News release from 20/10/2022
Linton jazz pianist thanks Council's business support team
An international jazz pianist, who was supported throughout the pandemic and beyond by the Business Support team at South Cambridgeshire District Council, has encouraged other local entrepreneurs to contact them if they need advice.
Linton-based Robin Phillips thanked the team who stepped in with essential support and signposting to Government grant funding to help his company, repmusic, after he was unable to initially access support, due to running a Limited company.
A jazz pianist, singer and presenter, Robin, 44, runs his own recording studio, complete with retro microphones and vintage pianos for boutique recording sessions. Here, he also gives one-to-one lessons to budding jazz music students of all ages.
However, when lockdown restrictions came into force, like many other businesses, everything was put on hold and his company took a real hit.
After a tough first year, when Robin was unable to access the initial generic support packages offered, the Business Support team at South Cambridgeshire District Council stepped in and were able to help link-up Robin’s business with government grant funding.
Robin, who recently won an International film festival award for his independent documentary feature movie which charts the history of jazz music in America, said: “My skill is as a musician. I didn’t know where to start when it came to grants and support, so having the Council team at the end of the phone was really valuable to me.
"It made all the difference at a difficult time, and I can’t thank them enough.
"I’d advise any business, whether you are established, a new enterprise or to anyone considering setting up, get in touch, as their pool of knowledge and resources can be vital.”
Robin’s business is thriving once more as the hospitality industry gets back on its feet and he has recently been given an additional boost by winning multiple international film awards for his musical documentary film, called Back To The Source.
Robin made the film in partnership with Anglian Ruskin University Cambridge photography graduate and filmmaker, Domininkas Zalys. “It’s great to have some good news to share,” Robin said.
Robin was presented with the Best Feature Documentary award during the King’s Cross Film Festival 2022, for his jazz and blues motorcycle road-trip music documentary, filmed in 2019. The film follows him as he rides a Harley Davidson motorbike from Chicago to New Orleans, to better understand the art form he has dedicated his life to.
Robin has been playing piano and singing for more than 30 years and is best known locally for programming live music across Cambridge, including the live jazz program at Gonville Hotel and the Piano Bar at De Luca. He has performed across the UK and Europe over his 16-year career as a professional musician.
Cllr Peter McDonald, South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Lead Cabinet Member for Economic Development, said: “We are committed to supporting local businesses and are delighted at Robin’s success story. We hope it may encourage others to get in touch if they’d like advice on starting a business, diversifying or finding resources to help them launch, sustain and grow. Our service is completely free to use from a team which has years of commercial experience from various business sectors.”
Cllr Henry Batchelor, one of the District councillors for Linton, said: “I’d like to congratulate Robin for winning prestigious film awards and for his passion in forging ahead with such creative talent. He is a credit to our local community.”
- Robin is launching a new original music album project inspired by the American film trip.