With the forth coming Supper Club weekend coming next month (see article here), we manage to catch up with Ruth Fisher the organiser of Jazz Space to ask her about the concept, the line- up and a few other bits and pieces….
Can you tell us about the idea behind Jazz Space?
Initially I was approached by Merkinch Community Centre,The Development Director (Elsie Normington), who wanted to respond to a demand from people in the community who wanted to dance, to live music and remember the eras of the big bands and swing and have nowhere like that to go now.
From that starting point, we began to develop ideas based around community, and that’s where the idea of “The Jazz Space” came in, that other space in our lives that is not family or work, but in which we build a community of like minded people- so everything that we do, from this first club launch to radio and we hope educational projects, workshops and eventually an annual Festival, will come from that desire to make a space for Jazz.
How would you sell the event to people who have not seen Jazz live before?
We want to encourage people who think that Jazz is something to be scared of, that it really isn’t! Sometimes this myth is perpetuated by other Jazz fans or self appointed experts who like to pin down a specific era or style and won’t move beyond that. We think it’s just great music played by great musicians and we want people young and old to feel that they can come and be part of what we are doing.
The Headliners of the event really stick out, with the combination of Rick Taylor and Brass Jaw, how difficult was it to pick the main acts for the inaugural event?
We wanted to show a broad range of styles, encourage those locally who are on the Jazz scene but yet have a bit of an exclusivity! Rick’s musical background is an eclectic one and I guess that’s what we wanted to echo. He is equally at home in the Jazz style and has played with some great Jazz legends, as much as with his collaborations with major pop artists and in a more traditional style with the Peatbog Fairies and the Unusual Suspects.
We hope that some of his fans will be encouraged to come along and again that will highlight that great musicianship crosses genres and styles and how much we want the event to be open to people who just love to hear great live music.
Brass Jaw have been growing in stature and winning awards and recognition and headlining at all the major Jazz Festivals. We wanted to give the Inverness audience an opportunity to hear what the rest of the Jazz community around the world have been experiencing- something so far that hasn’t been available in local venues.
What are your thoughts about the other acts on the bill?
We want to encourage and work with local Jazz musicians, there are a lot, some we might not even know about yet and we encourage them to get in touch! We hope that as the supper club develops we will be able to accommodate all who are interested in working with us. It’s important that we give local musicians a place and an opportunity to play and also somewhere to come when they are not playing!
Jazz musicians like to hear other people too, it’s an important part of any musician’s development and we hope that they will take that opportunity be become part of something that is for them as much as for the audience we hope to develop – a real community, that is what we are all about.
What do you think that the fact that most of the fact that most of the acts that you have picked are Scottish says about the national Jazz scene?
It confirms that we have an excellent roster of fine musicians living and working in Scotland, I think the last official tally was at about 650… so would be good to give most of them the opportunity to be heard!
The Supper Club will be a regular event on the music calendar, any snippets of what we can expect for next year?
We are looking at big bands,swing bands as well as solo artists and combos… If we do well with the launch we will be able to programme a monthly event starting in January. We have good contacts with other promoters and the Scottish Jazz Federation so we will maybe even be able to bring some international artists to expand on their tours and offer another great venue to them.
by Chris Lemon
Thanks to Ruth Fisher
Weekend Pass with meal deal will be £30 (tickets for all three concerts and supper on both nights!)
You can book tickets direct with the venue and collect in person beforehand or reserve to pick up on the door.
Further details at www.thejazzspace.com
You can also book and pay for your tickets online using The Booth