Hi this is the draft plan, comments please by Monday 9am on the 6th April. If you have trouble viewing or would like the Appendices this please email me and I can send you a .pdf version. Email to -jkeeatnationaljazzalliance.com.au-.
To creative a vibrant and financially viable sector for jazz and improvised music (JAIM) in Australia.
Support the continuation of the high artistic standards being practised in this field, primarily by extending audience development and engagement through the following::
– Performance and other artistic opportunities
– Touring – developing touring networks.
– Business – infrastructure, development of support to provide growth opportunities for artists, organisations and administration/management.
– Develop existing and explore new revenue streams
– Raise the profile of improvised music/jazz through:
– Improving communications amongst stakeholders which includes media, community, audiences, funding bodies, philanthropy etc
– Audience development
– Create vehicle to lead the development of the above.
The National Jazz Alliance was created in 2008 to develop a unified voice and strategy for jazz and improvised music (JAIM) in Australia. It is working towards a coordinated approach to developing the sector.
A working committee consisting of a consortium of jazz organisations from around Australia, was established to develop this project. Founding members are Jazz WA, Melbourne Co-op, Jazz Queensland, Sydney Improvised Music Association, Jazz SA, Jazzgroove and Wangaratta Festival of Jazz.
The first phase has been researching and developing a national plan. This has been funded by the Australia Council, who are supportive of the concept of a national unified body for this sector.
1. There is confusion regarding the definition and perception jazz.
2. There is a lack of dedicated, publicly accessible venues around the country.
3. Most JAIM related events/artists place insufficient resources on marketing/publicity/audience development.
4. There are limited career opportunities/succession planning strategies, with the majority of employment available in administration/management being at part time pay for full time roles.
5. This sector is “at risk” in that it is heavily reliant on volunteer hours for essential operational work.
6. A unified voice has the most potential to influence positive change in this sector.
7. There is a lack of meaningful communication between organisations around the country.
8. Organisations and ensembles with administration/management tend to be more successful overall than individual musicians or bands in all areas from performance opportunities through to fund raising
9. Investment in business infrastructures will provide the basis for future growth of performance and other artistic opportunities.
10. Organisations/artists that have influential “champions/patrons” are more effective at lobbying and fundraising.
- The establishment of a national body to support and promote JAIM to key stakeholders. (See Appendix A for suggestions on organisational formats.)
- Augment support to State organisations with regard to operating performing arts organisations with sound business skills which position them for increased growth.
- Review career paths, viability of current administrative/management support and succession strategies across the sector.
- Learning through communication and information exchanges throughout the country.
- Explore and develop revenue raising opportunities for organisations and artists.
- Work with successful existing schemes, or adapt if required rather than duplicating what is already in place.
- Develop relevant partnerships, and in some cases exploring looking outside the jazz sector,
- Explore the viability of dedicated venues and where possible instigate their creation.
- Provision of services or assistance with “know how” skills for artists which could range from PR/marketing, bookkeeping, touring, funding applications etc.
- Development of existing and establishment of new distribution and performance channels for artists.
- More actively engaging with champions/patrons
- National plan established with achievable short term goals interspersed with longer term strategy.
This report comprises a synthesis from the comments of people interviewed and online , responses (Appendix C), the ideas of the committee (Appendix B) and existing reports and recommendations. These closely align with the research undertaken to date, the findings and recommendations of A Permanent Underground (Appendix D) and reference to other existing material relating to Australian jazz
One aspect of the definition of jazz which can be agreed upon, is that jazz can be many different things (See Appendix E)
Currently, Wikepedia lists the following jazz sub generes: Asian American jazz • Avant-garde jazz • Bebop • Big band • Chamber jazz • Continental jazz • Cool jazz • Free jazz • Gypsy jazz • Latin jazz • Mainstream jazz • Mini-jazz • Modal jazz • M-Base • Neo-bop • Orchestral jazz • Post-bop • Stride • Swing • Third stream • Traditional jazz • Traditional pop • Vocal jazz Fusion genres Acid jazz • Afrobeat • Bluegrass • Bossa nova • Calypso jazz • Crossover jazz • Dansband • Deep house • Free funk • Funk • Hard bop • Humppa • Jam band • Jazz blues • Jazz funk • Jazz fusion • Jazz rap • Jump blues • Kwela • Livetronica • Mambo • Math rock • Mod revival • Modern Creative • No Wave • Novelty piano • Nu jazz • Nu soul • Post-metal • Progressive rock • Punk jazz • Reggae • Rhythm and blues • Shibuya-kei • Ska • Ska jazz • Smooth jazz • Soul jazz • Spank jazz • Swing revival • World fusion • Yé-yé
Jazz in the format of the big band, swing style classified as dance music was once popular music and formed an important part of ABC programming in the 1930s. 1982 saw the end of the ABC dance and show bands era. This is similar to the global trend, Germany for example had a big band at the radio station of virtually every major city. Today there are only three remaining, the WDR Big Band in Koln, the NDR Big Band in Hamburg and the HR Big Band in Frankfurt.
