The Ivors Academy has made a number of major announcements to showcase the work of jazz songwriters and composers across the UK. Born out of today’s flourishing jazz scene, the new initiatives look to support and champion the vibrancy of British home-grown talent, through providing a platform that will allow creators to thrive in their professional careers.
Effective from this month, multi-award winning composer and instrumentalist Orphy Robinson MBE will take up the position of Chair of The Ivors Academy Jazz Committee, and internationally renowned vocalist, composer and broadcaster Emily Saunders takes up the positions of Board Director of The Ivors Academy, and Chair of the new Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity Committee. Both representatives now hold important roles within the organisation which shape the future interests and livelihoods of creators.
Of the appointment, Orphy Robinson MBE says,
“As a committee we are all fully aware that there is a need for us to organise, enhance and assist our particular concerns now more than ever. It is on us to provide effective initiatives and answers that will respond to the changing dynamics of the music industry and how it will ultimately affect our livelihoods as jazz musicians and composers. I remain truly grateful for my election to the position of Chair and I look forward to the future with great hope and enthusiasm.”
Regarding her appointments Emily Saunders says,
“The Ivors Academy is a fantastic organisation to be part of as it seeks to protect creators rights, and a fundamental part of this is promoting equality, diversity and inclusivity across the organisation and the industry at large. Positive action is essential for us all, to bring about positive change within our current socio-political climate. For me, it really is a total honour to be elected in these ways – to work alongside such hugely positive, talented people across the whole of The Ivors Academy, and I’m really excited as to how we can all take things forward.”
As part of the Academy’s drive to increase its cultivating activities, the Jazz Committee have led on establishing several new initiatives to help better educate and provide opportunities for jazz composers to support their careers.
OneFest, the unique ‘twin festival’ concept taking place in both Sheffield on 7 March and London on 14 March, will inspire emerging young talent across the British jazz scene. The festival’s daytime programme of talks and workshops ‘Generation Next’ is sponsored by The Ivors Academy, bringing together leading jazz talent including Shabaka Hutchings, Nat Birchall, Steamdown’s Ahnanse, and Orphy Robinson, who is moderating the session.
This summer the Academy also teams with The Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama to present a major celebration ‘New Music Forum: Jazz Ensemble’ in Cardiff, with two full days of workshops, discussions and performances on 25 and 26 June. A public Call for Entries is open now, in which composers above the age of 18 are invited to submit works for jazz ensemble. For full information and to submit click here.
Coinciding with the development of new opportunities and event projects, The Ivors Academy welcomes several high profile writers to its membership from the world of jazz, including Soweto Kinch, Robert Mitchell, and Ivor Novello Award winner Alison Rayner, who won Jazz Composition for Small Ensemble at The Ivors Composer Awards in 2019.