Most people tend to accept the definitions of jazz given to them by the media or popular press which tend to define jazz music as an easy listening, stuck-in-the-past music form – this couldn’t be further from the truth.
The truth is, jazz has evolved as many definitions as there are people listening to it. Borne out of oppression, revolution and a need to express the black experience, jazz has always been a progressive, boundary pushing and relevant artform, cutting paths for all popular music forms.
The brainchild of Justin McKenzie & Adam Moses, Jazz re:freshed as a music movement started with a humble vision in early summer 2003. Its intention, to challenge the elitism and prejudice within the jazz community that had kept jazz on the sidelines far too long, whilst bringing the incredibly diverse, colourful, expressive and creative world that is jazz to the people – live, fun and affordable. Perhaps the most important aim was and still is, to promote underexposed music and artists deserving of the widest recognition.
Although music is undoubtedly the nucleus of the movement, art and visuality are intrinsically important to the philosophy and identity of Jazz re:freshed, not to mention the culture we represent. This is expressed through our promotional art, films, exhibitions & curations, apparel and collaborations.
The movement was built around its weekly live residency in the heart of West London, covering the whole spectrum of jazz and jazz-influenced. Everything that’s fresh about jazz is hopefully reflected in the philosophy and delivery of Jazz re:freshed and its numerous projects – the colour, the creativity, the artistry, the boundless expression.
Jazz re:freshed was always destined to be more than simply a night. The weekly live West London residency was and always will be the fulcrum of the movement, however as with all creative forces, it was not to be contained or confined to one form of expression.
A small but relentlessly determined organisation, Jazz re:freshed has its hands in many pies, hosting a weekly live residency, a record label, festival, film club, band development programme, club night, workshops and more.