Tuesday, October 25, 2016



The National Youth Jazz Orchestra (NYJO) is very pleased to announce that it is recruiting new members for 2017. NYJO is inviting young musicians aged 24 and under, with experience of playing big band jazz and who are preparing for a career as a musician, to apply for a position in the band.

Auditions will be held in London on Saturday 7 January and in Manchester on Sunday 8 January 2017

You will work with NYJO’s Artistic and Music Director Mark Armstrong, performing an eclectic repertoire of new music and classics from the big band canon, giving inspiring concerts around the country and also be involved in delivering NYJO’s learning and participation programme. Successful applicants normally hold their position in the band for at least one year.

Recent NYJO highlights include performances at the EFG London Jazz Festival, a major European tour with the German and Dutch National Youth Jazz Orchestras, an annual residency at Ronnie Scott’s, recording a celebrated 50th anniversary double-album ‘NYJO FIFTY’, and a landmark collaboration at the Barbican with Jazz at Lincoln Center.

“We are looking forward to auditioning potential new NYJO chair holders in January. Although an audition is a short amount of time to gauge a player’s potential, their choice of material and ability to play it, combined with sight-reading, gives a good indication of how they might fit in the band. For some really important chairs, a trial period may be needed to ensure the right person fills the role.”

“Although we rehearse in London every Saturday morning, through our partnership with Help Musicians we have the funds to help pay travel expenses to any players based away from London, should they be invited to attend regular rehearsals. Even if you are not successful in becoming a chair holder with the band, it is possible that you will be asked to be an ‘authorised deputy’ which means doing some gigs with the band, provided you can attend some rehearsals. We’re excited about hearing you play!”

Mark Armstrong, NYJO’s Artistic and Music Director


  • Auditions will take place on Saturday 7 January 2017 at the London Centre of Contemporary Music, and on Sunday 8 January 2017 at the Royal Northern College of Music.
  • Applications are open to all musicians aged 24 and younger who play instruments in the NYJO line-up.
  • Please note that we are not auditioning vocalists this year.
  • · To apply for an audition, please click here to download an application form. You must rename the document with your own name before sending to us.
  • · Please email your completed form to Roger Wilson, Orchestra Manager, roger@nyjo.org.uk. The closing date for applications is strictly 10.00am, on Monday 14 November 2016.
  • Successful applicants will be invited to audition and will be required to perform one piece of their choice and one piece provided by NYJO, with a professional rhythm section provided by NYJO.
  • You will be notified if you are not invited to audition.
  • For more experienced musicians (perhaps studying jazz at a conservatoire or beginning to work in the profession) NYJO will guarantee an audition upon personal recommendation to the NYJO Artistic and Music Director by an appropriate person (such as your Head of Jazz). Applicants should still complete and return an application form to NYJO by the closing date.

If you have any questions, please contact Jonathan Carvell, Development and Communications Manager – jonathan@nyjo.org.uk or call 020 7494 1733.