NYJO is renowned throughout the world as a showcase for the country’s best young musicians. Since its formation in 1965, most of the rising generation of jazz musicians have passed through the orchestra’s ranks, often becoming established jazz stars whilst still playing with NYJO. One of NYJO’s aims is to share the talents of these exciting young players with as wide an audience as possible.
Under its founding Musical Director, Bill Ashton MBE, NYJO has performed hundreds of concerts all over Britain, including the Barbican, BBC Proms, Ronnie Scott’s, the Vortex Jazz Club, Usher Hall Edinburgh, the Royal Albert Hall and Royal Festival Hall.
It has also made numerous television and radio programmes, recorded around 40 albums, and visited most European countries as well as the USA, Australia and New Zealand.
Most of NYJO’s music is written specially for the orchestra by British composers, often past and present members of NYJO. The available repertoire is enormous and covers a wide variety of styles, so that diverse occasions can be catered for.
A NYJO concert can be enjoyed by non-jazz audiences as well as jazz aficionados, as another of NYJO’s aims is to raise the profile of jazz amongst the public at large and to make new converts for jazz in general. This is especially important amongst young people, and schools concerts are always included in NYJO’s schedule.
NYJO features 23 highly talented young artists from all over Britain. Past members include Guy Barker, Mark Nightingale, Gerard Presencer, Pete Long, Dennis Rollins, Winston Rollins and the much-missed Amy Winehouse.
Members are encouraged to write their own arrangements and compositions, thereby creating a diverse repertoire to draw from in addition to classic big-band standards.
All this leads NYJO to be recognised as a world-class jazz orchestra. As John Dankworth said, “Forget the word youth, this is one of the best bands you will ever hear”.
The National Youth Jazz Orchestra can be heard at Cope Auditorium, Loughborough University on Wednesday April 17th.
The show begins at 7.30pm and tickets are available now from the Loughborough Students Union on 01509-635000 or online at http://www.lufbra.net/concerts