“This tradition has largely died out around the world. This is partly due to a change in the nature of jazz. Since the bebop era, jazz has evolved predominantly as small group music. It also became less of a dance music form, leading to a drop in its popularity. Symphony orchestras became bigger and more consolidated, making it easier for them to build management structures to access funding and promotion. Symphony orchestras were also historically the music of the dominant culture of our society, i.e., not frowned upon! Jazz groups became smaller and more disparate. In an economic sense this has made things tougher for jazz musicians.”
It could be argued that the lack of structure and unity has disadvantaged this sector, if viewed in comparison with the more established and organized Western musical traditions of classical music and opera.
Major Symphony Orchestras had similar stature in the 1930’s with the more jazz inspired ABC big bands. Since then, this equity has diminished. In 2008 State symphonic orchestras received sums from over $4 million to nearly $7 million each. The annual base funding figures for all music funding in the major performing arts board category is $58,831,951.
The total jazz sector in 2008 did not even receive 1% of this amount of funding and there are no jazz organisations in the major performing arts category. Separate to this, the total funding by the Music board for all other music organisations was $4,355,230.
If we loosely categorise the current funding for jazz service and promotion. Current funding is around $239,556 for the following organisations, Sydney Improvised Music Association, Jazz Queensland, Jazz SA, Jazz WA, Melbourne Jazz Co-op and Jazzgroove Association.
The Australia Council has allocated triennial support of $335K to the Australian Music Industry Network (AMIN) for contemporary music service organisations. Bearing in mind the above figures in the short term it would not be unrealistic to seek parity to this funding with dedicated funds of $100k pa over a triennial period to assist in the development of a similar national infrastructure capacity for JAIM.
New initiatives and organisations supporting contemporary music
There are a significant amount of new developments taking place within the music sector in Australia. The need for a dedicated organisation to advocate on behalf of this sector is important to ensure that JAIM’s are not overlooked when these initiatives are developed.
Examples of some of these new initiatives are:
The Federal Government initiatives for contemporary music listed goals:
“The Australian Government is committed to supporting the continued development of Australian contemporary music through:
· developing a strategic long-term plan to enhance ongoing cooperation within the industry
· investigating ways to promote private capital investment in the music industry, such as private sector microfinance
· ensuring Australian acts have the opportunity to support international performers on tour in Australia
· investing $17 million in a Creative Industries Innovation Centre to incubate innovative small and medium sized Australian creative businesses, including those in the music industry.
The Australian Government is also working with state and territory governments through the Cultural Ministers Council’s Contemporary Music Development Working Group to:
· fund a pilot business skills training and mentoring program for music managers
· boost music industry exports through a more coordinated and consistent approach to international marketing.
· address barriers to live music performance and encourage the growth of live music precincts in cities throughout Australia
· develop an Indigenous contemporary music strategy to provide coordinated support for Indigenous artists and music industry professionals.”
The Australia Council has been supporting and in some cases developing projects to benefit the contemporary music sector.
Examples of this are:
– AMIN, the Australian Music Industry Network, awarded triennial funding of $335K per annum for national work in the contemporary music sector.
– The Youth Orchestras Australia Network secured a project grant for $214,230.
– The Australian Music Centre (AMC) funded $501,880. Receives triennial funding.
– The Music Council of Australia (MCA). Receives triennial funding for services and lobbying of Australian music.
– A specialist contemporary music project (2 years funding), Sound Travellers was set up to run a national touring grants program for sound art/electronic, improvised jazz and contemporary classical music in 2008.
