Dig! Leeds Jazz Underground Film

Above: The New Master Sounds (feat., Haggis Horns). Brudenell Social Club, Leeds UK. 17.03.2016

© Garry Clarkson and Contributors.

Dig! The Leeds Jazz Underground 

Dig! The Leeds Jazz Underground is a feature documentary film about the emergence of the Leeds UK music scene in the 1990s when a coalition of promoters, musicians and DJs came to Leeds from other areas - such as Bradford, Italy and Scotland - at a time of economic austerity - to establish the city as the jazz/soul/latin music capital of the country.

Centred around the establishment of the Jazz course at Leeds College of Music and the Dig! family of DJs and promoters including Chico Malo, Lubi Jovanovic, Gip Damone and Eric Speak, the city established itself with some of the best clubs in the world including:  The Underground (now Town and Country Club); The Wardrobe, Sela Bar and Smokestack. These venues attracted international talent from around the world such as Terry Callier, MC Solar, United Future Organisation, Marlena Shaw, Roy Ayres and Roy Haines alongside the home grown musical talents of such artists as Corinne Bailey Rae, New Mastersounds and Haggis Horns; who subsequently went on to work with such key artists as Mark Ronson and Amy Winehouse. 

Garry Clarkson is an independent documentary film maker and photographer. He grew up in Bradford in the 1970s along with DJs Chico Malo and Lubi Jovanovic before leaving for London to attend film school at The University of Westminster (then a breeding ground for young film makers). 

As its almost impossible to crew and fund a pilot programme he is looking to this platform to help realise a collaborative project before history is lost forever. Due to a robbery in 2014 where he lost laptop and cameras (approx £8,000) and subsequent illness, he has found it hard to re-establish work in this field. 

This first stage of the work is to buy a cinema EOS camera - see here: http://cinemaeos.usa.canon.com as well as digitise some excellent archive footage we hold (on hi-8 analogue tape). This will be done proffessionally at Alive Studios see here: http://www.alivestudios.co.uk/video_teranex.php

To begin work on this programme in order to interest broadcasters and festivals; in addition to, and more importantly, eventually paying crew, contributors and musicians their fair use fees and performance royalties. 

Video of New Mastersounds / Haggis Horns included here using a hired Canon C100 camera in December last year. The film will combine archive footage with new filming showing where the artists mentioned above are now and interviewing the key players reflecting on the memories of this great city and its cultural ambassadors.


Garry Clarkson

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