Jazz it Up!

The Birmingham Sandwell & Westside Jazz Festival will now be able to press ahead in organising its July 2021 edition after being awarded £25,033 as part of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund (CRF).

The Culture Secretary announced more than £300m worth of funding today to help cultural organisations across the UK face the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and to ensure they have a sustainable future.

Over £800 million in grants and loans has already been awarded to support almost 3,800 cinemas, performance venues, museums, heritage sites and other cultural organisations dealing with the immediate challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.

The second round of awards made today will help organisations to look ahead to the spring and summer and plan for reopening and recovery. after months of closures and cancellations to contain the virus and save lives, this funding will be a much needed helping hand for organisations transitioning back to normal in the months ahead.

This funding will enable the Festival to continue programming artists for what will be the 37th edition of this internationally known event from 16th-25th July this year.

Originally the Birmingham Jazz Festival, the Festival was founded in 1985 and since then has provided 10 days of the best of jazz (over 200 performances) every July.

As well as highlighting the talents of fine local and nationally known musicians, the Festival has hosted jazz stars of the magnitude of Miles Davis and the Count Basie Orchestra and been highly successful in discovering young talent from Europe and introducing many bands and musicians to the British public.
As a Festival of largely free events in a wide variety of settings, many informal, it has a unique reputation for involving the community.

In 2020, inevitably, the July Festival had to be postponed, to be replaced by a Virtual Jazz Festival on the same dates and a much smaller live Festival (approximately 30 events) on October 16th-25th.

The Festival’s sister company, Big Bear Music, has found income from agency and promotion work practically non-existent, endangering the future of the Festival.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “Our record-breaking Culture Recovery Fund has already helped thousands of culture and heritage organisations across the country survive the biggest crisis they’ve ever faced.

Now we’re staying by their side as they prepare to welcome the public back through their doors – helping our cultural gems plan for reopening and thrive in the better times ahead.”

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