– A music development officer role hosted by The Australian Network for Art and Technology for sound art.
– The promotion of contemporary music on an international platform through the new triennial project Live on Stage responding to the current global interest and demand in rock/pop and Indigenous music from Australia and also the growth of a strong and vibrant live music scene.
– A specialist Producer – Export Music Services role based at APRA/AMCOS has also been supported.
It should be noted that amongst this activity, only one project, Sound Travellers identifies as having a specific interest in improvised jazz (one third of its funding is directed to the jazz sector). The MCA has jazz representation, however the role holder is not a full time professional musician or engaged in arts administration/management. The AMC has confirmed that it would like to provide more support for jazz musicians in the future, however this is currently not a high priority area. All other organisations focus on supporting other contemporary genres of music. It is for this reason that it is necessary to have a specialist jazz forum/network, to specifically focus and champion this genre.
Examples of some service organisations which are funded at a State level and promote the support and development of contemporary music are Music NSW, Q-music, WAM, Ausmusic SA, TASmusic, Music NT, Jazz WA, Jazz Queensland and Jazz SA.
A National network
There has been a national jazz network. This ended around 2001 when the National jazz coordinator role was discontinued. Currently only Western Australia, South Australia and Queensland have specifically State based jazz organisations.
Without dwelling on the past, it appears that a lack of unity and goodwill for the outcomes produced by the former national coordinator assisted in the demise of this position.
Whilst there is some caution due to the historical circumstances, in the main there is goodwill and a recognition of the potential importance of this study, its possible outcomes and the need for a strong national voice. A call for a unified approach without factional fighting and with support over a wide cross section that includes all sectors within the jazz/improvised world is essential to ensure the success of any national alliance. This was deemed of high importance throughout this research process.
It should be noted that whilst there are many musicians playing at a professional level in the JAIM sector, the majority of administrators/managers operate on a part time basis, with the exception of the Australian Art Orchestra. The lack of support for administration/management/presentation and promotion creates the invidious position whereby it is hard to attract and retain good staff within this sector. There is no discernible career path or opportunities within this sector.
A large proportion of the work which is carried out relies on the goodwill of people employed outside the sector who put in voluntary hours, or people who work multiple jobs. This puts the sector as a whole in an “at risk” position, relying heavily on goodwill. The implications of conflicting demands and paid versus voluntary work is also an issue. This hinders the progress of the JAIM sector.
The resources of most organisations is already stretched, therefore for the sector to move forward it would be of great benefit to have a national coordinator role, similar to the currently funded Sound Art position, or the role which is being created by the Australian Music Industry Network to work alongside the existing State based organisations.
See Appendix G for more details on JAIM specific information in each State.
It is particularly important for the JAIM sector to be visible and engaged with key funding stakeholders at a time when the Federal Minister for Arts is working on an election promise to improve the contemporary music sector In the past this sector has not proven itself to be as sophisticated at lobbying and fundraising as other sectors. As the music sector becomes more competitive and organized at working on national levels, it is extremely important to achieve cut through and to have a strong basis from which to lobby and ensure JAIM is not forgotten.
The State trend has recently seen general cuts across the Board for budgets and in some cases staff recruitment freezing. Again, this emphasizes the need to be strategic and relevant. There is also the necessity to have strong business models which is increasingly becoming a focus of Government funding.
Dedicated jazz venues are few and far between Two examples are Bennetts Lane in Melbourne established in 1993 and the recently opened Ellington Jazz Club in Perth.
This contributes to the problems of touring. There are informal touring networks in place, but no formal circuit.
When touring most bands in all genres of music do not break even, particularly when door deals are in place. In this regard JAIM is consistent with other genres of music touring throughout Australia. Apart from high profile artists, it is quite common for band leaders to supplement the tour costs.
A national touring database for venues, called VROOM is in existence, however this is skewed towards rock venues. On recently checking the NSW site, content had not been updated for some timeand was obviously out of date.
Many band leaders who have not organized tours start from scratch when organizing their own tour. There is considerable duplication of work. In the rock/pop contemporary music sector the existing State service organisations provide significantly more support for artists across the board.
Within the JAIM sector, audiences do not seem to be growing at the same pace as the output of musicians from Universities and other. This obviously hinders performance opportunities as the economic viability of presenting JAIM’s is not attractive.
