Shaper: Jez Nelson

Jez Nelson is the Founder, CEO and CCO of content agency and production company, Somethin’ Else. Frustrated by the lack of jazz on the radio, Jez along with fellow Jazz FM presenter Chris Philips and DJ Gilles Peterson set up a jazz-only pirate radio station, K Jazz in the mid-80s, which survived for two years. After studying for a post-grad degree in radio journalism in the late 80s, Jez joined Jazz FM shortly after they won the London licence in 1989, and went on to launch Somethin’ Else in 1991 with £500 and a cashbox.

In his career, he has interviewed many jazz stars including Herbie Hancock, Nina Simone, Wayne Shorter and Sun Ram, and has been a TV presenter for the BBC and a radio host for Kiss FM, BBC Radio 3 and 4 and of course Jazz FM, where he has recently returned to host a weekly contemporary jazz show. He is also the creator and host of the monthly ‘Jazz In The Round’ concert-event that takes place at The Cockpit Theatre in London.

“I love music so much.”

“When I watch musicians playing, I am so in awe and I think what an incredible joyful experience it must be to make music.”

“I wish I could play an instrument and be able to share that experience.”

“I have always been a hustler.”

“I needed to do something, I needed to earn money and I really didn’t want to work for anybody else.”

“We followed our passion.”

“Anyone who runs a business will always say that the real trick is employing people who are better than you and share your values.”

“We have spent our careers trying to sell ideas and being at the mercy of people.”

“We can have a good idea and if we really believe in it, we just make it happen.”

“I have had what I consider to be an amazing life and have funded a fantastic lifestyle by working in and around things that I absolutely love.”

“It is really nice to be recognised by your peers.”

“We always put the audience first.”

“I am incredibly passionate about music and broadcasting.”