Line-up for new commission to champion Greater Manchester’s vibrant music scene revealed

Musicians, artists and industry leaders have all been picked for the organisation which will drive music in the city-region forward.
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The 27 members of the new Greater Manchester Music Commission have been unveiled.

The full-line up has been announced of the body which will be tasked with driving the city-region’s vibrant music scene forward and championing its talent.

The commission’s make-up was announced by Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA).

The idea of the organisation was launched earlier this year at an event where Mr Burnham memorably joined in a duet rendition of Oasis’ hit song Wonderwall.

What is the Greater Manchester Music Commission?

The Greater Manchester Music Commission was originally the recommendation of a joint review carried out by UK Music and the GMCA, and was one of the commitments made by the Mayor in his 2021 manifesto.

The 25 people and two organisations appointed to the Commission include artists, managers, broadcasters, venue owners, festival founders, and record labels.

The Commission will meet four times a year, with the first meeting taking place in January 2022, and will report to the GMCA.

The application process has resulted in a gender-balanced panel which draws on a wide range of musical styles including pop, jazz, folk and classical.

It is hoping that its work will ensure that future acts hoping to follow in the footsteps of artists such as The Smiths, Oasis and The Charlatans, as well as the jazz talents and top-flight orchestras and classical ensembles the city has nurtured, are able to achieve their full potential.

The organisation will work to develop musical talent and increased audiences for them both at home and further afield, as well as helping the city’s artists achieve success nationally and internationally.

It will also identify where current music systems are falling short and try to come up with solutions and provide oversight of StreamGM, the not-for-profit ethical streaming service designed to provide a global platform for Greater Manchester talent.

It will also look into the feasibility of having some sort of major music event in Greater Manchester to promote its artists more widely.

Who is on the Greater Manchester Music Commission?

The 27 inaugural members of the commission are:

Bob Riley from the Manchester Camerata, Carolyn Baxendale from GM Music Hub, Chris Hawkins from BBC 6Music, Damian Morgan of BIMM, Dave Brown from Even The Stars, Dave Moutrey from HOME, David Butcher from The Halle, Debra King from Brighter Sound, Jane Beese from Manchester International Festival. Jay Taylor from Night and Day and the Music Venues Trust, Jeff Thompson of UnConvention, musician Jenna G, Karen Boardman of Crisis Management, TV producer and radio and podcast host Karen Gabay, Kate Lowes from Brighter Sound, Kirsty Fairclough from the School of Digital Arts and Manchester Jazz Festival, Mark Lippman from Scruff of the Neck, Michael Adex from the NQ Group, Oli Wilson from Beyond The Music, Ottilia Ördög from Beat Bazaar, DJ Rebecca Swarray, Rivca Burns from Sounds from the Other City, Santana Guerout from Band on the Wall, Sour Grapes Records, Tom Besford from the English Folk Expo, Victoria Robinson from The Met and Voltalab Studios.

HOME Director and CEO Dave Moutrey. Photo: Drew ForsythHOME Director and CEO Dave Moutrey. Photo: Drew Forsyth
HOME Director and CEO Dave Moutrey. Photo: Drew Forsyth

What has been said about the Commission’s launch?

Mr Burnham said: “I am so proud to be announcing today the members of our first ever Greater Manchester Music Commission. We had a fantastic response to the call that went out earlier this year, and the commissioners we’ve appointed represent all aspects of the vibrant, diverse, and exciting music scene across our 10 boroughs.

“Manchester has always been the beating heart of UK music. Our history is full of pioneers who did things differently, and who were often imitated but never bettered, but we’ve never been content to stand still and revel in the glories of the past.

Greater Manchester Mayor Andy BurnhamGreater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham
Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham

“The job of the commissioners will be to represent the Greater Manchester music scene as it is now, championing creators and communities at every level.

“They will look at new ways of promoting music and developing new talent, and work with us to turn those ideas into action. I can’t wait to see how they tackle the task, and I will be following and supporting them every step of the way.”

Coun Martyn Cox, Greater Manchester’s lead for culture, said:“The commissioners we’ve appointed today represent some of the best that our city-region’s burgeoning music scene has to offer.

“The artists, promoters, educators and industry leaders on the Greater Manchester Music Commission will play a vital role in helping the sector to thrive, and in celebrating the ways in which music enriches our lives and our communities.

“Today’s announcement is also a tribute to the legacy of David Greenhalgh, who did so much to champion our vibrant culture scene right across Greater Manchester. This Commission absolutely embodies that spirit, and we look forward to the ideas and energy they will bring to the table.”