Take Five Talent Development Programme 2024

Ella Fradgley

Sound and Music news
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A graphic with text which says ‘2024 Take Five Talent Development Programme’ Applications now open with the logos for Serious and Black Lives in Music
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Serious is delighted to open applications for the 19th Edition of Take Five, its flagship talent development programme for emerging jazz and improvising musicians. 

This year we also partner with Black Lives in Music on a mentorship opportunity to an early career music production manager and/or sound engineer from a global majority background as part of the Take Five talent development programme.

Every year Take Five gives eight of the most talented creative jazz artists in the UK the opportunity to take time out to develop their craft, build the professional side of their careers, and make vital new musical and industry connections – offering mentorship, collaborations, performance opportunities, and funding – serving as a pivotal moment in their careers which frequently leads to wider recognition, touring, record deals, and more.

The scheme has evolved to respond to the challenges of the last two years to take place in multiple parts:

  • first is a series of online seminars, panel discussions, and workshops that brings some of the most influential industry experts from across the UK, Europe, and further afield that Serious invites based on the needs of the participants
  • then we bring the eight artists together for a 5 day artistic residencywhere they collaborate on each other’s music as well as receiving sessions on movement work and performance coaching
  • the selected production manager/sound engineer mentee will get the opportunity to shadow the production manager on an artistic residency for jazz / improvising musicians based in the Cotswolds, gaining experience on live sound including microphone and backline set up and experience using sound mixing desks
  • following the residency, the artists continue to receive tailored guidance from Serious’ experienced staff as well as further mentorship from other music industry professionals, based on the artists’ needs and areas of interests
  • Serious also provides the artists with performance opportunities at the EFG London Jazz Festival and elsewhere – most notably at the “Take Five Presents” showcase which was launched in 2020, as well as high profile support slots, new collaborations, and headline shows further down the line

The programme’s alumni list reads as a who’s who of the British jazz scene ranging from Polar Bear’s Seb Rochford (who took part in the very first edition) to Sons of Kemet and The Comet is Coming’s Shabaka Hutchings, British/Bahraini trumpeter Yazz Ahmed to saxophonist 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, conductor and arranger Jules Buckley, Korean flautist Hyelim Kim, and South African cellist Abel Selaocoe. You can see every past participant by clicking here

To be considered for the scheme, participants must be primarily based in the United Kingdom (but do not need to a UK national), be from a global majority background, have at least a year of experience/training in some form of music event management, production, or engineering, and be available on the following dates:

  • 25–28 March 2024 (daytimes) for the series of online seminars
  • 8-12 April 2024 for the residency, and be available for other mentorship and performance opportunities throughout the year

The application form can be found here – comprising of some basic information and monitoring questions, a biography/CV, a personal statement (which can be either written or in video-based), and a written reference.

The deadline for applications is 5pm, Thursday 7 December 2023. If you have any enquiries about the scheme, please get in touch via our Contact Form.


Apply here

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