fbpx

PROFILE

MY SUBSCRIPTION

LOGOUT

x

The latest industry news to your inbox.

    

I'd like to hear about marketing opportunities

    

I accept IQ Magazine's Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

news

Serious, London Jazz fest founder John Cumming passes

"An inspiring producer”: John Cumming, who received an OBE for his work in jazz, which includes founding jazz promoter Serious and London Jazz Festival, has died, aged 71

By IQ on 21 May 2020

Serious, London Jazz Fest founder John Cumming passes

John Cumming (1948-2020)


John Cumming, founder of jazz music promoter Serious, London Jazz Festival and the European Jazz Network, passed away on Sunday (17 May), following a battle with cancer.

As a founder and director of Serious, Cumming produced live jazz, international and contemporary music festivals and events across the UK and Ireland.

Having gained experience organising Bracknell Jazz Festival and Camden Jazz Week, Cumming founded what was then known as Serious Productions in the 1980s with manager and concert promoter John Ellson, later joined by David Jones and Claire Whitaker.

Cumming then went on to found London Jazz Festival in 1992, along with Ellson and Jones. The ten-day event, which takes place each November across over 60 venues, has gone on to host acts including Herbie Hancock, Abdullah Ibrahim, Courtney Pine, Joe Lovano and Cécile McLorin Salvant.

Pelin Opcin, former director of Istanbul Jazz Festival and current director of programming at Serious, took over from Cumming as director of London Jazz Festival in 2018.

“The international jazz community has suffered a great loss”

Cumming stepped back as the director of Serious last year but remained involved with the company.

Cumming has received awards for services to Jazz at the BBC Jazz Awards and the Parliamentary Jazz Awards. In 2014 he was made an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) for his services to Jazz.

“The Serious family is saddened by the loss of one of its founders John Cumming – a much-loved colleague and friend,” reads a statement on the Serious website. “[He] was an inspiring producer, loved by everyone who knew him.”

“With the passing of John Cumming, the international jazz community has suffered a great loss. His importance cannot be overstated,” says Jan Ole Otnæs, president of the European Jazz Network, which Cumming founded in 1987.

“He was an inspiring colleague and his curiosity, creativity, deep knowledge of music and ability to unearth and present new talent in every possible context, will be sorely missed.”

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

FOLLOW IQ

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *