mjf hothouse 

hothouse is a six-month residency for northern musicians working with improvisation and jazz. It is for artists who are ready for that next vital step-up in their career towards a major opportunity or commission.

hothouse is a safe place to develop a new music idea with professional support. It is also a transformative learning experience unmatched by any other talent development opportunity. It is targeted at those currently under-represented in the jazz sector, and aspires to diversify the artist base creating new jazz work.

We design the content of hothouse around the needs of each artist, which means that every round of the programme is different. Whilst recognising the pressure put on emerging and independent artists, we want to support brave new ideas and people who demonstrate potential. We are particularly interested in opening up the jazz sector by supporting those who may be facing barriers – perhaps through pressures with childcare, mental health conditions, lack of formal music training and/or socio-economic barriers. There is no upper age limit and applicants must be based within the North of England.

How does hothouse work?

hothouse offers both creative and personal support by pairing artists up with an industry mentor, paying a fee to develop new ideas (and paying the artist’s band), drilling down into artistic ambitions and individual USPs, providing in-kind support with funding bids and bespoke workshops and coaching reactive to the artists needs; we also provide a ‘go see fund’ and small creative budget. We generate a peer network amongst the artists within the hothouse group. Ultimately, the aim is for artists to work towards an industry showcase, where they receive feedback on their new work and hopefully forge new connections to grow their music careers.

Who has been on hothouse before?

Since 2017 hothouse has supported 15 lead musicians and their bands, and in 2019 worked with six hothouse artists through Level Up; an interim programme of extended support throughout the pandemic. Find out more about the current cohort of artists below.

hothouse has previously supported artists such as Maja Bugge (mentored by Julia Payne) who developed ideas for her piece ‘Northern’, which went on to secure Arts Council England funding and a co-commission between Full of Noises, Lancaster Arts and mjf 2019. Other success stories include Lara Jones (also mentored by Julia Payne) who undertook her first solo work with mjf and went on to secure Jerwood Arts support through Cheltenham Jazz Festival, plus the Peter Whittingham Award 2021. Liam DeTar (mentored by Amy Pearce) with his band Yaatri, also went on to be a winner of the Peter Whittingham Award 2021 and was a Jazz North Introduces artist in 2019.

mjf hothouse was the integral catalyst for my transition from hiding behind others, believing I wasn’t worthy. mjf hothouse had more faith in me than I could spare for myself and I was blown away by what I could achieve with their [mjf’s] guidance, faith and practical support. I wouldn’t be here if they weren’t there for me.” Thanda Gumede

“hothouse changed my life!” – Lara Jones

Applications for the next round of mjf hothouse will open in summer 2021. Sign up for our newsletter and be the first to know when applications re-open.

mjf hothouse is supported by funding from Arts Council England and Help Musicians UK. mjf is a PRS Foundation Talent Development Partner. Photo Credits: Richard Tymon; Film Credits: Ray Chan. Produced by Helen Goodman, mjf Talent Development Associate.