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Meet the Take Five 2024 Cohort

Take Five announces 2024 cohort with some of the most exciting up and coming composer-performers in jazz and improvised music alongside a continued partnership with Black Lives In Music, which promotes opportunities for aspiring sound engineers.

Caius Williams – London – Double Bass, Bass Guitar, Guitar, Electronics
Claire Victoria Roberts – Swansea – Voice, Violin
Helena Kay – Glasgow – Saxophone
Jonathan Enser – London – Trumpet, Tuba, Vocals, Piano, Drums, Flutes
Judah Ankrah – London – Production Manager/ Sound Engineering Mentee
Liam Narain DeTar – Leeds – Guitar, Composition, Production
Momoko Gill – London – Drums, Vocals, Keyboards, Vibraphone
Ni Maxine – Liverpool – Voice
Renato Paris – London – Vocals, Piano, Keyboard and Synthesisers

Now in its 19th Edition, Take Five is Serious’ flagship annual talent development programme for emerging jazz and improvising musicians/composers, produced by Serious, and funded by the PRS Foundation, Arts Council England, and Serious Trust. In partnership with Black Lives in Music it also offers a mentorship opportunity to an early career music production manager and/or sound engineer from a global majority background.

Aimed at British and UK based composer-performers, the programme is designed to give some of the most talented emerging musicians the opportunity to take time out to develop their craft, build their careers and get their music out into the world – serving as a pivotal moment which has frequently led to wider recognition, touring, record deals, and more.

This continued commitment to innovation and talent development weaves throughout Serious’ work, including the annual EFG London Jazz Festival which is supported by Festival sponsors EFG.

Inaugurated in 2005, the programme welcomes eight of the finest young composers from across the United Kingdom’s jazz and improvised music worlds with previous participants reading as a list of who’s who in the UK scene; from Polar Bear’s Seb Rochford (who took part in the very first edition) to Sons of Kemet and The Comet is Coming’s Shabaka Hutchings, British/Bahraini trumpeter Yazz Ahmed to rising star Nubya Garcia, as well as musicians from outside the traditional jazz idiom but with a foot firmly in improvisation such as electronic musician Leafcutter John, conductor and arranger Jules Buckley, Korean flautist Hyelim Kim and South African cellist Abel Selaocoe. You can see every past participant by clicking here.

The programme is centred around a five-day musical residency led by Jason Yarde, where the musicians each bring one of their compositions arranged for the group and collaboratively workshop their music, leading to a performance on the final evening. The production manager/ sound engineer mentee will shadow the production manager on the artistic residency, gaining experience in live sound including microphone and backline set up and experience using sound mixing desks.

Alongside this is an online residency for all participants, focused on up-skilling in music industry knowledge. Tailored to the specific needs of the groups, this residency is led by Alain ‘Fusion’ Clapham and features sessions from leading UK and International professionals – from Labels and Agents to Funders, PR and Marketing.

Following the residencies, the programme offers a bespoke mentor and guidance from the Serious team, as well a performance opportunity at the EFG London Jazz Festival. Work experience opportunities will be arranged for the production manager/ sound engineer to illuminate and expand upon the experience gained during the residencies.

Roger Wilson, Director of Operations at Black Lives in Music said: “Take Five is a flagship talent development programme, supporting emerging artists for nearly two decades. Black Lives in Music is proud to partner with Serious in developing the programme to include mentees pursuing a career in live sound production. It’s traditionally an area low in representation of Black and ethnically diverse professionals so we’re excited to be going into the 4th year of collaboration. We look back on the rich benefits the initiative has already produced, and equally, look forward in our efforts in driving change, together”

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