Jazz Directors Series: Zoe Rahman – closed

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Mercury-nominated jazz pianist and composer Zoe Rahman leads the third edition of the Jazz Directors Series residency and tour for emerging musicians. Find out more and apply…

Jazz Directors Series: Zoe Rahman – closed
20th July 2017

Mercury-nominated jazz pianist and composer Zoe Rahman leads the third edition of the Jazz Directors Series residency and tour for emerging musicians. Find out more and apply…

Band on the Wall and Brighter Sound are thrilled to announce that pianist, composer and bandleader Zoe Rahman will lead their third much acclaimed Jazz Directors Series residency and tour from 15-22 October 2017.

Described by the Observer as “a remarkable pianist by any standard”, pianist and composer Zoe Rahman has firmly established herself as one of the brightest stars on the contemporary jazz scene. A vibrant and highly individual artist, her style is deeply rooted in jazz yet it reflects her classical background, British/Bengali heritage and her very broad musical taste. Known for her powerful technique, wide-ranging imagination and exuberant performances, she has become a highly sought-after musician, recently working with the likes of George Mraz, Courtney Pine and Jerry Dammers’ Spatial AKA Orchestra. She is a winner of the prestigious UK Parliamentary Jazz Award, and has been nominated for the Mercury Music Prize.

Zoe has performed extensively around the world, has been a featured artist on numerous television and radio programmes, and is frequently invited to sit on high-profile panels – most notably the Mercury Music Prize, BBC Young Jazz Musician of the Year and the Nottingham International Jazz Piano competition.

We are looking for ten young professional jazz musicians to form the Inner City Ensemble. Over one week this evolving group will rehearse and perform works composed and recorded by Rahman including new arrangements of some tunes from her most recent solo piano album Dreamland. 

“I’m really looking forward to working with open-minded improvising artists who have a strong grounding in jazz, a deep sense of groove and who like to listen to a wide range of musical styles. There will be opportunities for all of the musicians to shine individually as well as contribute to the ensemble as a whole. Hopefully the project will be challenging, rewarding and above all fun for all of us.” – Zoe Rahman

For this residency and tour we are looking for a diverse range of emerging professional jazz musicians aged over 18 who play to a very high standard (graduate equivalent and above) with excellent improvisation and reading skills and who can reference drum&bass, afro-beat and township jazz among other styles.

Band on the Wall and Brighter Sound are committed to greater cultural diversity and pluralism within our residencies and wider activity, and strongly encourage applications from female and minority candidates. All applications are judged primarily on musical merit. This is a paid professional engagement.


Accompanying Zoe Rahman on Piano, the Inner City Ensemble will be:

  • Double Bass*
  • Drums*
  • Flute (doubling on alto flute)
  • Clarinet
  • Trumpet
  • Alto Sax
  • Tenor Sax
  • Trombone
  • Tuba

*a good working knowledge of drum&bass, afro-beat and township jazz styles is particularly preferable on these instruments

Application Information

Applicants must: 

  • be over 18 years of age
  • play one or more of the instruments listed to a high professional standard (graduate equivalent and above)
  • be a fluent music notation reader
  • be a jazz specialist demonstrating a high level of improvisation skill and versatility across a diverse range of ethnic jazz styles
  • be available for the whole rehearsal and performance period

Dates: Sun 15 – Sun 22 Oct 2017
Residency and first performance: Sun 15 – Thurs 19 Oct 2017 in Morecambe
Tour: Fri 20 – Sun 22 Oct 2017 with accommodation in Manchester (transport provided)

Travel and accommodation costs will be covered where appropriate (see below).

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Mon 28 Aug 2017 at midnight


Successful applicants will be informed the week commencing Mon 4 Sept  2017.

Each person will receive £650 for the whole week plus expenses (see below).


  • 1 x  rail fare (or fuel expenses) to Morecambe from your home location, arriving on Sun 15 Oct, departing from Manchester on Mon 23 Oct.
  • Accommodation and tour coach transport from 15-22 Oct.

If you wish to apply for a place in the Inner City Ensemble on the Jazz Directors Series #003 with Zoe Rahman please complete an application form at: www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/jazz-zoerahman

You can download the application form as a pdf for reference. We advise you read this first and type your answers into a Word document, then copy and paste to the online application when you are ready.

For more information about the Jazz Directors Series please contact Tim Chatterton at Brighter Sound on tim@brightersound.com or call 0161 830 3899.


Provisional Schedule

Sun 15 Oct:
Arrival in Morecambe.
Venue: The Hothouse, 13-17 Devonshire Road, Morecambe, Lancashire, LA3 1QT
Residency meet and greet & rehearsals 1 (afternoon and evening times to be confirmed)

Mon 16 Oct:
Residency rehearsal day 2

Tues 17 Oct:
Residency rehearsal day 3

Weds 18 Oct:
Residency rehearsal day 4

Thurs 19 Oct:
Rehearsal-soundcheck and performance at The Hothouse – Morecambe

Fri 20 Oct:
Travel Morecambe to Bradford (coach provided)
Rehearsal-soundcheck and performance: Alhambra Studio – Bradford
Return to Manchester by coach

Sat 21 Oct:
Travel Manchester to Warrington (coach provided)
Rehearsal-soundcheck and performance: Pyramid Studio – Warrington
Return to Manchester by coach

Sun 22 Oct:
Rehearsal-soundcheck and performance at Band on the Wall – Manchester

Mon 23 Oct :

Further Information

The Jazz Directors Series is a new two-year residency and touring project which brings together emerging UK professional jazz musicians with an internationally revered Jazz Director.

Each edition comprises of a four-day residency produced by Brighter Sound and a corresponding tour of live concerts produced by Band on the Wall.

Each tour is a collaboration between Band on the Wall and three emerging independent jazz promoters based across the north of England. These will be mentored by Band on the Wall and an established regional promoter and producer.

The residency musicians form the Inner City Ensemble, a changing group of emerging professionals who will apply for the positions identified by each Jazz Director with the support of Brighter Sound and Jazz North.

For more information about the Jazz Directors Series please contact Tim Chatterton at Brighter Sound on info@brightersound.com or call 0161 830 3899.

The Jazz Directors Series is produced and delivered by Brighter Sound and Band on the Wall in partnership with Parr JazzLancaster Jazz and DJ Lubi, with support from  Jazz North and Root Music.

Supported by Arts Council England.