We are proud to announce the participants of the fifteenth edition of our prestigious talent development scheme Take Five – an annual programme that offers mentorship and opportunities to eight of the finest emerging jazz and improvising musicians from across the United Kingdom, funded by the PRS Foundation, Help Musicians, Arts Council England, Night Dreamer, Garrick Trust and Serious Trust.

Going back fifteen years, the programme has brought through the likes of Seb Rochford (of Polar Bear), Shabaka Hutchings (Sons of Kemet, The Comet is Coming), Yazz Ahmed, and Nubya Garcia – serving as a pivotal moment in their careers that led to wider recognition, touring, record deals, and more.

This year’s eight participants are an eclectic group, demonstrating the vibrancy and variety of the UK’s burgeoning jazz scene and offering a taste of what is to come from the genre in the coming years. They are: 

  • Jasdeep Singh Degun (sitar, voice)
  • Jelly Cleaver (guitar, voice, producer)
  • Jemma Freese (keyboards, piano, voice)
  • John Pope (double bass, bass guitar)
  • Noemi Nuti (voice, Paraguayan harp, flute, and more)
  • Rosie Turton (trombone)
  • Sam Eagles (saxophone)
  • Sarathy Korwar (drums, tabla, percussion)

    The scheme centres around a week-long residency that brings the artists together with music industry experts, giving them a chance to learn about the complexities of the business in an intimate setting, and offering them the chance to take some time out from their usual busy touring/recording schedules and step back and think about how to advance their music and careers. They also get to collaborate on a series of pieces that each of them arranges for the entire group, directed by the esteemed composer and saxophonist Jason Yarde.

    Due to the complications around COVID-19, this year’s residency has had to be postponed to early 2021, but the ongoing mentorship of the scheme continues apace, with Serious providing the artists with guidance and funding through what is an especially difficult time for all musicians.

    This year’s Take Five programme also marks the beginning of a new series of performances by the artists which are directly linked to their participation in the programme – taking the form of the inaugural “Take Five Showcase” as part of the EFG London Jazz Festival in November 2020. Other aspects of the scheme such as mentorship, funding and marketing support will create further opportunities for the artists to reach a wider audience and gain a greater foothold in the rapidly evolving music industry.

    To listen to each of the artists’ music, check out this YouTube playlist.

Take Five offers important opportunities at timely career stages and we’re delighted to be supporting this latest edition. So many exciting and creative jazz musicians have benefitted from the programme including Shabaka Hutchings, Shirley Tetteh, Zara McFarlane, Peter Edwards and Laura Jurd to name a few. I look forward to seeing what these participants do next.

(Joe Frankland, CEO of PRS Foundation)

We are delighted to once again support the Take Five programme and to play our part in offering the next generation of inspirational jazz artists a platform to develop their artistic and leadership skills. Help Musicians is committed to supporting musicians from all genres and walks of life, and with Take Five and 30 years of our Peter Whittingham Jazz Award, we hope to continue to contribute to helping jazz musicians find a way to thrive. This year has been, and continues to be, challenging for musicians but by working in collaboration to ensure initiatives such as this exist we can ensure there are development opportunities in the face of adversity.

(Lucy Bampton, Head of Creative Programme, Help Musicians)

Serious and Take Five have been so crucial in connecting me with those that can impart incredible musical knowledge and lend a hand in understanding all other aspects that make being on stage possible. All the while having a chance to sculpt a unique voice to show on some fantastic platforms.

(Abel Selaocoe, musician and participant of Take Five Edition XIV)