can be challenging, but we acknowledge that Jazz in Brecon has a strong and particular heritage and legacy, of which musical innovation is an important strand.