Shaper: David Jones

Show aired on 3rd July 2015


David is one of the three founding directors of Serious, a creative producer of international music. Responsible for a wide range of concerts and special events, the company works with artists, venues and festivals in Britain and internationally.  Within Serious, David holds long-standing artistic relationships with artists as diverse as Kronos Quartet, Hugh Masekela and Woodkid. He helped to create and develop the EFG London Jazz Festival, and has a particular interest in events that explore international and cross-media ideas, producing the BBC Radio 3 Awards for World Music and VSO’s Stars of Africa concert at the Royal Albert Hall, and shaping the BT River of Music Olympic programme. David programmes the contemporary music at the Norfolk & Norwich Festival, created the K-Music Korean music festival, and has just been made Joint Director of the Bath Festival for the period 2016-2018.

His background spans a variety of the performance arts – working as the executive producer of The National Theatre of Brent; producing Brian Eno’s video installation Place #11; creating and directing the Bloomsbury Festival and the Crossing The Border Festivals; producing the six-part series The Corner House for Channel 4; and forming Speakout Concerts, before joining Serious.

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I could never figure the idea that it was possible to actually earn a living in music – I’ve looked at other places to work.

Finally there was no way of resisting it, I was inside music. That’s what I did.

We tried to change the idea of what a jazz festival was and could be.

We are looking to reach out to an audience that doesn’t know it likes jazz.

A common factor of a lot of the artists that we work with is that they are always reinventing themselves.

I have never seen the British jazz scene healthier than it is at the moment

The people who work together are bonding together, trying to share things, trying to build things, trying to get a vision of what they want to achieve. A festival is a great way to do that.

You get people who come in and say ‘oh you know me, I’m more of an ideas person’, it’s like, what other kind of person is there to be?

I am naturally quite a loner but the structure of Serious means I have to keep responding to other people’s ideas.

Change and innovation have to go together.