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Musicians/bands who would like to be considered for the 2020 ‘Made in the UK’ concert series at the CGI Rochester International Jazz Festival should read the information below.

Application deadline 9th September 2019.





‘Made in the UK’ is an annual showcase of British jazz at Rochester International Jazz Festival (RIJF), which takes place in late June each year. The series was founded by John Ellson (ESIP) & John Nugent (RIJF) in 2008.


The series aims to:


  • Present a varied nine-night programme representing the highest quality jazz (& related genres) from the UK as part of one of the largest jazz festivals in the USA


  • Provide a high profile platform in North America for UK bands who are export-ready to begin or further their career in North America.. Bands chosen to perform at RIJF will also all be proposed to the programmers of the Canadian Summer jazz festival circuit for possible inclusion in their 2020 programmes. Although there is no guarantee that groups will be offered dates in Canada, over the past 10 years many Made in the UK groups have succeeded in putting together tours in Canada around their RIJF performances. In the 2017 series, six of the nine bands completed an additional 22 performance dates between them and in 2018, five of the bands performed an additional 10 dates between them on the Canadian festival circuit.




All bands will require a valid USA 'P' or 'O' category performance visa in order to take part in the festival.

USCIS operate strict guidelines as to who is eligible for these visas. If you do not already have a valid USA ‘P’ or ‘0’ category performance visa you will need to be able to provide the following (amongst other information) to RIJF by November 2019 in order for the festival to apply for a visa on your behalf.

The USCIS (Department of Homeland Security U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) requires the following:

1. Proof of a sustained career: If you’re an ensemble, we need some DATED documentation that is more than 12 months old, which shows that the group (with exactly the same line-up) has existed for more than a year. This can be CD releases/press reviews (from established sources) naming all band members.

2. Press: Press from the UK and from abroad. The USCIS ask for proof that you are an “internationally recognised artist/group,” so we also need press that is not from your home country. It need not be in English, but if it is not, we may need you to secure official translations of some or all of your press. We need old and new press as we have to prove that the artist/group has sustained international success. To do this we need a mixture of press from throughout your career - ideally six good reviews, features, or interviews from the UK (e.g. broadsheets/magazines), and five pieces from other countries (ideally five different countries).

3. Awards and Prizes: Any documentation you can give us that shows that you have won significant awards or prizes.

For further information see



Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond the completion of your proposed trip to the USA. If your passport expires sooner than that, you must renew your passport before RIJF can apply for a visa on your behalf.



Currently this project is not publicly funded, but groups who fulfil the PRS Foundation's International Showcase Fund criteria will be eligible to apply for funding support:

“PRS Foundation’s International Showcase Fund offers vital support for music creators based in England, Scotland and Wales who have been invited to play an international showcasing festival or conference. If you are invited to play at the Made in the UK showcase in North America, you can apply for support of up to £5,000 as a contribution towards travel, accommodation, visa and per diem costs. We grant up to 75% of your trips budget. The remaining 25% should be covered by the artist, label, manager, publisher, etc.”


RIJF will provide accommodation in Rochester for up to two nights (for members of the band only), local ground transport (from and to ROC airport & between hotel and venue), backline (subject to festival approval - substitutions may be required), festival catering on concert evenings & a contribution towards expenses (please note: RIJF do NOT cover flight expenses).

RIJF will apply and pay for US P1 work visas for the chosen bands (value $2,000 each) if required. These visas are generally for up to one week’s duration and are only valid for your performance at RIJF. If your group intends to perform elsewhere in the USA in addition to Rochester, you will need to apply for your own visa through a US Petitioner such as Covey Law and RIJF will provide a financial contribution towards the cost of this (up to a maximum of $500). Please see visa information above to check that you are able to fulfil the visa petition criteria.




Groups must be prepared to fund their own international flights, US visa embassy costs in the UK ($190 per musician) and any additional expenses themselves, or by applying for funding from the PRSF or other sources.


  • Please ensure that you understand the visa and funding information outlined above and are available from 19-27 June 2020.

  • Send an email to expressing your interest in being part of the 2020 series. Please include links to website, biography and recent & past press (see criteria above), plus links to videos & streaming of the exact project/line-up you are proposing by Monday September 9th 2019.



The final Made in the UK 2020 programme will be chosen by the CGI Rochester International Jazz Festival Artistic Director and selected bands will be notified by November 2019. 

The programme will be announced in March 2020 at the RIJF press conference.

The Made in the UK Series will not take place in 2021/22 due to travel and visa restrictions

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