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Applications open for Fun-Size Jazz 2021

Fun Size Jazz Sam Kavanagh 2020 banner

Performance and development opportunity for jazz and improvising musicians.

Improvised Music Company in partnership with The Ark and Sligo Jazz Project are seeking applications from professional artists in jazz and improvised music for short ‘scratch’ performances aimed at young audiences. For this edition, we are focusing on artists based in Sligo and its immediate surroundings. The chosen artists will have a unique opportunity to devise, develop and deliver short live performances for audiences of children at The Hawk’s Well Theatre, Sligo on 26th & 27th November, 2021. Fun-Size Jazz is an intensive learning and development model which equips artists to create engaging professional content for young audiences.

IMC and the Ark will be hosting a digital briefing session for any interested artists on October 20th, 2021 at 2pm.

Please email to receive the link to the session on Zoom.

The Fun-Size Jazz initiative is jointly presented by Improvised Music Company and The Ark, and we are thrilled this year to partner with the Sligo Jazz Project to deliver this event. Fun-Size Jazz stems from an original production developed between 2014 & 2016, called Monster Music Improv.

Monster Music Improv was a music improvisation and visual performance for children which focused on live improvisation, around the theme of monsters, and featured vocalist Lauren Kinsella, guitarist Shane Latimer and illustrator Patrick Saunders. In developing Monster Music Improv, both organisations saw the importance of creating opportunities for jazz and improvised music professionals to perform for young audiences; introducing the concept of improvised music to children at a young age, as well as providing an opportunity for musicians to develop music with young audiences in mind. It is a fertile area for artistic and professional development.

This led to further partnership developments of the Fun-Size Jazz programme, which took place in Dublin and Limerick between 2018 and 2020. 9 “scratch” performances have been developed as part of Fun-Size Jazz, with some continuing on to other festivals and platforms, including Cruinniú na nÓg, Spike Cello Festival, and Jazz Connective.

The goal of Fun-Size Jazz is to develop professional artistic capacity, learning and development in creating content for young audiences.

Director of Sligo Jazz Festival, Eddie Lee commented, "Sligo Jazz Project has, for many years, organised key events each summer which encourage, entertain and inspire young musicians via our annual SJP summer school youth academy. So it's very fitting that we will host the North West instalment of Fun-Size Jazz events in our favourite space with some of our favourite musicians. We encourage Sligo schools and parents to come on board too and encourage children aged 4-12 to attend the event."

John Daly, Director at Limerick Jazz (partners in 2020) said,
‘’Enlightening and enriching children’s lives with projects like these is one of the most rewarding things a person can do, and for our group, it was that and much more. They are so happy that they got the chance to do something which is somewhat outside their comfort zone and how the journey took them to places they could not have envisaged. We would hope that something like this will happen again in the future, and we at Limerick Jazz are always up for collaborations like this.’’

According to Corpus Christi National School (attendees 2020),
‘’There was a great educational benefit also as it got the children to critically think about the meaning behind the music, such as the interpretation of the seasons in the first session. They were raving about it when they got back to school and one boy repeatedly exclaimed that he was "crying from laughing at the triangle". The explanation and knowledge gained from the workshop was fantastic! The artists and host were enthusiastic and really vibed with the children.’’

The Opportunity

We are looking for applications from professional artists in jazz and improvised music to develop short ‘scratch’ performances aimed at young audiences.

In addition to this learning, development and performance opportunity, we intend to use this open call for Fun-Size Jazz as a launching pad towards identifying projects that could be developed further in 2022 in association with IMC and The Ark for potential future Irish or international touring.

Applications should present considered, innovative and engaging approaches to creating memorable and enjoyable performances of between 10-15 minutes duration designed to specifically appeal to young audiences aged between 4 and 12 years.

Successful applicants will have opportunities to develop their scratch performances via an intensive workshop at the Hawk's Well Theatre, Sligo on November 18th and then to present this work to audiences on 26th & 27th November 2021 at The Hawk’s Well Theatre.

Interested artists can apply through the application form here. Please make sure you have read the guidelines here before completing this application.

If you would like any further information about the project, you can attend the information session via Zoom at 2 pm on Wednesday 20th of October. You can also email queries at

Note that you and your ensemble MUST be available on November 18th, 26th, and 27th (AM) to participate.

If you have any access needs we can assist you with in order to apply, please email or call us at 087 783 3391.

Applications must be received by 5pm on Monday 1st November 2021.

The selection panel will include team members from Improvised Music Company, The Ark and Sligo Jazz Project.

If you have any questions in relation to the opportunity or the application process please contact

Fun Size Jazz Application Form

Information Session for interested artists via Zoom: 2pm, Wednesday 20th of October

Closing Date for Applications: 5pm, Monday 1st November 2021

Selected artists informed: 5th November, 2021

Project discussion with selected artists via Zoom: convenient times in November

1-Day Preparation workshop with facilitators: Thursday, 18th November 2021 at Hawk’s Well Theatre Sligo

Performance Dates: Friday 26th & Saturday 27th of November 2021 at Hawk’s Well Theatre, Sligo

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