The National Youth Jazz Orchestra (NYJO) promotes the exciting, engaging and inspirational musical genre through world-class performances and education work.
Since its founding in 1965, NYJO has grown from a single jazz orchestra to a multi-faceted organisation that works in jazz education at all levels across the country.
The National Youth Jazz Orchestra Ltd is registered charity number 274578, and limited company (England and Wales) number 1334250.
NYJO Jazz Orchestra
The 24-piece NYJO Jazz Orchestra is the gateway to the profession for many future stars of the UK jazz scene, and countless musical theatre and session musicians. NYJO’s alumni include Guy Barker, Laura Jurd, Mark Nightingale and Amy Winehouse, plus the leader of the Strictly Come Dancing band Dave Arch (and most of his band members) and music supervisor for the London 2012 Olympics Martin Koch.
The orchestra performs around 35 gigs each year, including recently the BBC Proms, the EFG London Jazz Festival, European tours with our German and Dutch counterparts BuJazzO and NJJO, and annual residencies at Ronnie Scott’s jazz club.
NYJO Jazz Exchange
The NYJO Jazz Exchange is our new offering, launching in January 2020. This exciting initiative is for inquisitive and unconventional young professional musicians who don’t necessarily want to follow the traditional orchestra route.
Over two years, these individuals will be guided by world-class mentorship, regular rehearsals, paid performances and wider professional development opportunities. We’re looking for individuals who are committed to developing their creative voice and making original music with others.
Learning and Participation
NYJO runs a comprehensive national education programme. While some places are well-served by jazz education opportunities, some areas are not. That’s where NYJO comes in.
We currently have 90 education partner organisations around the country of which 9 are ‘Feature Partners’, who have signed up for a minimum 3-year partnership to work closely with NYJO developing jazz education opportunities that suit their local needs.
For younger musicians within reach of London, the NYJO Academy offers improvisation and ensemble training from grade 5-standard upwards, through a combination of notated and aural groups. All our young musicians perform six times a year, and the NYJO Academy hosts free monthly jazz jams for under 18s.
“NYJO has never been conformist, never hewing to one particular line, never known for fawning replications and very deliberately these days a vehicle for new possibilities.”
Jazzwise, March 2017
Watch some of our recent work with our Jazz Messengers