Following a very successful round of auditions at the start of the year, we are delighted to welcome on board these six talented young jazz musicians into the NYJO fold:
Luke Vice-Coles – Trumpet
Luke is currently an undergraduate at the Royal Academy of Music, where he is studying Jazz Trumpet, and spent 3 years on the Junior Royal Academy of Music Jazz course studying with Gareth Lockrane and Simon Colam. Luke has played at a large number of prestigious venues and jazz festivals both nationally and internationally, and has performed with the likes of Norma Winstone, John Surman, Dave Douglas, John Marshall, Chris Laurence and John Warren. He is at home in many musical environments, whether it be big band, small band, or a commercial/studio setting. In 2016, Luke was kindly supported by the Royal Philharmonic Society and is currently one of their featured Young Musicians.
George Jefford – Trumpet
George currently studies trumpet with Paul Beniston and jazz piano with Barry Green. Having been awarded a scholarship to study at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, 19-year old trumpeter/pianist George moved to London in September 2017 from rural Norfolk.
Classically trained, as a member of the National Youth Orchestra 2015 & 2017 he has played in two televised BBC proms and taken part in international tours to Berlin and France as well as playing in many of the UK’s finest concert venues.
George was introduced to jazz by local Norfolk musician Chris Cooper, with whom he studied jazz piano. George then began to perform locally with the Chris Cooper Trio and The Jefford Brothers as well as taking part in summer schools such as the National Youth Jazz Collective.
Claire Shaw – Baritone Saxophone
Claire is a recent First Class graduate of the Royal College of Music, graduating in June 2017. During her time at the RCM, she studied saxophone, clarinet and flute with Martin Robertson and Andy Panayi with saxophone as her principal study. After leading National Youth Music Theatre’s reed section in 2015, Claire made her debut in London’s West End early in 2016 in the Showtime production of Thoroughly Modern Millie at the Adelphi Theatre. She has since continued to establish herself in the musical theatre scene, her most recent credits including The Woman in White and Yank! at the Charing Cross Theatre. As a soloist, Claire made her concerto debut this year following her success in the RCM Concerto Competition in the Summer of 2017: she was delighted to appear with the Royal College of Music Wind Orchestra performing Mark Watter’s Rhapsody for baritone saxophone and orchestra. Claire has also enjoyed performing as a chamber musician at prestigious London venues such as BAFTA Piccadilly and St John’s Smith Square; as baritone saxophonist in Big Bands alongside Dave Weckl, directed by Guy Barker; and as a multi-instrumentalist in orchestras and musical theatre productions across the South of England.
Luca Manning – Male Vocals
Luca Manning is a Jazz vocalist and Composer from Glasgow, Scotland. He began his training with the Strathclyde Youth Jazz Orchestra under the tuition of Stephen Duffy and Alan Benzie. He has also performed with the Tommy Smith Youth Jazz Orchestra and is involved in the National Youth Jazz Orchestra of Scotland where he had the opportunity to be mentored by and perform alongside the likes of Malcolm Edmonstone, Liane Carroll, Iain Ballamy and Sara Colman.
Now resident in London, Luca is in his first year of the Bmus Jazz Degree at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. As bandleader, he has performed around London with both his Quintet and Sextet line-ups as well as performing alongside Liane Carroll at her sold-out Ronnie Scott’s Christmas Show. As well as his passion for singing straight ahead jazz repertoire, Luca enjoys composing his own music which is often much more contemporary – using the voice as a fully improvising instrument.
Helena April – Female Vocals
Helena graduated in 2016 with a First Class BA (Hons) Jazz Music Degree from Leeds College Of Music under the tutelage of Kari Breivik and Lauren Kinsella. Whilst at college Helena was President of the Student Union Big Band.
It was during her time at University that Helena began to compose her own music. Shortly after graduating she released her debut EP with her Quintet. The music takes inspiration from Ella Fitzgerald, Amy Winehouse and Gretchen Parlato. The EP has been aired on BBC Introducing, Soho Radio and other radio stations. The quality and maturity of her voice belies her young age and is reminiscent of the traditional jazz idiom.
As well as gigging regularly, Helena also teaches music/vocals. She is involved in many projects including Neo-Soul/Jazz Collective ‘allcaps’ and big band ‘The Tom Sharp Jazz Orchestra’.
Rosina Bullen – Female Vocals
Rosina is a young Jazz vocalist on the London Jazz scene. Originally from Suffolk she moved to London in 2012 and is currently in her fourth and final year on the undergraduate Jazz programme at The Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Rosina features with a number of ensembles across a range of different genres as well as running her own septet where she performs her own compositions inspired by the Jazz tradition. She has performed in a number of London Jazz venues including the prestigious Dean Street Pizza Express Jazz Club and the Spice of Life, Soho. Inspired by the music of Sarah Vaughan, Kurt Elling and Betty Carter her voice presents a rich and full tone. She also loves to write and perform her own vocalese, having been greatly influenced by the music of the late Jazz legend ‘Jon Hendricks’ and the group ‘Lambert, Hendricks & Ross’.