Alan James, who died unexpectedly and prematurely in April, was a maverick, with eclectic musical tastes, who devoted his life to promoting and programming contemporary music and art. He was a pivotal figure in the WOMAD and Big Chill festivals and he was a supporter of many innovative and non-mainstream musical acts and artists. He was formerly head of contemporary music at the Arts Council and, although he was not a household name, he was highly respected by those who knew him professionally and personally and by the numerous musicians he mentored and supported at the start of their careers. He was not interested in self promotion or making money out of musicians and only supported acts that he believed in. The British music scene is far richer as a result of his wide-ranging but discerning enthusiasm and influence.
We would like to honour Alan’s contribution to music and to help keep his legacy alive by setting up a fund to support emerging musicians, a cause that he would have believed in.