Wakefield Jazz and its Work
Wakefield Jazz is a not-for-profit organisation, founded in 1987 by Alec and Faith Sykes, who nurtured the club from its inception to national recognition. They created an audience and made friends with the musicians. They also made several applications for grant funding, the most significant of which was the lottery grant, which provided a Yamaha grand piano and raised the club’s status enormously. Following Alec’s decision to “retire” from running the club after 17 years of hard labour, it was reconstituted to be run by a team of 10 volunteers including 3 “Officers” fulfilling the roles of Chairman, Secretary (promoter) and Treasurer. Alec is now a Life Vice President of Wakefield Jazz Club.
club has had a long-term, friendly relationship with Wakefield Sports
Club. They have allowed use of their bar for our presentations, provided
for storage of equipment (including the piano) and agreed to modifications
to the premises to suit our purposes, e.g. lighting installation, disabled
access and display of notices. They are now licensed under the new legislation
for performance of music, with the PPL and with the PRS. This last change
stimulated a review of the financial arrangements of our relationship
and we have negotiated a closer tie such that from 2006 Wakefield Jazz
is now a Section of the Sports Club with representation on their board.
We programme mainstream to accessible contemporary styles including occasional Latin music, Big Band and single instrument presentations (e.g. percussion bands, saxophone or guitar quartets) or solo artists. Most frequently heard are modern quartets to sextets.
have a policy of encouraging young starters on the jazz scene giving
occasional, though regular, opportunities to youngsters to do a short
support set before the main band. This has sometimes led to an invitation
to sit in with the band later in the evening and to further, career