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12-21 November 2021

Take Five Talent Development - New Artists Announced plus EFG London Jazz Festival showcases

SERIOUS ANNOUNCES PARTICIPANTS OF SIXTEENTH EDITION OF TAKE FIVE PROGRAMME

Live music producers Serious are proud to announce the accomplishment of the sixteenth edition of their 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 and Serious Trust.

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

Jas Kayser
(Drums)
Lara Jones
(Saxophone, Electronics, Piano)
Romarna Campbell
(Drums)
Jamie Thompson
(Composer, Producer)
Sarah Heneghan
(Drums)
Mark Kavuma
(Trumpet, Piano)
Nathaniel Cross
(Trombone)
Johnny Hunter
(Drums)

In August, the participants took part in the online residency with 25 hours of facilitation, featuring talks, discussions, and breakout sessions with 25 leading industry experts over a week. This part of the scheme gave them a chance to learn about the complexities of the business in a focussed setting and offered them the chance to take some time out from their usual busy schedules and step back and think about how to advance their music and careers. For the second half of the programme (Sun 5 – Thu 8 Sept), the participants had the chance to meet in person at the beautiful setting of Cats Abbey, to collaborate on a series of pieces that each of them arranged for the entire group, directed by the esteemed composer and saxophonist Jason Yarde, culminating in a video recording of their works which will be released as part of the EFG London Jazz Festival’s digital programme in November.

Take Five presents live at the Southbank Centre

Take Five presents two special concerts this November as part of the EFG London Jazz Festival:

Take Five presents: Improvisational Soundscapes

J Frisco, John Pope and Samuel Eagles
Saturday 20 November, 3pm, Purcell Room

Featuring performances from Take Five participants, J Frisco, John Pope and Samuel Eagles in genre crossing improvisations and soundscapes.


Take Five presents: Beat Connections

Romarna Campbell, Sarah Heneghan, Johnny Hunter
Saturday 20 November, 7.45pm, Purcell Room

Showcasing the current Take Five cohort, with an all drummer line-up of Romarna Campbell, Sarah Heneghan and Johnny Hunter, exploring new horizons in jazz with wide ranging influences.

Additional performances featuring this year’s Take Five participants in the Festival include:
Wednesday 17 November / Toulouse Lautrec
: Women in Jazz Media and Black Lives in Music present: Jas Kayser, Daniel Higham and Jay Phelps
Saturday 20 November / Ninety One Livingroom
: Rachael Cohen & Mark Kavuma Quintet
Sunday 21 November / Ninety One Livingroom
: Mark Kavuma’s The Banger Factory
Sunday 21 November / Toulouse Lautrec
: Improvisation workshop with Charlotte Keeffe and Lara Jones

As well as over fifty further performances from Serious’ Take Five alumni across the festival.

For more information about the artists, you’ll find their biographies here.

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


The Take Five initiative is aimed at British and UK based composer-performers and is designed to give some of the UK’s most talented emerging creative jazz and improvising musicians the opportunity to take time out to develop their craft, build their careers and get their music out into the world.

Going back sixteen years, the programme has brought through the likes of Seb Rochford, Shabaka Hutchings, Yazz Ahmed and Nubya Garcia, as well as musicians from outside the traditional jazz idiom but with a foot firmly in improvisation such as electronic musician Leafcutter John, and taegŭm (Korean flute) player Hyelim Kim – serving as a pivotal moment in their careers that led to wider recognition, touring, record deals, and more.

Other aspects of the scheme, such as mentorship, funding and marketing support, creates further opportunities for the artists to reach a wider audience and gain a greater foothold in the rapidly evolving music industry.

To find out more about Take Five, please visit our website here.

Photos by Tim Hand Photography

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