Jazz musician to raise funds for Jewish Women’s Aid

Joshua Jaswon will be performing in a concert in memory of close family friend and former JWA chair Frances Turner


Saxophonist Joshua Jaswon will be playing a concert in memory of Frances Turner, a family friend and former chair of JWA (Photo: Krisztian Sipos)

An internationally renowned jazz musician is playing a concert in memory of the former chair of trustees at Jewish Women’s Aid, who supported him in his early career.

Saxophonist Joshua Jaswon will play with his quartet for the concert in memory of Frances Turner on June 30, marking what would have been Frances’s 77th birthday. Funds raised from ticket sales will go towards JWA.

Jaswon is the son of a close friend of Frances and her husband David Turner, who organised the concert.

Frances loved music and came to watch some of Jaswon’s early shows, and regularly attended concerts at the Wigmore Hall, the Royal Opera House, Ronnie Scott’s and the Jazz Club at Pizza Express.

Frances’ husband David contacted Jaswon last year and told him about the previous annual summer concert which they had held in memory of his wife, featuring a classical chamber ensemble, and said he was interested in this year's concert being jazz-orientated. “He got in touch to see if I'd be interested in presenting some music, which, of course, I was very happy to do,” said Jaswon, who released his last album Polar Waters with his octet ensemble last year to rapturous reviews.

“The Turners have been long-standing friends since I was growing up. The whole family has always been an incredibly supportive set of friends for our family."

A social worker and then a counsellor by profession, Frances worked in private and NHS practice and set up the Hampstead Community Centre Counselling Service in the 1980s.

Working with many clients who had experienced domestic abuse drove her to become involved with JWA.

Passionate about empowering women, Frances enabled JWA to grow in scope and impact during her time as trustee and chair between 2009 and 2014, when the charity’s offering widened to provide formal support for children as well as women and mothers.

“Frances’ legacy at the charity is really significant and long-standing,” Jaswon said, praising her work in extending JWA’s prevention programme in schools and creating more outreach possibilities for girls and young women who needed Jewish Women's Aid services. “The charity proactively goes into schools, and it gives girls and young women an opportunity to get the professional support they might need,” said Jaswon.

Jaswon’s quartet, which features musicians in high demand on the UK jazz scene, will play a predominantly contemporary jazz programme featuring original compositions and interpretations of classics by the likes of Wayne Shorter or John Coltrane.

Jaswon, who lives between Berlin and London, where he was born, said: “When we play, we bring the jazz tradition to life as best as we can and give our personal approach. There’s a lot of improvisational interplay between the musicians.

“It relates to the context in which we're playing, so the fact that this is a concert in memory of someone who's done a huge amount of work and was a long-standing friend, all of those things will have an effect on how we play.”

Through their playing, they would be “trying to honour the memory of Frances’ work”, said Jaswon. “If we play well, with emotional intensity and communicate something that the audience feels is of meaning to them, that's the best possible thing that we can do because that would most appropriately reflect the work that she did for this charity and the gravitas of the work that this charity deals with. I’m immensely proud to be supporting this organisation.”

Frances’ daughter Anna Turner, who is a trustee of JWA, said that one of the aspects Frances most enjoyed about her work at JWA was “visiting different secondary schools and observing the schools programme in action – educating pupils of all ages about healthy relationships and consent. She loved seeing both boys and girls engaging with the sessions, and it gave her immense hope that educating children from a young age would lead to less women experiencing abuse in adulthood.”

JWA CEO Sam Clifford said: “Our annual summer concert in honour of Frances Turner will raise funds for our schools' programme. Last year, JWA’s educators delivered 150 sessions in London and Manchester, engaging over 4,000 students, training over 200 teachers, and providing awareness sessions to nearly 300 parents.

“By promoting healthy relationships and consent through a Whole School Approach, we equip the entire school community to foster a culture of consent and reduce harmful behaviour. Thanks to this special event, Frances' passion for our work in schools continues and we can expand our reach to more young people.”

JWA Annual Summer Concert

In memory of Frances Turner Z”L

Sunday June 30


Doors open 7.30pm

North-West London venue

Tickets can be booked here  

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