Seven Jazz - The Leeds Club for Quality Accessible Jazz

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Dear band or musician
We get many requests from people who want to play at our gigs so we thought it would help if we post some guidance about this. 

Who are JazzLeeds?

We are a voluntary, not for profit organisation set up to promote jazz music in Leeds. Our objectives are 

  • * promote high quality and enjoyable jazz
  • * support the jazz scene, with a focus on the northern region
  • * encourage Leeds cultural programme and the bid for 2023 European Capital of Culture
  • * develop northern region jazz players and singers 
  • * widen the audience for jazz in Leeds
  • * to have fun!
  • We aim to get a balance of music - international, national and regional, contemporary jazz, swing, improv, big bands, blues, singers, younger bands, jazz veterans. We are definitely not a "residency" for any one musician or group. 

What do we do?

We organise events in the Chapel Allerton (LS7) area of Leeds where our main venues are Seven Arts on Harrogate Road and Inkwell on Potternewton Lane. We also organise the Village Jazz Festival, part of the annual Chapel Allerton Arts Festival. In 2017 we organised our first JazzLeeds festival in Millennium Square and the Carriageworks in Leeds City Centre. 

We started (as Seven Jazz) in 2007 and have had a lot of help from Seven Arts, Jazz Yorkshire and latterly by Inkwell in establishing us on the national and international jazz circuit.

We have three programming "seasons"- Autumn (Sept-Dec), Spring (Jan- Easter) and Summer (Easter - July). We have a break in August and start back again by organising the Chapel Allerton Arts Festival jazz events including the Jazz Sunday in Regent Street on the afternoon of the first Sunday after August bank holiday.

Seven Arts, our main venue, is a community interest company - a 100 seat performance space with excellent acoustics, a good PA system, a decent Yamaha U1 upright piano, and a nice cafe/bar. Seven Jazz is separate entity from Seven Arts. We promote around 20 evening concerts per year there mainly on Thursday evenings, fortnightly throughout autumn and spring, typically national or international artists, or special concerts by local musicians. The Sunday afternoon gigs run throughout the year showcase the best of jazz groups from the region.

Inkwell Arts is our second smaller venue. It is run by Leeds Mind and is a creative arts space based at the former Shoulder of Mutton pub. It is open to everyone and has a performance area that holds around 50 people with a small coffee bar. It also has a Yamaha U1 upright piano and a small pa system. Seven Jazz run regular Sunday afternoons here alternating with Seven Arts, providing an opportunity for smaller acoustic jazz groups. 

You can check out the previous bands who have played for us by clicking on our YouTube links.

Apart from gigs and concerts we also run three jazz workshops - an instrumental workshop on alternate Sunday mornings at Inkwell, and, for singers, our "Jazz Voices" choir on alternate Monday evenings at Inkwell. Many of our workshop participants also attend jam session and workshop events held elsewhere in Leeds as well.

How do we do our bookings?

In booking bands, our key considerations we will take into account

  • *Your music
  • *Our objectives (as above) 
  • *Do our audience know about you, and will they come to your gig?
  • *For the Chapel Allerton Village Jazz Festival in particular - do you have a link with our local area?

We usually book 6-9 months ahead for all our events. We usually book whole bands, rather than visiting artists with local rhythm sections. The fee is negotiable but as a rough guide for our evenings, our usual audience is between 50 and 100 and our ticket prices range from £10-20. We need to cover our costs (at roughly £200 gig at Seven Arts ).

For our Sunday afternoon gigs and for the Chapel Allerton Festival the financial arrangement is usually £50 per musician up to a maximum of £250 per band.

We also have an "Introducing" series bands as part of our evenings gigs - to help new bands get heard for the first time by our jazz audience. These are 30 minute slots. Six "emerging artist" groups from Leeds College of Music also get a chance to play in April each year in our "College Collection" Sunday slots.

We have a group that looks at booking and decides on the programme. We are given a certain number of slots at our venues but there are opportunities to "self promote" at those venues if you contact them directly - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

What should you do to approach us for a gig? 

If you'd like to be part of our programme, the best thing to do (if you are in the Leeds area) is to come along to one of our gigs and talk to us about it or invite us to one of your gigs locally so we can hear and see you. It helps if you can be recommended by other people on the northern scene - we talk a lot to other northern jazz promoters (via NORVOLjazz  the Northern Voluntary Jazz Promoters network as well as bandleaders, our local Leeds College of Music and to our audience about bands they like or people they know. If your music is reviewed in jazz press and the jazz media this is helpful too.

You can contact us via this website or send a message via facebook - include your details, contacts and a link to any music or videos that you have. We will get back to you and let you know the result of your enquiry, and even if we can't fit you in we may also be able to recommend other clubs or venues in the NORVOL that you could also approach - links to all these clubs can be found by clicking the link

Good luck!