Studio Talk: Jazz Maze

Insights into Marcus Joseph's autobiographical Virtual Reality experience


2nd February 2024

What time




14–18 Broad Street,





Marcus Joseph's Jazz Maze is an interactive, immersive comic book experience for Virtual Reality, supported by Broadway's Near Now Ideas Fund.

In this Near Now Studio Talk, musician and spoken word artist Marcus Joseph will share insights into the development of his recent project, Jazz Maze.

Jazz Maze VR is an autobiographical British Jazz story inspired by Marcus’ journey, from growing up in the East Midlands to performing internationally.

It brings together the compelling music and spoken word of Marcus Joseph, visual art of illustrator and animator Wumzum and theatrical imagination of immersive game developers BetaJester.

The project illuminates the power of jazz, thematising oppression and liberation via storytelling, music, characters, and design.

Playtesting sessions


Book a 30-minute playtesting session hosted by Marcus Joseph after the Studio Talk, to support the development of Jazz Maze.

The aim of playtesting is to test the concepts behind the project and to provide valuable feedback. During the playtest, you will be asked to experience the Jazz Maze using an Oculus Quest Virtual Reality headset and provide feedback by answering a few questions.

About the artist

Marcus Joseph aspires to be an instrument of change. Whether proudly supporting his local Leicester community, performing for George Cole – the city’s first black mayor – or paying homage to his Afro-Caribbean roots through songs charged with the energy of reggae music. This spirited lyricist and Alto Saxophonist has the gift to uplift.

His debut album ‘Beyond the Dome’ (Jazz re:freshed) effortlessly blends contemporary jazz, reggae and hip hop. It’s been championed by Tony Minvielle (Jazz FM), DJ Lanni (Worldwide FM) Gilles Peterson and Tom Robinson (6Music).

For Marcus, there’s no terrain that can’t be conquered through the alchemy of word sound power.

Near Now Ideas Fund

In 2022–2023, Broadway's Near Now Ideas Fund helped Midlands creatives start new projects enabled or inspired by technology. Supported using public funding by Arts Council England, Broadway invested in the important research and development activity that is needed when a project is just getting started.