There is a general consensus that less column inches are being dedicated to the arts and consequently to jazz. An analysis of column inches for the music sector was undertaken by Music Council of Australia. This confirms a lack of musical reviews across the board around the country.
Within this context it is worth considering that an effective lobbying voice might impress upon arts editors that consistent, credible coverage of jazz should be seen as a priority, as is the case with classical music. However bearing in mind the changing fortunes of print media, the resources allocated to this pursuit should be considered in terms of possible real outcomes.
Perhaps options to consider, bearing in mind the rise of digital mediums is online editorial rather than print pages for the major papers. Perhaps a JAIM blogging profile connected to a national paper might be an achievable outcome? A series of photos or a video in Video news could also be considered.
With the advent of digital television, there appears to be opportunities for improved television presence. This increase in content required should lead to more music programs on free to air television. To take advantage of this, JAIM musicians and organisations may need to invest in good quality footage.
This may be a challenge as the perspective from the media is that artists often provide poor quality press releases, marketing/media material and that they do not put sufficient investment into images, information on tracks, timing, follow up etc. What sort of investment would be required to raise JAIM to an equal footing to a pop video clip?
Underground venues have been extremely effective in using online promotions. However it should be noted that this does not promote raising the profile of this sector to the general public and unfortunately cannot consistently increase media coverage, due to their need to remain “under the radar”.
There is general interest and support for inter arts work. This could provide opportunities for JAIM musicians both artistically and in terms of additional revenue sources.
What we do
Consensus on the operational framework and the prioritisation of goals needs to be agreed by the representatives forming the National Jazz Alliance. The national plan will provide the foundation for the priorities of this network.
Examples of the operations and set up for a range of national organisations is described in Appendix F.
SUGGESTIONS FOR ORGANISATIONAL GOALS AS LISTED ON PAGE 3.
COMMENTS OR SUGGESTIONS ON HOW TO ACHIEVE THESE WOULD BE APPRECIATED. THESE WILL BE INCORPORATED INTO THE FINAL PLAN.
Performance and other artistic opportunities
· Developing more live performance opportunities:
o Touring – nationally, internationally (see below)
o Performing with other artforms eg dance, theatre, film
o Nurture or develop venues that focus on jazz
· Developing artistic opportunities
Touring – developing touring networks.
· Explore how to develop financially viable touring circuits
· Potential to promote a circuit or work with Sound Travellers.
· Audience development – create demand for this work (see below)
· Infrastructure as per business infrastructure section provide assistance or education on how to arrange tours, budget etc to assist rather than each artist duplicating work
· Develop relationships with bodies that promote touring both nationally and internationally eg Long Paddock, Sound Travellers, DFAT, Australia Council Marketing department.
Business – infrastructure, development of support to provide growth opportunities for artists, organisations and administration/management.
· Workshops for artists of basic business skills – eg help with funding applications, putting together a tour, bookkeeping, breaking into overseas markets, central points for help (look at Q-music model).
· Develop business hubs to provide basic services for artists, allowing musicians to increase both their business and their creative capacity eg myspace experts.
· Explore supporting agents or developing a producers model similar to the Australia Council’s mapping project being undertaken for theatre.
· Provide individual advisory service to develop career plans for musicians/bands
· Work towards recommended minimum union/industry rate for musicians
· Explore revenue raising opportunities eg merchandise sales.
· Explore micro financing and support systems for CD releases etc.
· Explore profile building opportunities
· Develop opportunities for management
To achieve best practice operations including board and financial management across the sector through:
· Sharing of information
· Share standard templates eg HR contracts, performance agreements, venue hire etc.
· Assistance with organisational structures and how to build effective boards working with organisations such as Artsupport
· Improve remuneration for administrators
· Review opportunities for career pathways and succession planning
· Provide assistance with business services eg publicity, marketing where required.
· Hook in with existing education re providing information on funding, touring, bookkeeping etc – including allowing key jazz organisations to attend specialist training eg that offered to triennially funded organisations by the Australia Council.
· Business planning
· Encouraging the development of partnerships
· Exploring opportunities for philanthropy and sponsorship
Develop existing and explore new revenue streams
· Identify revenue raising strategies
· Develop plan for improving or developing new fundraising channels (this could include becoming regular Aust. Council client, philanthropy (work with Artsupport).
