Laura Jurd

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Laura Jurd is a London-based, award-winning trumpet player and composer, currently a BBC New Generation Artist for 2015-2017. An active improviser playing regularly in the UK and more recently in Europe, Laura specialises in writing for hand-picked musicians in her own projects and ensembles. Her band Dinosaur has performed throughout the UK and Europe including performances at Berlin Jazz Festival, Jazz Sur Son 31 in Toulouse, 12 Points in Dublin and Jazzahead in Bremen. In 2015 Laura receieved the Parliamentary Jazz Award for 'Instrumentalist of the Year' and in the past has been shortlisted for a BASCA British Composer Award, received the Dankworth Prize for Jazz Composition and Worshipful Company of Musician's Young Jazz Musician of the Year award.

Oli Bentley (Split)

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Oli Bentley is the founder of design studio Split.  His work in music focuses on album cover design and identity design for alternative and instrumental music.  Split works with both the iconic Leeds-based label, The Leaf Label (Szun Waves, Lawrence Pike, Matthew Bourne, Comet is Coming, Snapped Ankles, Caribou, Triosk) and leading UK jazz label Edition Records (Chris Potter, Phronesis, Mark Lockheart, Jullian Argüelles Kneebody, Dinosaur, Laura Jurd, Elliot Galvin). He has also worked with a number of other independent and signed artists. Oli also once designed Dizzy Rascal’s website. But we don’t talk about that.


Sadly no award-winning designers were available for this panel. But Oli has nearly won awards for his album artwork – so that will have to do. Split's laser installation and artwork for Vessel’s The Great Distraction earned the slightly underwhelming accolade of being voted the third best album artwork of the year at the Art Vinyl Awards. Whilst The Leaf Label’s 20th Anniversary box set – listed by The Vinyl Factory as the second best piece of album packaging of the year – was nominated for the Independent Music Awards. However, in Oli’s greatest brush with rock and roll fame, it lost out to winner Noddy Holder.  On looking back at the past 10 years as a designer in the music industry, one can only conclude he needs to try a bit harder.

Leslie Jackson (Jazz North)

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Lesley Jackson is Executive Director of Jazz North – the sector support organisation for Jazz in the North of England. As Executive Director, Lesley provides strategic leadership for the organisation in their aim of ensuring that northern Jazz artists and their creative practice are presented and showcased to national and international audiences in sympathetic environments which sustain their long term careers.

Chris Sharkey (Roller Trio / Acoustic Ladyland / trioVD)


Chris Sharkey is a musician from the North-East of England.

Based in Leeds since 1999, Chris has dedicated the last 20 years to making forward-thinking new music that blurs boundaries between improvisation, production, composition and the associated genres of these often separated fields.


An active national and international performer with Acoustic Ladyland, trioVD, Shiver, The Geordie Approach, Roller Trio and as a solo artist, he is a guitarist, bass-player and electronic musician.


Chris' production credits include albums by ACV, Mole, Taupe, World Service Project, trioVD, Shiver and Roller Trio and remixes for artists including Troyka, Leverton Fox, Sebastian Rochford and Shatner's Bassoon.


SInce 2010 Chris has developed a method of delivering learning and participation projects based on an inclusive, experimental and collaborative approach. These include commissions from Tall Ships Regatta, Great Exhibition of The North, EFG London Jazz Festival, Sage Gateshead and Birmingham Symphony Hall.

Maya Kally (Artist)

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Maya Kally is a passionate singer-songwriter and composer, with jazz, indie and experimental influence. Her distinct style encompasses lust, family, and topics less spoken about within society. Born in North London and a Leeds College of Music alumni, Maya's music has taken inspiration from living in cities and finding serenity in such a fast paced environment.

Maya has worked with supporting artists including multi award winning pianist Bill Laurance, award winning musicians Matthew Bourne and Joe Fox as well as performing at Manchester JazzFestival, Wigan Jazz Festival, Cloudspotting Festival, Leeds Jazz Festival and many more. Her debut single, Another Time, is out now and has been played on Alan Raws BBC Introducing as well as Amazing Radio. Her single Another Time has introduced Maya Kally as a 'Fantastic new talent!'. Since moving back to London, Maya has been awarded funding from PRS Foundation, Festival Republic and ReBalance, which contributed to the anticipated creation of her latest single: 'We'reWaiting'.

Scott Lewis (Come Play With Me, Clue Records)


Scott runs the label side of Come Play With Me (CPWM) which includes the selection process and workshops. He also runs Clue Records, which started in 2012. Clue Records follow a DIY approach, releasing music from artists with passion including Avalanche Party, Crushed Beaks, PLAZA, Team Picture & more, gaining acclaim from NME, DIY, The 405, Wonderland, CLASH as well as national airplay from BBC Radio 1, BBC 6Music, KEXP, Amazing Radio and more. As well as a host of sold out releases under their belt, Clue Records also present a monthly Amazing Radio show. Scott also manages Leeds based art-rock band Dead Naked Hippies.