Arts Council (Jazz Funding)

Oral Answers to Questions — Culture, Media and Sport – in the House of Commons at 2:30 pm on 24th April 2006.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Bob Blizzard Bob Blizzard PPS (Mr Douglas Alexander, Minister of State), Foreign & Commonwealth Office 2:30 pm, 24th April 2006

What estimate she has made of the funding made available through the Arts Council to support jazz.

Photo of David Lammy David Lammy Minister of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport) (Culture)

During 2006–07 the Arts Council will provide more than £1 million to support 13 organisations that specialise in jazz music. The jazz sector also benefits from Arts Council funding to a range of organisations that promote jazz in a wider music programme and through its grants for the arts funding stream.

Photo of Bob Blizzard Bob Blizzard PPS (Mr Douglas Alexander, Minister of State), Foreign & Commonwealth Office

On 10 May, at 7 pm in the Terrace Pavilion, the all-party jazz appreciation group will host the second annual parliamentary jazz awards. Our MC is Paul Gambaccini and our music is by Liane Carroll and we thank you for your support for the event, Mr. Speaker. It is clear that the more people have the opportunity to listen to jazz, the more people like it. With that in mind, does my hon. Friend agree that it is essential to establish a new jazz radio station through Ofcom's new licensing arrangements for digital radio, especially given the sad degeneration of Jazz FM into Smooth FM?

Photo of David Lammy David Lammy Minister of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport) (Culture)

My hon. Friend is right that Ofcom has a duty to ensure plurality of music across the digital stations. He knows that, in the end, the decision is for Ofcom. To be fair to Jazz FM, now Smooth FM, it claims that there is as much jazz on the station as before; it is simply played in the evening rather than the afternoon. I appreciate that my hon. Friend has raised the issue previously. Jazz plays an increasingly important role in our music repertoire. We have a rich heritage in this country and we can be proud of jazz, to which many of our constituents—young and old—listen.