· Ensuring there is a vehicle to accept endowments or investments for the future of the sector, grants, merchandise sales and selling shows etc
· Explore affiliation relationships with Companies such as Birdland, particularly in relation to the website
· Fees for services such as CD release distribution, writing media releases etc.
· Any other?
Raise the profile of improvised music/jazz through:
Improving communications amongst stakeholders which includes media, community, audiences, funding bodies, philanthropy etc
· Agreement on key messages to be conveyed by NJA, which will be promoted by members of the network.
· Working collectively towards a positive future for JAIM
· Regular information sharing and communications
· Central database to share info on subjects such as contracts, HR, touring info, marketing, media lists..
· Effective use of the national website as a communication and resources tool.
· Regular annual meetings eg Ausdance meets at least once a year and ties it into a Festival that people want to attend, it would make sense to do this on a rotating basis around Australia.
· Website, how to make this viable with the limited resources available – currently reviewing this with website coordinator Peter Jordan
· Development of centralised marketing and communication strategy for stakeholders – how to embrace our differences
· Develop lobbying and advocacy strategies.
· Consideration of the perception of jazz and the current images and presentation that are offered to the media/audiences.
· Media relationships, original brief was to review this. However whilst mainstream media is of interest, that is possibly a lost cause given the general shrinking of performing arts column inches. Should the issue be about creating more interesting stories and sourcing new ways to get them out there through social networking and other mediums.
· Gather data to have information which can be used for Government lobbying
· More unified and professional approach to marketing/publicity
· When venues present artists they could standardise band information to include marketing and media information with contact details.
· Research could be undertaken with a partner eg University project and could include information such as:
· Use of audience/ticketing information to increase audience reach.
· What motivates audiences to attend performances.
· This also impacts on potential sponsorship/revenue, no ability to demonstrate what kind of audiences attend.
· Research the different types of audiences who are attending performances. The underground venues are attracting young audiences, through to older audiences at more established venues.
· Increase audiences and recognition in Australia and abroad
· Aim to increased attendance by 5% each year in the not for profit sector.
· Develop partnerships with larger organisations eg Sydney Opera House or similar in each State.
Create vehicle to lead the development of the above
· Decide on Structure
· Decide on membership
· Decide on executive decision making process
· Decide on entity ie to remain auspiced with name for first year with goal to become own registered whatever with charitable status in year 2?
· Staff member to drive this process – how many days a week – expectations
· How to find dynamic committee with time to dedicate to the process
· Succession planning
· Cultivation of champions/patrons
· Clear goals and outlines of what this entity will do, communicated effectively to stakeholders
· Transparent processes and procedures conveyed to relevant stakeholders.
· Australia Council triennial funding by year 3
· State funding by 2010-11
WHERE TO NOW
This plan requires the following:
– confirmation of goals
– performance indicators
– who is doing what
The Permanent Underground: Australian Contemporary Jazz in the New Millennium, Peter Rechniewski, Published by Currency House Inc, Platform Papers 16: April 2008
 Extract from Sandy Evans, Peggy Glanville Hicks annual address, 2008
 These figures are only based on Australia Council funding grants figures for 2007-08 financial report
This excludes individual ensemble/organisations ie the Australian Art Orchestra and West Australian Youth Jazz Orchestra and the Wangaratta Jazz Festival
 Music May 2008 closing date, http://www.australiacouncil.gov.au/grants/amr/music/music_-_july_2008_closing_dates
 NB not all new music programs are listed within this report. Focus is on nationally funded initiatives. Please refer directly to the Australia Council or the Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts for more detailed information on current contemporary music initiatives.
 This is not a fully comprehensive list, rather it provides examples.
 I There is a perception that some organisations are already following best practice and potentially a national network may not offer them benefits We would aim to encourage the thinking that this is a huge strength for the whole network.
 The AAO has two full time staff.
 This role receives Australia Council funding.
 Information on page 7 from Department of Water, Heritage, Environment and the Arts
 We understand this site is currently being updated after conversations with the Director of Music NSW
 Dr Graham Strahle (music writer, critic), Last updated: 8 October 2007 http://www.mca.org.au/web/component/option,com_kb/task,article/article,67/
 Conservatorium of Music was undertaking research – report status? Was Dave Theak