After five editions, and a great deal of superb music, we’ve had to pull down the shutters on our ‘On the Outside’ festival of free improvisation. The core grant we received from the Northern Rock Foundation has come to an end (it was always a time limited deal), and these are not good times to find alternative funding for such a minority art form.
As some compensation, however, grants from Newcastle City Council and the Arts Council mean that we are able to continue with a series of one-off gigs featuring leading free jazz & improv players from around the world, so North East audiences will not be completely deprived of this challenging, but immensely rewarding music.
Over the years the festival brought us a lot of hard work, a lot of stress, any number of last minute crises (musicians missing flights, airlines losing instruments, etc) . . . and an enormous amount of superb music. There’s still a long list of musicians whom we would have liked to invite to subsequent editions of the festival, but those we did manage to bring to Tyneside – several of them visiting the UK for the first time - already make a pretty impressive list. And it’s gratifying to find that musicians who met for the first time at OTO hit it off so well that they have continued to play together – Marilyn Crispell with Raymond MacDonald, Aki Takase with John Edwards & Tony Levin, Joe McPhee with the Noble/Edwards/Ward trio, and several others. One London promoter described the festival as having been “an excellent matchmaker”, and it’s a description that we’re proud to accept.
ON THE OUTSIDE 2004
Roy Campbell, Cooper-Moore, John Edwards, Agusti Fernandez, Graham Hardy, Mat Maneri, Evan Parker, Orphy Robinson, Alan Sllva, Mark Sanders, Pat Thomas, Assif Tsahar, Roger Turner, Lewis Watson
ON THE OUTSIDE 2005
Conny Bauer, Elton Dean, Jeremy Drake, Paul Dunmall, John Edwards, Harris Eisenstadt, Vinny Golia, Paul Hession, Michael Marcus, Joe Morris, Paul Rutherford, Irene Schweizer, Alan Silva, Roger Turner, Byron Wallen
ON THE OUTSIDE 2006
Gail Brand, Roy Campbell, Daniel Carter, Hamid Drake, Georg Gräwe, Gerry Hemingway, Caroline Kraabel, William Parker, Ernst Reijseger, Paul Rogers, Pat Thomas, Birgit Ulher
ON THE OUTSIDE 2008
Susan Alcorn, Andy Champion, Cooper-Moore, Wilbert de Joode, John Edwards, Tony Levin, Joe McPhee, Sabir Mateen, Maggie Nicols, Stebe Noble, Aki Takase, John Tchicai, Alex Ward, Chris Watson, Graeme Wilson
ON THE OUTSIDE 2009
Rob Brown, Andy Champion, Bruno Chevillon, Marilyn Crispell, Marc Ducret, Cor Fuhler, Daniel Levin, Raymond MacDonald, Rudi Mahall, Marcio Mattos, Chrsi Sharkey, Gunther ‘Baby’ Sommer, Chad Taylor, Alan Tomlinson, Graeme Wilson