The NYJO Academy offers weekly London-based access to jazz ensembles for young musicians of varying levels and abilities. Ensembles rehearse every Saturday at our base in Morpeth Secondary School.

The Academy term dates are as follows:

Autumn 2020:

Saturday 12th September – Saturday 12th December ( half-term holidays on 24th and 31st October)

Please note that sessions will continue to be delivered online in September until we are welcomed back to Morpeth School.  More details of the alternate timetable will be sent out via email to parents.

Spring 2021:

The NYJO Academy Jazz Ensemble

10am – 1pm

MD: Gemma Buckenham

Focuses on ensemble performance skills in a large jazz ensemble: an introduction to standard big band repertoire, interpreting notation, familiarity with a variety of grooves from jazz and related genres and jazz improvisation. Guideline: Young musicians must have prior ensemble playing experience; Approximate ABRSM grade standards are Grade 5 minimum; Approximate age range: 12 – 17


The NYJO Academy Big Band

1.30pm – 4.30pm

MD: Sebastiaan de Krom

This band focuses on projects looking at the repertoire/styles of key big band figures; Ellington, Basie, Thad Jones/Mel Lewis, Stan Tracey etc etc.  Experience in large jazz ensemble performance is expected, with music reading, improvisational abilities and overall jazz style developing well.  Entry is mainly by a yearly audition process in September. Guideline:  Approximate age range 16-19


The NYJO Academy Vocal Group

11.30am – 2.30pm

MD: Jessica Radcliffe

Singers work with the MD on everything from microphone technique to repertoire and reading and jazz interpretation.  Each week members of the vocal class will have opportunity to sing with the instrumental ensembles, as well as working on a jazz vocal ensemble. Guideline:  Some live singing experience desirable.  Approximate age range 14 – 21


NYJO London 

MD: Phil Meadows

10:30 – 12:30pm (Advanced group)

This ensemble is aimed at those with previous experience in improvisation and a high level of proficiency on their instrument. We look at chord/interval recognition, transcription, jazz language and advanced jazz harmonic content. We also continue to develop aural connections, methodology on building solos/working as a band and learn more complex repertoire by ear.

1:30 – 3:30pm (Intermediate group)

This ensemble is for those with some proficiency on their instrument to come and learn, hone and develop their aural and improvisational skills. We focus on developing our ear through interval recognition and work on connecting it to our instrument. We also look at how to build solos and develop ways to work effectively as a band through interaction and listening. All repertoire is learnt by ear and we cover basic jazz theory so it’s not essential to have previous experience improvising and reading music is not a skill required (although useful)!