UK industry unites to support new wave of UK jazz at SXSW

PRS for Music to support Jazz re:freshed Outernational showcase

Ezra Collective
EZRA Collective - photo credit Dan Medhurst

Innovative music curator Jazz re:freshed and showcase producer British Underground announce the return of UK jazz to the SXSW Festival with the 2019 showcase featuring a world-class line up of the emerging UK artists currently shaping our understanding of the contemporary jazz scene.This year’s SXSW showcase will take place from 8pm at downtown venue Main II on 13 March and will feature, NERIJA, JOE ARMON JONES, SARAH TANDY, YUSSEF DAYES and EZRA COLLECTIVE.

Recognising the importance of this new generation of performers and the work Jazz re:freshed have done to nurture it, for the first time the showcase is supported by key UK music industry organisations AIM, PPL and PRS for Music. Four of the artists have also been funded by the PRS Foundation's International Showcase Fund.

The showcase highlights the success of the two-year Arts Council England supported Jazz re:freshed Outernational initiative, a showcasing partnership with British Underground presenting artists at the frontline of the UK jazz revolution at key music events in the USA, Brazil and Europe.  The programme has included many of the artists who are shaping today’s high profile jazz scene including Shabaka Hutchings, Moses Boyd and Nubya Garcia and has been instrumental in bringing the movement to a global stage. 

With SXSW showcase headliners Ezra Collective currently on their first US tour having sold out the 1400 capacity KOKO in London in November, UK Jazz continues to dominate the headlines with a recent feature in the NY Times as well as prominent pieces in The Observer and Complex and the BBC reporting that younger fans have been responsible for 108% increase in listeners to the Jazz UK playlist on Spotify.


It's always exciting to showcase the vast array of UK Jazz talent at SXSW and this year is no exception. We have a stellar line-up that is guaranteed to raise the roof.

Justin McKenzie, Jazz re:freshed

The revitalisation of the British Jazz scene has been one of the most exciting developments in independent music of the past few years, introducing a whole new generation of music lovers to the genre. We’re very excited to be supporting the Jazz re:freshed and British Underground showcase, which will bring some of the movement’s luminaries to global eyes and ears on the international stage. We can’t wait to see what the future holds for them.

Paul Pacifico, CEO of AIM 

We are excited to support the Jazz Refreshed SXSW showcase for the first time, alongside our colleagues at PRS for Music and AIM. This showcase demonstrates how the industry can work together to support some of the brightest artists in the jazz arena. To have the likes of the Ezra Collective, Yussef Dayes, Nerija and Joe Armon-Jones all on one stage shows how strong the pipeline of talented UK artists is, and we are looking forward to an enjoyable evening supporting them.

Peter Leathem, Chief Executive Officer, PPL 

I am delighted for PRS for Music to be supporting Jazz re:freshed Outernational in showcasing the incredible talent of the UK jazz scene at SXSW. While jazz music has always been exciting, the quality of songwriting and performances that we have seen in the UK in the last few years shows that the genre really is going through a resurgence, and Jazz re:freshed and British Underground are the perfect hosts to put this energy on an international stage.

Nigel Elderton, PRS for Music Chairman

About Jazz re:freshed 

At its core, Jazz re:freshed’s mission is to globally elevate, amplify and spotlight the breadth of expression in UK Jazz, while breaking down the boundaries to access the music as a listener.  Synonymous with supporting the launch of Ashley Henry and Nubya Garcia’s recording careers, tastemakers, Jazz re:freshed have achieved this by supporting, developing and promoting emerging artists and bands across multiple platforms including a weekly live residency, annual one day festival, record label, band development programs, international showcasing and multiple partnerships. 

About British Underground

British Underground produces showcases and strategic development projects in music and the arts that focus on international success. Working across the creative sector from Stormzy to The Royal Shakespeare Company, we are an Arts Council England NPO and part of the PRSF Talent Development network. Our London office is provided by the Musicians' Union and we have relationships across the cultural sector in the UK and overseas.  

About AIM

AIM is the not-for-profit trade body exclusively representing the UK’s independent music sector, which makes up a quarter of the recorded music market. Now in its 20th year, AIM’s members range from the largest, most respected record labels and associated music businesses in the world to self-releasing artists and the next generation of entrepreneurs in music. AIM promotes and supports this exciting and diverse sector globally and provides a range of services, commercial opportunities and practical help to members, enabling them to innovate, grow and break into new markets.

About PPL

Founded in 1934, PPL is the UK music industry’s collective management organisation (CMO) for tens of thousands of performers and record companies. We license recorded music in the UK when it is played in public (shops, bars, nightclubs, offices etc.) or broadcast (BBC, commercial radio, commercial TV etc.) and ensure that revenue flows back to our members. These include both independent and major record companies, together with performers ranging from emerging grassroots artists through to established session musicians and influential festival headliners. PPL’s public performance licensing is now carried out on PPL’s behalf by PPL PRS Ltd, the new joint venture between PPL and PRS for Music.  

PPL has a market-leading international collections business, with 92 agreements in place, helping members to maximise their revenue when their repertoire is played overseas. We collected £218.8 million in the UK and internationally in 2017 and paid over 98,000 performers and record companies.

About PRS for Music

Here for music since 1914, PRS for Music is a world-leading music collective management organisation representing the rights of more than 175,000 talented songwriters, composers and music publishers. Redefining the global standard for music royalties, PRS for Music ensures songwriters and composers are paid whenever their musical compositions and songs are streamed, downloaded, broadcast, performed and played in public. 

For 110 years it has grown and protected the rights of the music creator community, paying out royalties with more accuracy, transparency and speed. In 2023, PRS for Music paid out £943.6m in royalties and collected a record £1.08 billion in revenues.

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