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Open Letter from Scottish cultural figures about BBC Radio Scotland’s determination to ax ‘essential’ music applications – London Jazz Information

“The impact of those cuts will probably be devastating for Scotland’s classical, jazz and piping scenes.

Tommy Smith has coordinated an open letter from a high-profile checklist of cultural figures in Scotland, together with violinist/ Director of the Edinburgh Competition Nicola Benedetti, composer Sir James MacMillan, Director of Scottish Opera Alex Reedijk, poet Kathleen Jamie, and from the jazz world Dr Martin Taylor, Laura Macdonald, Georgia Cécile, Fergus McCreadie…, to protest in opposition to the BBC’s determination to ax Jazz Nights, Classics Unwrapped and Pipeline. We re-publish the letter and the checklist of signatories right here:

“A grey day in Scotland”. Musicians protesting outdoors the Glasgow Royal Live performance Corridor. Picture credit score: Derek Clark

(Textual content of letter begins)

We write to you with excessive concern following information that BBC Radio Scotland plans to ax essential components of its cultural musical programming.

Not too long ago, BBC Scotland has confirmed plans to wind up exhibits: Classics Unwrapped, Jazz Nights, and Pipeline. So Alan Morrison. head of music at Artistic Scotland, mentioned to the Scotsman:

“The lack of expertly curated exhibits corresponding to Classics Unwrapped and Jazz Nights, and a discount of piping programming, can be a conspicuous blow to the musical range of Scotland’s airwaves.”

In recent times, jazz has flourished, with up-and-coming artists attaining nationwide and worldwide recognition. As the house of the Edinburgh Worldwide Competition, Scotland is on the heart of the worldwide classical music world, and piping is essential to representing nationwide id at residence and overseas. However, for a small nation, we punch effectively above our weight.

The persevering with success of our music business – on the heart of cultural life right here at residence and in representing Scotland on the worldwide stage – relies upon fully on the infrastructure to help and champion rising artists.

In current days, many artists have spoken out about how essential the help of those threatened applications has been to their rise to success.

Scottish Album of the Yr winner and Mercury Prize Nominee Fergus McCreadie mentioned: “Once I was 15, I made my first radio look as a part of the Younger Scottish Jazz Musician; once I was 17, I performed my composition dwell on air for the primary time; once I was 19, this system was the primary to play tracks from my very first album.”

This determination comes at an enormously troublesome time for all areas of the cultural and inventive sectors; the pressures on the music business are acute. Nonetheless, we should do all the pieces potential to guard the infrastructure supporting our fragile but world-leading ecosystem at this pivotal time.

The Scottish Authorities, by their meticulous research of different nations’ cultural sectors, clearly understands that Artwork and Tradition contribute considerably to a free and wholesome society, and already in Scotland, the artistic arts industries contribute 5.5 billion on to the Scottish GDP.

The BBC have an extended and laudable historical past of supporting extra minor genres and up-and-coming artists, as effectively they need to. Their doing so is their civic responsibility. Nonetheless, these cuts run opposite to the BBC’s statutory mission to behave within the public curiosity, serving all audiences by the supply of neutral, high-quality and distinctive output and companies which inform, educate and entertain.

The impact of those cuts will probably be devastating for Scotland’s classical, jazz and piping scenes.

We’ve got engaged straight with BBC management on the highest stage to reverse this horrible determination. We’ve got been invited to satisfy the Head of Commissioning, Director of BBC Scotland, and Commissioning Editor for Radio, Music and Occasion.

Yours Sincerely,

The Folks, Jazz, and Classical musicians of Scotland

This determination may have a devastating impression on Scottish music. With out JAZZNIGHTS, new and established artists will battle to discover a respected outlet to broadcast their artwork and attain audiences. I hope our First Minister Nicola Sturgeon takes motion to avoid wasting these very important programmes!” Georgia Cécile – Jazz FM Award 2022

“I, and lots of of my contemporaries, have spent a long time working with the BBC to discover a forward-thinking voice for Scotland’s numerous cultural output. It is an actual disgrace to see this obvious again step. I hope that thought-about and respectful dialogue may result in an alternate decision to the proposed scenario.” phil cunningham

“The thrust of your new coverage is sort of a self-inflicted BBC Radio Scotland suicide pact to push you additional into the tailspin of a dying spiral. We musicians should band collectively to avoid wasting you from yourselves.” John Wallace O.B.E.

“I really feel it is crucial that BBC Radio Scotland helps jazz, different types of music, and performing artists primarily based in Scotland. Scotland has a lot younger expertise that must be heard.” Dr Martin Taylor MBE

“BBC Radio Scotland’s help of jazz on this nation is a necessary a part of the infrastructure in growing as a artistic and performing artist residing in Scotland. The presence of a Scottish-based Jazz Radio outlet expands our id as a rustic worldwide and is integral in growing our home-grown artists.” Laura Macdonald – Saxophonist

“We should battle to avoid wasting this and the opposite exhibits. The BBC is famend the world over for its help for tradition and the humanities. Why is BBC Scotland abandoning this very important exercise and damaging its personal status? Sir James MacMillan

“I say “Now could be the Time” to broaden Jazz, Classical, and Folks, on BBC Radio Scotland, not lower its head off and make invisible a music which is flourishing in Scotland and internationally.” tommy smith

“Axing these applications is to carry out a heartbreaking disservice to the irreplaceable function they’ve performed within the lives of musicians and music lovers throughout the nation and all components of society.” Nicola Benedetti

“We at Scottish Opera stand in solidarity with these throughout the musical group, who’re petitioning to reverse this determination. We urge BBC Scotland to not flip their backs on Scottish artwork types and audiences, notably when issues are nearly again to regular after the pandemic.” Scottish Opera, Basic Director Alex Reedijk

“Radio Scotland appears to be in full retreat from Scottish tradition. The place is the poetry and literature? Now they’re threatening to chop jazz, classical and piping programmes. We’ve got a thriving arts and music scene in Scotland – why not on our nationwide radio?” Kathleen Jamie, MAKAR of Scotland

“Slicing the help at residence and eradicating alternatives for younger and established musicians to showcase their music is a really regrettable mistake at a time the place we needs to be championing Scottish tradition and music greater than ever.” Fergus McCreadie – winner of SAY Award 2022, Jazz FM Award 2022 (Letter ends)


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