Jazz Services Partnership

NRTF has developed a partnership with Jazz Services, who have committed budgets to support rural touring for jazz musicians.

The Jazz Services Rural Touring Support Scheme is designed to promote musicians and bands of merit not readily promoted by the commercial sector and other agencies and to maximise attendance at these events and reflect Jazz Services' equal opportunities policy. The policy is mainly geared to small groups and covers the full range of jazz music, idioms and styles. Jazz Services is working in partnership with the National Rural Touring Forum.

This is the third year that Jazz Services has committed funds to support touring in this way.  

For the pilot project in 2011 over 50 applications were received and voluntary promoters with an interest in jazz joined a panel of Jazz sector professionals to finalise two bands, who then showcased at the 2011 NRTF conference.

Our pilot project in 2011 / 12 identified two bands,  Stu Brown's The Raymond Scott Project, which incorporated animation and jazz inspired by the Loony Tunes era of cartoons and the Philip Clouts Quartet, inspired by African music and jazz. They went on to play 23 dates across the country, all of which were very well received.

NRTF continued to develop work with Jazz Services and two bands were chosen to tour throughout 2013/2014:

A Thousand Kisses Deep

Renowned BBC Award winning singer Christine Tobin has been a long time admirer and eloquent interpreter of Leonard Cohen's music.  Read more about A Thousand Kisses Deep here.


Michael Janisch’s Purpose Built Quartet

Bassist Mike Janisch originally hails from the American Midwest, but his career path has been truly international. Having settled in London after studying at Berklee and several years based on the east coast of the United States, he has firmly established himself as one of Europe's first-call bass players and a hugely talented bandleader and composer. 


In 2013 the Jazz Services / NRTF panel chose 3 bands to tour and these bands were brought to the attention of the rural touring network, ready to tour in 2014 and 2015. The bands available to tour are:

  • Fumi Okaji's Old Time Jazz Band

Fumi Okiji’s Old Time Jazz Band is a stellar group of London-based musicians that performs tunes from early jazz. The band creates an unusually intimate sound through its sparse use of amplification (when possible) and the conversational manner in which it draws audiences into the drama of the music.

The music is essentially lovingly crafted interpretations of repertoire from jazz’s inception, through the interwar years. The band takes in the blues, New Orleans, black vaudeville, Louis, Ella and Billie. While tackling the material with upmost reverence it does so with both feet firmly in the 21st century. The Old Time Jazz Band is a joyous celebration of the great tradition of jazz song.

  • Heads South Latin Jazz Quintet

Heads South is a leading Latin Jazz Quintet whose music combines Afro-Cuban and other Latin influenced rhythms with tuneful melodies in a dynamic repertoire of original compositions and arrangements of classic tunes.  The Band’s line-up features top UK jazz trumpeter Steve Waterman,  pianist/composer John Harriman, Venezuelan bassplayer Adolfredo Pulido, Cuban percussionist Chino Martell Morgan and versatile drummer/percussionist Buster Birch.

For newcomers to this music, think Buena Vista Social Club in a smaller package, add the dynamism of Jazz and tuneful melody, and imbibe the warmth of a Latin evening...  The rhythms of the music attract dance lovers but above all this is quality Latin Jazz that connects with the keen listener.

  • Too Cool The music of Chet Baker

Chet Baker was a prominent jazz trumpet player and singer who shot to fame in the 1950's. He was an iconic musician - his version of My Funny Valentine is one of the jazz greats. His music is accessible to a wide audience and the narration of this show makes it an interesting and entertaining evening for those new to jazz as well as Chet Baker fans.

A special show featuring Chet's most famous standards, his own compositions & works inspired by his life. As well as performing some of the songs forever associated with Chet and his sublime solos Sue has uncovered great songs written by him. There is also new material, written by Sue, including works inspired by Chet Baker’s life away from music.

These three bands will tour in 2014 and 2015 and it is hoped that we will see all three bands appearing at village halls and other small venues around the country soon.