It has come to the attention of the SJA, from a variety of sources, that the BBC Scotland flagship jazz programme, Jazz Nights, is under imminent threat of closure at the end of the current financial year. Although the BBC has yet to officially provide confirmation, the news is being met with a rapidly growing groundswell of protest from within the wider jazz community against what would appear to be a reckless and short-sighted decision on behalf of the broadcaster.
Scotland’s jazz is currently undergoing a veritable renaissance with recent successes by a burgeoning array of world-class Scottish jazz musicians at BBC Young Jazz Musician of the Year, The Mercury Prize, Jazz FM Awards, Scottish Music Industry Association SAY Awards and, of course, at our very own Scottish Jazz Awards. As Scotland’s jazz musicians emerge from the devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic and battle to endure the pressures of the current cost of living crisis, it is a testament to them that the quality of Scotland’s jazz has perhaps never been in better shape. This is surely then a time to showcase, promote and support jazz, rather than pulling the plug and thereby depriving the community of a vital platform for building on its rich history and ever-growing success.
A petition has been started HERE should you wish to add your voice and encourage the BBC to rethink its strategy regarding jazz on our national radio station.