My coverage of the 2013 edition of Take Five Europe, today at All About Jazz.
An important initiative that selects two musicians each from five countries - the UK, Norway, The Netherlands, France and Poland - T5E is a week-long retreat for these artists who, while young, have already established their careers to a certain degree but need some help reaching the next level. Throughout the week, the group, working with British saxophonist/clarinetist John Surman, put together a repertoire consisting of one composition from each artist, allowing for an experience that teaches them the value of networking, leadership skills, and stretching outside their own comfort zones musically.
But T5E is more than that. Industry reps are invited, ranging from publicists and managers to festival presenters, journalists and more to help drive home that the aspiring artist of the new millennium must now be many things, including promoter, booking agent, manager and more. Like it or not, young musicians need to consider themselves small businesses with the music being their product, and T5E's educational program, taking place at a farm in Kent that also removes them from their day-to-day grind (and almost taking them entirely off the grid) gives them a concentrated dose of the skills necessary to succeed and go to the next level.
It was an inspirational week where everyone, including the industry invitees, broadened their networks and met ten young musicians who are already delivering on promises made, and who are all well worth following as their futures unfold.
Spending a few days in the UK, near enough to London, it made sense to take a few days before heading to Kent to visit London for the first time in nearly 30 years. Beyond meeting up with some fellow AAJers in the flesh for the first time, opportunities to visit the Vortex and catch an evening of Evan Parker's annual Might I Suggest festival, this year featuring the ICP Orchestra, and both a workshop and performance by Little Radio - the lovely duo of saxophonist Iain Ballamy and accordionist Stian Carstensen - made visiting London all the more worthwhile.
Read about the London visit and Take Five Europe here.
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