RESPONSE TO THE BRECON JAZZ SCOPING STUDY REPORT (2016) completed by Nod Knowles Productions (OCTOBER 2016).
The Nod Knowles report to the Town Council was widely criticised locally and further afield (more feedback available on request) as being highly partial, largely anecdotal, and leading to unhelpful press reviews.
Our Response to Town Clerk: 22 November 2016
“With the encouragement and support of Brecon Town Council, Brecon Jazz Club, along with others, stepped in and ensured that there was no ‘gap year’ for the Jazz Festival in 2016.
Our contribution was to plan & deliver concerts and events based in the centre of the town. A detailed evaluation and report of the Jazz Club Festival Weekend can be found on our website at www.breconjazz.club/wp/festival. While this does not include feedback from the Town Council itself, our small evaluation study and interviews with businesses indicate that we put on a very successful programme. However, the levels of funding available to small organisations in Wales for doing something like this present particular challenges. Among these are the workloads involved in preparing grant applications, and the need to provide elements that are not revenue-earning.
We note that the report commissioned with Nod Knowles Productions by the Town Council has led to a scoping study offering FOUR options, with OTHER possibilities being left open for further consideration (or not). Given that there is no ‘feasibility’ element here, or indication of how the various options in the study might be implemented, the Council might like to consider hosting a Forum on this topic at the Guildhall. This could present current outcomes and lessons, and examine the feasibility of and support for the various options identified. The Jazz Club would be willing to assist on how such a forum might be developed, and also in making a contribution that is proportionate.
Our archives suggest that the presence of a Jazz Club active in Brecon pre-dates the Jazz Festival by some 10 years (ie c1974), and under our guardianship since 2006, continues to operate a year round programme of jazz in the town. We are currently planning our 2017 events, which for the past 5 years have included performances during the month of August.
For 2017, the priorities of the Jazz Club however are to strengthen our current organisation and to ensure that the long-term sustainability of the club is not impacted by festival and other related activities. You may be aware that members of the BJC, together with local musicians, have come together to organise a ‘benefit’ concert to raise funds for the club, on Saturday 3 December. This is to help offset the club’s committing of the whole of its small capital into match funding for the 2016 jazz weekend.
We did not take any fees or even expenses for ourselves, and the intensive time commitment over eight months for two people, was not proportionate to the project as a whole. With these considerations in mind, BJC will continue with current plans, publishing its programme in due course and providing a presence for jazz in Brecon all year round”.
We thank the Town Council for their input over the 12-14 August BJ Weekend.The full programme of all 25 events in 2016 can be downloaded here.
COORDINATORS: BRECON JAZZ CLUB