Job Description – MJF Artistic Director

Artistic Director, Merrickville’s Jazz Fest
MJF 2021


The Artistic Director works in close collaboration with and reports to the Director, developing and managing the concert and educational programming as well as online promotion and website maintenance of MJF. N.B.: Certain aspects of the work would vary in requirements for a virtual production versus a live festival.

The Artistic Director manages numerous aspects of the production of the festival by:

  • managing the curation of the festival lineup either by an application process to solicit interest in performing and a selection committee to review and vote on applications OR by directly approaching artists to invite them to perform at MJF 2021 (the scope of work and duties would vary in requirements for a selection process with a selection committee versus a curated festival);
  • negotiating fees and performance agreements with chosen artists;
  • programming the festival in terms of final decisions on lineup and designing the concert and educational presentation and scheduling of the festival;
  • developing, posting and updating content for the MJF website and providing reports for the ticketing program OR working with a webmaster volunteer;
  • developing and posting content for MJF Social Media including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram OR working with a Social Media volunteer;
  • working in collaboration with the artists and technical personnel as well as performance venues and online live stream concert-hosting platforms to create digital content for another virtual edition of MJF (the scope of work and duties would vary in requirements for pre-recorded content versus collaboration with an online live streaming platform and if the festival were a live presentation);
  • hosting the festival; managing the technical aspects of presenting the events online OR working with an online concert hosting platform to present the events;
  • collaborating on the development of the contracts, other promotional materials and performing other duties as required.

The Artistic Director’s busiest period of production work runs from the end of January until roughly the end of July or August when the programming and artist negotiations are usually completed as well as the days leading up to the festival and the presentation of the festival.

The ideal candidate will possess a wide-ranging knowledge of all types of jazz and have personal experience as a working instrumentalist or vocalist. The candidate requires a solid awareness of jazz artists on the eastern Ontario and west Quebec scenes and be aware of the jazz scene and its players in Montreal and Toronto. A broad knowledge of international players on the jazz scene is also desirable.

The position requires a self-starter who is a people person able to collaborate in a positive manner and who has good organizational skills. Experience working with various computer programs, managing a website and social media. Due to the restrictions of COVID-19 in 2020, all meetings and discussions took place online via Zoom, email or other virtual communication and by phone or text. Should the festival take place in 2021, this would likely be the case so little or no travel is required. In the event that the 2021 festival returned to a live presentation format, the Artistic Director would be required on site for the duration of the festival.

As MJF is a community event, organized primarily by the people of the village, and which benefits from local resources, contacts and venues, it is desirable that the Director be a resident of Merrickville. MJF has traditionally provided important opportunities for community involvement and pride of ownership in their festival. The Director has an important responsibility in leading the team to foster and encourage volunteer participation and pride in MJF so that all those involved feel their contribution is important and valuable.

The Artistic Director has an important role on the team, whether residing in the village or outside, in collaborating to foster and encourage volunteer participation and pride in MJF and to create and deliver a well-designed and engaging jazz festival to audiences in Merrickville and beyond.

A meeting will take place on Monday February 8, 2021 at 7:00 PM via Zoom to discuss the future of the festival as well as for anyone interested in the positions, in sharing ideas and in becoming involved in the general planning and presentation of the festival. Those interested in becoming involved should attend the meeting. The agenda and Zoom link will be posted on the website near the end of January.