Jazz Directors Series : Chris Potter – closed

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Jazz Directors Series : Chris Potter – closed

Band on the Wall and Brighter Sound are thrilled to announce that world-class soloist, composer, bandleader and saxophonist Chris Potter will lead the second residency and tour in the Jazz Directors Series.

Potter has emerged as a leading light of his generation. Down Beat called him “One of the most studied (and copied) saxophonists on the planet” while Jazz Times identified him as “a figure of international renown”. Jazz sax elder statesman Dave Liebman called him simply “one of the best musicians around”, a sentiment shared by the readers of Down Beat in voting him second only to tenor sax great Sonny Rollins in the magazine’s 2008 Readers Poll. He has performed or recorded with many of the leading names in jazz, including Herbie Hancock, Dave Holland, John Scofield, the Mingus Big Band, Jim Hall, Paul Motian, Dave Douglas and Ray Brown.

We are looking for ten young professional jazz and ‘crossover’ musicians to form the Inner City Ensemble. Over one week from Sun 9 – Sun 16 April 2017 the newly formed group will rehearse and perform specially written arrangements of original works by Potter including pieces composed for his Underground Orchestra album Imaginary Cities, released on ECM in 2015.

“I’m very much looking forward to this project, both for the chance of working with a group of exceptional young British musicians and also as an opportunity to try out a batch of new music for my Underground Orchestra ensemble. Since completing my Imaginary Cities album a couple of years ago, I’ve been looking for a reason to write some more material for this group, which has a fairly unusual instrumentation. This situation gives me the opportunity to do just that, and I hope the musicians I work with will enjoy the process as much as I have conceiving and writing it.” – Chris Potter

For this residency and tour we are looking for emerging professionals aged over 18 who play to a very high standard (graduate equivalent and above) with excellent jazz improvisation and reading skills and who specialise in jazz and related ‘crossover’ genres. This is a paid professional engagement. 


The Inner City Ensemble will be:

  • Piano
  • Double Bass
  • Bass Guitar
  • Vibraphone doubling Marimba
  • Drums
  • Guitars (Electric and Semi-Acoustic)
  • Violin*
  • Violin*
  • Viola*
  • Cello*

(*Jazz improvisation and chord symbol reading skills would be an asset in the string quartet).

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
  • either be a jazz specialist demonstrating a high level of improvisation skill and versatility (piano, double bass, bass guitar, guitars, drums, vibes / marimba)
  • or be a versatile classical or commercial musician who is comfortable playing in a variety of jazz idioms. Some improvisation skills and knowledge of chord symbol reading are preferable (string quartet)
  • be available for the whole rehearsal and performance period

Dates: Sun 9 – Sun 16 Apr 2017

Residency: Sun 9 – Weds 12 Apr 2017

Tour: Thur 13 – Sun 16 Apr 2017

Applicants must be available to travel to and stay in Manchester for the whole week from Sun 9 – Sun 16 Apr 17. Travel and accommodation costs will be covered where appropriate (see below).


APPLICATION DEADLINE: Sun 26 Feb 2017 at 11pm.

Successful applicants will be informed on Mon 6 Mar 2017.


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


  • 1 x return rail fare to (or fuel expenses) to Manchester from your home location (if necessary), arriving on Sun 9 Apr, departing on Mon 17 Apr, or after final performance on Sun 16 Apr if preferred.
  • Accommodation in Manchester (if required) for eight nights. Arrive Sun 9 Apr –  depart Mon 17 Apr.
  • Return transport from Manchester to each venue.

If you wish to apply for a place in the Inner City Ensemble on the Jazz Directors Series #002 with Chris Potter please complete an application form at: www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/jazzdirectorsseries2-chrispotter

Provisional Schedule

Sun 9 Apr:

Arrival in Manchester (travel costs reimbursed on production of travel receipt).

Residency meet and greet & rehearsals 1 (afternoon and evening times to be confirmed)

Mon 10 Apr:

Residency rehearsal day 2

Tues 11 Apr:

Residency rehearsal day 3

Weds 12 Apr:

Residency rehearsal day 4

Thurs 13 Apr:

Rehearsal-soundcheck and performance at Band on the Wall, Manchester

Fri 14 Apr:

Travel to Warrington

Rehearsal-soundcheck and performance at Pyramid Studio Theatre

Return to Manchester

Sat 15 Apr:

Travel to Morecambe

Rehearsal-soundcheck and performance at The Hothouse – Morecambe

Return to Manchester

Sun 16 Apr:

Travel to Bradford

Rehearsal-soundcheck and performance at The Studio – Alhambra Theatre Bradford

Return to Manchester

Mon 17 Apr:

Leave Manchester (travel costs reimbursed).

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.