What is NYJO?
The National Youth Jazz Orchestra (NYJO) is a charity, whose mission is to promote jazz as an exciting, engaging and inspirational art form through world-class performances and education work. NYJO’s flagship band is the UK’s premier youth (under 26) jazz orchestra, performing around 40 concerts annually – nationally and internationally. Alongside these performances, NYJO delivers inspirational education work wherever it goes. NYJO also operates a weekly Academy, which offers London-based access to jazz ensembles for young musicians of varying levels and abilities.
The Flagship Band
NYJO has helped launch the careers of many of the UK’s most renowned musicians, including Guy Barker, Amy Winehouse, Mark Nightingale, Laura Jurd and Gwilym Simcock, as well as Dave Arch (leader of the Strictly Come Dancing band) and most of his band members, Martin Koch (musical supervisor for the London Olympics and Paralympics), and many other stalwarts of musicals, films and the studio.
Recent highlights of the flagship band’s concert diary include a yearly residency at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club, performing with Gregory Porter at Buckingham Palace, a major European tour with the German (BuJazzO) and Dutch (NJJO) National Youth Jazz Orchestras, a televised performance at the BBC Proms and repeat appearances at the EFG London Jazz Festival. NYJO celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2015 and released a critically-acclaimed double album NYJO FIFTY.
Learning and Participation
NYJO delivers learning and participation work alongside its performances around the country, developing progression routes for the next generation of musicians, as well as building new audiences for the art form. NYJO’s workshops and educational events inspire children and young people with a love of music, and are often focused on areas of low cultural engagement and poor arts provision.
NYJO currently has over 70 active educational partnerships with hubs, schools, higher education providers, festivals and venues. In 2015/16, NYJO delivered 247 learning and participation sessions, involving over 1,200 participants. NYJO has ambitious plans to expand its education work substantially, and will reach many more people in even more areas of the country in the years ahead.
The NYJO Academy
NYJO also operates a weekly Academy, which offers London-based access to jazz ensembles for young musicians of varying levels and abilities. The NYJO Academy had nearly 200 registered participants in 2015/16, from 52 different boroughs and countries, and well over 2,000 attendances.
“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 the video below to see NYJO in action