Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Are There Enough Black Musicians On UK Stages

SESSION: Are There Enough Black Musicians On UK Stages

Convener(s): Dorian Ford

Participants: Beverley Orton, Peter Ind, Nigel (NYJO), Geoff Wright, Rosie, Russell Occomore,

Latterly - Peter Slavid, John Cumming

Summary of discussion, conclusions and/or recommendations:

To some extent this issue is taboo with a good degree of hear say, rumour and general discomfort and lack of disclosure.

In NCY in the early 50’s the scene was integrated and became less so by the end of that decade

There needs to be equal representation generally within the industry i.e. nyjo has a diversity policy musically, ethnically, and gender-wise. The possible problem of NYJO in the past was a one man band which represented white middle class musicians.

The ratio of practitioners to venues creates extreme competition, but there needs to be collaboration.

The facebook page is that there is a perception that certain venues and organisations are being racist/prejudiced.

Debate is good and can bring us together. Change is worthwhile and necessary.

We are all humans, we all have something to bring to this music.

We all have a responsibility to address representation/unfair representation.

There are natural communities/cliques.

Public funding must and does mean diversity and representation

East Midlands – there are very few black/asian children involved in jazz.

Encourage young black and working class students of jazz in state education.

Open University thesis “What is black british jazz?” – this was apparently a well funded thesis.

There needs to be a study of the demographics i.e. proportion of black musicians to population etc.

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