Meet the Imagine International 2019 Jury

8October 2019
Posted by : Luca Polidori

The clock’s ticking and the jury’s gathering. With only a week away from the much-awaited Imagine International Final 2019, it’s time to present you with who will decide this year’s winner on October 19!

Roy Paci – Italy

With his extensive musical career, Sicilian Bach artist Roy Paci needs no introductions.

Born in Sicily, Roy started playing the piano as a young child and picked up the trumpet at age 10. By 13, he was playing with traditional Sicilian jazz and performing in some of Italy’s most famous clubs. He moved to South America in 1990 where he traveled to play cumbia and popular music in Uruguay, Argentina and Brazil. Further trips to the Canary Islands and Senegal helped him to train and develop his musical influences.
Returning to Italy, Paci entered the alternative rock scene to play with several bands, including Persian Jones, Qbeta, Mau Mau, Banda Ionica, and ZU. Paci’s tastes reflected his broad influences and these bands played musical styles ranging from ska and punk to free jazz and Italian funeral marches. In 1999 Roy Paci met French/Spanish (Basque) musician Manu Chao with whom he recorded the critically acclaimed album Próxima Estación: Esperanza. Paci continued to record with Chao and toured extensively with his group Radio Bemba Sound System. In 2001 Paci began a long-standing collaboration with Dutch post-punk band The Ex, touring and recording with their Ex Orkest, a 20-piece band made up of various European improvisors revolving around. In 2002 Paci formed his own band Aretuska and founded the record label Etnagigante in 2003 to produce their second album Tuttapposto, which explored calypso, rocksteady and swing rhythms alongside new arrangements of classic Sicilian folk music. Collaborations continued with Tony Scott, Mike Patton, Gogol Bordello, Dubioza Kolektiv. In 2006 Paci joined forces with Grammy Award-winning klezmer musician Frank London and Balkan brass band leader Boban Markovic for an album combining Paci’s Sicilian tradition with Jewish melodies and Balkan sounds called Trumpet Triumph.

Roy Paci also stands out award-wise. In 2018, he won the Premio Stampa Teatro dedicated to the actors of Sicilian Greek Tragedies of Siracusa. Coincidence or not, in the same year, the song ”Salvagente” – Roy Paci & Aretuska – featuring Willie Peyote – won the Amnesty International Italia Prize as the Best Song on Human Rights.

Sarah Jane Nicholson
Director, SJN Agency- South Africa/Netherlands

Sarah is a creative, passionate executive with 12 years of experience in the music business, specializing in business development within the African territory. 

Artist Manager and Director at SJN Agency, Sarah has an expansive international network across the entertainment & media industries. Her agency’s work expands to global music marketing, with her talents performing at SZIGET, Roskilde, Tomorrowland Unite, Afropunk, Ultra, Global Citizen, Fusion Festival, MAMA, Primavera, MIDEM, SXSW, ADE, Rock in Rio, Canada Indie Week, M for Montreal, Music Matters Singapore and many others.

More than a creative person, she is a prominent speaker, with appearances at several conferences, namely Canada Indie Week, Canada Music Week, M Pour Montreal, Eurosonic (18 & 19).

Matt Clark
Programs Director, JM International – Belgium 

Matt Clark is Programs Director at JM International (JMI), the world’s largest youth music non-profit organisation, which annually outreaches 6,000,000 young people through 45,000 musical activities, in 60+ countries. Matt joined JMI’s head office back in 2007 and today oversees the organisation’s portfolio of 12 international programs, including Ethno, Imagine, Fair Play and YAM. Matt was born and raised in Durban, South Africa and obtained a Social Sciences degree from the University of KwaZulu-Natal. He began his work in the cultural sector whilst studying, organising several grassroots social music activities that connected and empowered youth, previously divided by the system of apartheid. At JM International, Matt has been able to scale his passion for music and social change, standing firmly behind its mission of enabling young people to develop through music across all boundaries.

Bas Reeders
Programme & Production Coordinator ESNS – The Netherlands 

Bas is programme and production coordinator of the ESNS conference. ESNS (Eurosonic Noorderslag) is a non-profit, European artists only, 100% showcase festival and music conference. As the primary meeting place for European music industry professionals, ESNS has a proven track record for helping new acts break into the international music scene.  He also works for the Dutch Music Export office, promoting and supporting Dutch acts with international ambitions, and works for Buma Cultuur on various projects, being involved in events like Buma Music in Motion, InJazz Festival and Amsterdam Dance Event.  Bas studied Sociocultural Development, having a great interest in the social role of culture (especially music) in societies, and is passionate about philosophy, sociology and psychology. 

Now that you’ve met the Fantastic Four, you’re one step closer of being part of the craze called Imagine 2019. Let’s get together on October 19, at Maastricht, enjoy excellent and varied music and have the time of our lives!