Festival 2020! The Charity Album
To raise funds for the nine iconic grassroots venues that were due to host the GJFL back in May 2020, we have created an album which features a collaboration between some of Europe’s most beloved Jazz musicians. The compilation album, arranged and produced by Tobie Medland, was recorded by the musicians in their own homes, except for the track kindly donated by Parisian Violinist Daniel John Martin.
The arts have been hit hard by the 2020 coronavirus pandemic. It is now more than ever that we need to show love and support for the venues who keep the cultural fires burning. In a world where more and more entertainment is being thrown up online, given out for free, it is vital that the live music industry sees a long and happy future, for the sake of the musicians, industry staff, and music lovers, as well as the broader economy to which the arts industry contributes £10.8billion a year in the United Kingdom alone.
In name the album is a reference to compositions by the great Django Reinhardt, a celebration of a somewhat unsatisfactory calendar year and a lament for festivals lost. ‘Festival 2020!’ presents a wide angle shot of the Jazz world: with Bossa Nova, Vintage Swing, Modern, Bebop and Gypsy Jazz all beneath the same umbrella – which has been beautifully illustrated on the album cover by artist Maggie Jarman. Forty wonderful musicians have come together – virtually - to celebrate not just the venues, or the year 2020, but Jazz music itself.
GJFL 2020, the first festival of its kind, was due to take place in May 2020. Two weeks of concerts taking place at 9 venues across London.. All proceeds from this album will be going to these venues that are absolutely up against it now. As if austerity and London business rates weren't enough...
What we thought we'd do is wait until there's a decent sum, decently divisible by 9, hand it over to the venues and start over. All we're taking away from the project is the satisfaction of having made a marvellous album :)