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The Jazz Centre (UK), also referred to as The Jazz Centre UK or TJCUK, situated in Southend-on-Sea, Essex, celebrates jazz music’s heritage, and actively supports and promotes contemporary performance and education. It was founded in 2016 by musician, broadcaster and writer Digby Fairweather. The organisation’s mission stated on the Charity Commission website is “To preserve promote and celebrate the art of jazz music in all its forms”.


One of the core aims of The Jazz Centre UK is to promote the art form across Music, Dance, Art and the surrounding culture. On a day-to-day operational level it actively promotes Jazz via their regular stream of live events, the publication of a quarterly newsletter, supporting networking channels and educational activities.


The Jazz Centre UK has the aim to preserve the history of jazz music and its culture in the UK. This motivation started with acquisition the Humphrey Lyttelton Collection in 2016. Jazz has had a strong presence in Britain for over 100 years and we feel it is important that this huge part of British culture is valued, represented and its history is protected. We ensure our collections are properly looked after. Our volunteers work hard to ensure our collections are well presented within our centre and when necessary, we hire specialists to repair and restore our artefacts.


At The Jazz Centre UK, we aim to celebrate Jazz in all its forms reflecting the historic and the contemporary values of the music held by its community.


New patron announcement: Jamie Cullum


The Jazz Centre (UK), the UK’s only cultural centre for jazz music, is pleased to announce that Jamie Cullum, the award-winning international jazz singer-songwriter and radio presenter, has joined the charity as a patron. Cullum is the best-selling British jazz artist of all time, has released eight internationally acclaimed studio albums and is currently the presenter of BBC Radio 2’s The Jazz Show


On his appointment, Cullum said: “The Jazz Centre (UK)’s commitment to preserve, promote and celebrate jazz music in all its forms really hits home with my own passion for a music that truly represents diversity and equalities across the genre. The Jazz Centre (UK)’s energies and vision to promote both jazz’s incredible heritage and its ongoing, contemporary evolution means I am delighted to be joining the charity as a patron. The work the team of trustees and volunteers do is absolutely crucial in telling how the jazz story crosses cultures and communities and it provides a phenomenal research, education and showcase hub that young people can use outside of the classroom and throughout their lives. I look forward to supporting the great work that The Jazz Centre (UK) is doing across the UK in my new role as patron.”


Mark Kass, CEO & Trustee of The Jazz Centre (UK) added: “We are thrilled and honoured that Jamie has joined the charity as our newest patron. His passion for all aspects of jazz and broadening audiences and changing perceptions for this incredible music certainly matches our own, so this is a very exciting development for The Jazz Centre (UK).” Kass continues, “Jamie joins our incredible stable of high-profile jazz patrons including Dame Cleo Laine, Charlie Watts, Jules Holland, Paul Jones, Simon Spillett, Alan Barnes, Sir Van Morrison and of course Sir Michael Parkinson on who’s chat show it was back in 2003 when we saw Jamie on our TV screens for the very first time!”


Based in The Beecroft Arts & Cultural Centre, Southend-on-Sea in Essex, Cullum’s original county of birth, The Jazz Centre (UK) partners with local, regional and national organisations through its jazz museum, multi-media research & education hub and its recently re-vamped performance venue now equipped with professional standard live streaming equipment.


New patron announcement: Chris Philips


Hot on the tails of Jamie Cullum’s recent appointment as Patron, The Jazz Centre (UK) is pleased to announce that Chris Philips, the award-winning radio presenter, has also joined the charity as Patron. An award-winning radio presenter, Philips is currently heard on Jazz FM focussing on new jazz and was the station’s Head of Music, before taking up the role of Head Of Content at jazzed, the world’s first interactive listen, watch and read app dedicated to jazz and related music. Chris was an original DJ on K-Jazz, the UK’s first dedicated jazz radio station. Along with illustrious luminaries as Gilles Peterson and Jez Nelson, Later, Chris co-founded Black music station Starpoint and co-presented the acclaimed late night show Somethin’ Else with Jez Nelson where they took the show to Kiss 100FM, simultaneously co-founding the independent production company of the same name.


On his appointment, Chris said: “Post-covid sees the beginning of a new era in The Jazz Centre (UK)’s growth since its formation in 2016. And the team there are totally committed to ensuring that today’s emerging jazz musicians become the heritage of jazz in the future. The Centre’s recent investment in new technology will help them access much wider more diverse audience and I’m really proud to be supporting the invaluable efforts that all the volunteers at The Centre are making to promote, preserve and celebrate jazz in all its forms!”


Alongside Philips’ expertise contemporary jazz, he is passionate in the shared belief that jazz is probably the most diverse and inclusive musical genres there is. Chris continues, “The image of 21st Century British jazz urgently needs to shift from its long-standing, past perceptions and I’m really keen to work with Mark, my fellow Patrons and his Trustees and volunteers to help The Jazz Centre (UK)’s valuable work truly represent today’s society and all the wide range of people involved in and around this amazing music.”


Mark Kass, CEO & Trustee of The Jazz Centre (UK) added: “Chris’s appointment as Patron reflects our total commitment to all forms of jazz and truly ensuring we promote what’s going on in the jazz scene today as well as telling the phenomenal history of jazz over the past 100 years.” Kass continues, “ Chris joins our growing “Who’s Who” of jazz patrons – including recently appointed Jamie Cullum – and we look forward to working with him to help spread the word of our exciting work across new audiences ultimately attracting new volunteers and visitors from across all aspects of the UK’s diverse communities!”

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