Jazz Summers, Manager to the Verve, Snow Patrol + More, Dies at 71
“He had been living with lung cancer for over two years,” reads an official statement posted to Big Life Management’s website. “The music industry has lost one of its most vibrant, most notorious and most brilliant characters. A champion of new music, a non-conformist and a visionary, Jazz Summers will be greatly missed.”
Summers and Tim Parry founded Big Life Management in 1986. During his tenure, Summers has also managed La Roux, Badly Drawn Boy, Klaxons and London Grammar. The Big Life Management co-founders also spearheaded Big Life Records, the label which De La Soul, the Orb, Stare Yazz and other artists called home. The label was purchased by Universal in 2008.
“Jazz Summers was a master of artist development,” Big Life’s statement continues. “His ability to hear a song and recognize its power and potential brought him huge success across several decades.”
Summers received the Peter Grant Award in 2003, recognizing his outstanding achievement in management. In 2007, he was honored with the Strat Award at the Music Week Awards.
Summers was also an advocate on behalf of artists rights. He published his autobiography, Big Life, in 2013.
The Verve offered their own statement on Facebook upon hearing the news:
Where to start? Today I heard the unfortunate news that Jazz Summers, ‘Music Industry Legend©’ former ‘Urban Hymns’ and ‘Forth’ era manager of my band ‘The Verve’ finally lost his long battle with lung cancer and sadly passed away this morning. The man needs no introduction from myself. The very mention of his name would either, (if he was on your side,) make you want to clench your fist and thrust it into the air, or (if he was against you,) curse, swear, call him every name under the sun. Believe me the mention of his name, always received a STRONG reaction, but whatever, the man deserved respect. He was one of a kind. He didn’t sit on fences. His achievements and his loyalty speak for itself.